Mld1022014class 7

MLD 102, 2014; Class 7, September 24 2014
What does ‘getting things done’
mean anyway?
Matt Andrews
We have a whole lot of
classical administration,
NPM and
tools in
our toolbox
How do we
Work out what to use,
When and how?
Let’s start by asking what we are trying to get done
• And what we mean when we speak of getting things done
– A question that causes us to think of who ‘we’ are
– And what ‘we’ care about in development
organizations, governments, etc.
So let’s go to Nomburo and Zombeta
• Which one ‘got it done’?
– Zombeta
– Nomburo
– Both
– Neither
• Why?
People have asked this question; with mixed answers
• Baker and Branch on organizational effectiveness:
– Note they start where we are:
• You need to find and fit the org. solution that works in your situation
– There is “greater recognition of organizational and system complexity and
organizational diversity while the overall trend in thinking about
organizational and management functions and effectiveness has been
away from the generic toward the more unique and tailored.”
• They offer some ideas on doing find and fit
– “The classic bureaucratic form may be the form of choice in a stable
environment with low complexity… [But] rapid change and increased
complexity required greater lateral mechanisms and a more organic form”
– But this makes the study of ‘effectiveness’ really complex as well
• We can say the same words we often use: “It depends”
See the different approaches to effectiveness for different org
types (still Baker and Branch, based on Quinn and Rohrbaugh’s
Competing Values Theory):
The evolution of the organization and management science literature represents a basic change in
organization logic over time. The initial organizational logic was based on the closed, rational
perspective; subsequently the logic was based on the natural, open perspective; most recently, a
new logic has emerged that assumes an agile, environment-oriented, network system. The
differences across these organizational logics are shown in Table 1.
And the ‘Changing Logics’ idea the authors
share, which shows that ‘what matters’ drives
what we do
Table 1. The Changing Logic of Organizations
Bureaucratic Control
Networking and Collaboration
Internal Orientation
External Awareness and
External Positioning
Internally Oriented
Hierarchical Relationships &
Internally Oriented Lateral
Relationships and Processes
Externally Oriented
Relationships, Partnerships,
and Alliances
Generic Organizational
Contingent Organizational
Flexible & Fluid Network
Organization Designed around
Internal Functions
Organization Designed around
Externally Oriented Products
and Customers
Organization Designed to
Effect Positioning in External
Primary Value-Added Is
Value-Added of All
Value-Added of Partnerships
& Alliances
Management Focus
Leadership Focus
Facilitation Focus
And it spawns a long list of potential measures of
‘getting things done’; about people, systems, results
interaction, and more (Rainey)
My work focuses on 4 from Rainey, assuming all
organizations pay some attention to all 4
The goal approach
– what you do matters
The participant satisfaction approach
– the internal who matters
The internal process approach
– how you do it matters
The systems resource (or resource dependence) approach
– the external who matters
But my work shows that the different focal
points influence development peculiarly, and
relate to each other in interesting ways
The tensions in getting things done in development
• Most orgs in development are resource dependent
– So the external who matters a lot
– And the external who sets agendas about the how
– So ‘getting things done’ means complying with ‘how’ to keep ‘external who’ support
• Isomorphism: ‘looking alike’ to get credibility
• Even if it does not make you more functional
– Like Zombeta (at least in the last twenty-two years)
– You end up with lots of mimics without functionality
• This is the capability trap that Lant will talk about next week
• Breaking out of the trap is really tough
– You have to take a risk and try new things, but…
– Moving away from external credibility; any hiccup will be punished
• Nomburo….
• An effervescent bubble
Showing this tension in a picture
External legitimacy
External support
By complying with
Procese agendas)
Zombeta…assuming functionality will follow?
But no improvement in functionality…so
A mimic without results
Nomburo…assuming legitimacy will follow?
we start But no legitimacy: effervescent bubble
(achieving goals with the
right people and participation)
What do we do to get out of this trap?
• Next Wednesday Lant Pritchett will discuss the trap in more
detail, explain isomorphism, and discuss examples of this
• Then we discuss a strategy for escaping capability traps
– How do we find and fit the appropriate solutions for our
contexts, that yield both functionality (goal achievement) and
legitimacy (external support)
• Before then, exam on Monday…groups 1 and 2 please meet
in Perkins room at 8:40
– Everyone else in here
– 50 minutes of writing in 80 minutes
– Over 80% of the test is in the questions provided on class site

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