READING BETWEEN THE LINES: A LOOK IN THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE EMPLOYER AND THE EMPLOYEE IN THE PHILIPPINE NATIONAL RED CROSS


Introduction

How would the internal environment of an organization affect its external relationship with clients or stakeholders? This is the very dilemma of the Philippine Red Cross. For an organization that is primarily service oriented, ensuring quality and reliability is of utmost importance. But how will you ensure quality service when your organization is facing the challenging task of leading the multi-layered and multi-functioned levels of management into a single direction? How will the internal functions of an organization perform to ensure its external relationships are met with quality service and utmost reliability?

 

The Philippines is an archipelagic country with almost 7,100 islands and islets. It has three major island divisions (Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao), and has 79 provinces and more than 120 cities nationwide (CIA, 2011). The geography of The Philippines is a very challenging task when it comes to management. Unlike in other countries where innovations in Organizational Management are advanced, the Philippine Organizational environment in a nationwide scope has an uneven development in terms of accessibility. This is because of (1) cost efficiency and (2) logistical demands, making it difficult for companies to exercise equal development in the country. In effect, the mega urban centers like Metro Manila and Metro Cebu are the only ones enjoying the benefits of development (Addler and Gundersen, 2008).

But this problem is not only limited to results or output among organizations. The relationship among offices and regional chapters of different organizations are in fact affected with this problem. The Philippine National Red Cross, a non government organization with objectives of providing humanitarian services will be our case example to answer our question above. It is ideal because of its broad organizational structure ranging from various provinces and regions based on cities and even to the municipal level.

 

Research Method

As prescribed earlier, we will us the Philippine Red Cross as a case study. Though, there are limited references on how the nature of the organization works, the case study will capture the analysis through the efficacy of its performance and delivery of services through its annual report for 2009. The Case Study will involve a brief discussion on the (1) organizational framework of the PNRC vis-à-vis the delivery of services to its’ clientele, (2) steps taken to meet the challenge of service delivery and (3) recommendations in enhancing further its quality service.

 

The Philippine National Red Cross has 97 chapters nationwide, employing more than 5,000 regular staff. It has 7 regular services; (1) disaster management, (2) safety service, (3) community health, (4) social services, (5) national blood service, (6) Implementation of the International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and (7) Red Cross Youth. The PNRC has additional services depending on the capacity of the regional or provincial chapters. Each chapter is headed by the Chapter Administrator. The entire Philippine Red Cross is run by the Board of Governors and in each service, seats a service manager. The Secretary General serves as the over-all administrator of the whole organization. In each chapter, there is a set of Board of Directors, similar to the Board of Governors but is limited only to the jurisdiction of the chapter.

 

Source: redcross.org.ph

The function of the whole organization is to be auxilliary to the government in times of disasters, calamities and ensuring the proper implementation of the International Humanitarian Law. The function of each layer of management is to ensure the implementation of the functions of whole organization in respect to the management level. The function of each services is to provide the stakeholders, in this case, the people who benefit the services of the Red Cross, with quality and reliable service.

 

Local office versus National office

The highest policy making body of the Philippine Red Cross is the Board of Governors headed by their Chairperson while the local chapter is governed by the Board of Directors. The highest administrative position in the national level is the Office of the Secretary General, while in the local level it’s the Chapter Administrator.

 

Although the function of the Board of Directors is similar with that of the Board of Governors, decision making is usually held by the national office. Compelling the local chapters to perform and follow the directives of the Board of Governors, hence, the implementation and initiative is left to the local Board of Directors. But in this relationship alone the higher office is blinded already on current situations of the local chapters. In effect, policies may not be coherent or unparallel with the conditions in local chapters, especially in rural areas or provinces with limited access to resources. This is in conflict with the organizational framework of the Philippine Red Cross.

 

But the problem is not only limited to the relationship of both policy making bodies. Even in the administrative position in relation to their respective Board, either the Office of the Secretary General or the Chapter Administrators have conflict in terms of policy implementation and organizational output and result. With a concrete target at the end of every quarter, the uneven development among chapters is very much rampant. In effect, bringing uneven development to the organization as a whole. It is the function of the Chapter Administrator to ensure all policies are implemented, but it is also their function to find solutions to the problem of every policy. Hence, the relationship between the upper level management and the mid-level is already in conflict with the interest of each position.

 

The third layer conflict in the PNRC’s organizational structure is between the lower level management to the mid-level and the upper level management. The lower level management comprises the staff, volunteers and different service representatives and managers of the different services. The function of the lower level management is purely operational and implementation. But in cases of problem solving, they are the troubleshooters. In effect, they act as a funnel of all the problems in the upper level and mid-level management. But the inter-relationship of the lower level management is also affected by the function of each position in that level. For instance, the service representative in the disaster management service is tasked to provide training, but there is a service with a specific function of providing all sorts of training. In effect, the staff member of one service is over-lapping the performance of another service.

 

Grassroots Management

According to the annual report (2009) submitted by the Philippine Red Cross to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, it has initiated Project 143 to initially resolve the problem of its broad organizational structure. The concept of the Project 143 is grassroots based organizational management. In this project, there is a massive effort to recruit volunteers and perform the function of all services of the Red Cross in the community level. In this process, the Local Chapter shall consolidate all community based services and offer extension to the national program.

 

Through the Project 143 program, the organizational framework of the Philippine Red Cross was able to establish a connection with all other layers of the organization through their volunteers. But whether this resolves the internal coordination problem of the whole organization is still uncertain. The Project 143 is a method in itself, as it is still in its experimental phase. But as the annual report suggested, the Project 143 shows initial sign of progress as it is able to recruit more volunteers to augment the large number of services of the organization, catering to a larger target client (2009).

 

Conclusion

For every organization to perform its function simultaneously with its objectives, it should consider several factors; (a) geography/scope of territory, (b) function of services and specific task of every individual in the organization, (c) flexibility of policy and direct managerial control of the organization and (d) uniformity in orientation and organizational structure both in the national and local level.

 

Now that the dimension of organizations is rapidly changing, based on technology and available resources, it is important that the organizational framework should be adjusted as well (Morgan and Hunt 1994). This is to avoid inter-organizational conflict between layers of management, especially if the organization is result oriented and expecting output as performance basis.

 

But in establishing a service oriented organization, like the Philippine Red Cross, its’ internal environment is simultaneously paralleled with the large number of clientele it services. The process by which the Philippine Red Cross is involved in making each layer of management reach out to the grassroots is realized with the experimental program Project 143. But this program itself, as suggested in the report, is not a guarantee in ensuring quality service to its clientele.

 

On the other hand, the Project 143 proposed an alternative to the PNRC’s relationship with its clients through their services offered. Despite of the congruent framework of other departments, the Project 143 minimizes the whole organization into the grassroots level. This way, it makes the PNRC more accessible and within reach of their clients.

 

References

Morgan M. and Hunt S. (July 1994). The Commitment-Trust Theory of Relationship Marketing. The Journal of Marketing Research. (Vol. 58 No. 3).  20 – 38

 

Nancy J. Adler, Allison Gundersen (2008). International Dimensions of Organizational Behavior. 5th Ed. West Eagan, MN. Thomson Southwestern.

 

External Links

(2011). The World Fact Book. Central intelligence Agency (CIA). https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/rp.html

(2009). Philippine Programme Update. International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. http://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/

http://www.redcross.org.ph/

 

A brief paragraph of the summary of the research and your question. So it seems to me that this is your question.  How would the internal environment of an organization affect its relationship marketing?  I see how you look at how internal communication and power connections internally between levels or structures impacts decision making.  I am not sure I see how it affects relationship to the external community?  I think perhaps part of the problem is the same problem you had in the first paper.  The words “relationship marketing”  Typically refer to business to business relationships established to build both businesses or business to consumer relationships that build trust and loyalty to the business.  So I see the structure analysis here.  But I don’t see how it answers your question.  Perhaps I am missing a key component. 2/5%
Description the methods. What did you do to answer your question?  This includes who where the participants?  Why did you choose them?  This is where you describe the survey or interview or observation.   What questions did you ask and why in your survey or interviews?  Hopefully you can do this in half a page. The methods still seem unclear to me.  Is this a review of someone else review?  Did you decide on the topic and then use published information to describe the problem?  Writing a case study still should have a set of methods for how you gathered the information to write the study? 0/25%
Description of the project results.  This is just the facts.  You might want to use tables or charts to summarize your data.  You should also include text that explains what the charts mean.  If you did interviews, this is where you would list out the themes you found and give one or two examples of what participants said that led you to that theme. This may be 1 to 2 pages.  It depends on whether you asked a survey or did interviews.  A case study is an acceptable method.  You have a good description of international functions and how that is influenced by dispersed locations.  I just need to know how you got this information, 20/25%
Discussion is the “so what” part of the paper.  What does it mean?  How does it relate back to prior research?  What can you do with this knowledge as a manager? Hopefully you can do this in a half page as well.  You can do more here. You have an ok on conclusion.  I think it would have been better if you had stuck with your original question. 20/25%
Organization, support, language use, style, proofreading, design. The writing style is good. 20/20%

 

 

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