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Regional public health department

Case Study
You are a mid-level manager with the regional public health department. You recently have been given the commanding post at a large urban branch of the State Health Department. You have 15 years’ experience in the public health services with many of those years in management roles. However, the situation you find at this branch surprises and baffles you. Morale among the public health officers is extremely low. Several officers are off on long-term stress leave. Serving a high crime area with a large minority population, the officers in this branch often face challenging calls that also receive substantial press coverage.
However, you sense that the problems run deeper than work overload or negative media attention. You notice that some of the male officers are noticeably disrespectful of their female colleagues. You also sense a good deal of animosity among some officers. Two in particular won’t even work on the same shift. With some digging around, you find that one of the two officers in question has alleged harassment from another officer. You also see that the officers of different races do not talk to each other except in an official capacity.
You know that the manager who previously had command of the branch took an autocratic approach to leadership and didn’t get involved with interpersonal aspects of the workplace. You see that your employees are suffering and you want to reach out to them and help improve the situation. You and your partner hosted a potluck for all the officers at your home, but only a few showed up.
1. Why do you see this as an ethical challenge? What specific values are in play?
2. Thinking beyond the immediate situation and individuals involved, who else was impacted? What could the long term consequences be?
3. What process would you take to begin to deal with the situation?
4. How could the professional code of public health guide you? What does the code say about public health institution employees?
5. How did you feel in the moment while initially reading the case?
6. After answering the questions has your perspective changed?




Sample Solution

This then takes us onto the third level, love and belonging. Building friendships within the staff team and trusting each other. This can also be linked to Adair’s theory the first stage of N-affil seeking friendly relationships and human interaction. This could be seen that staff motivation could reflect on practice and the children. Therefore, this needs to be met so that the individual feels comfortable and confident around their team so that they can obtain a sense of group identity and continuity when working with children. The forth level concentrates on self-esteem. As mentioned earlier the manager is working towards an N-affil approach with staff this it is believed to give self-esteem so the staff will then feel confident to engage in discussions. However, this method could cause concern for the manager as there may not be a clear barrier between staff and management team and there may be a lack of respect.

Maslow’s fifth and highest level is ‘Self-Actualization’. Maslow (1970) suggests that individuals are capable of self-actualization that most will never do so. Within the setting the deputy manager sacrifice’s her basic needs, for example she will work through break times, she does not work for financial gain as wages are poor, she works over her hours to get work completed. This could be seen that staff do their job to try and reach self-actualization and strive to better results. Stevenson (2014) argues that early year’s leaders work with others to initiate and react to crises in a way that equilibrium is restored.

This is where it seems regular appraisals would be beneficial for all staff member within the setting. Not only do they allow staff, who have low self-esteem, get their concerns across, but it also enables managers to report any issues that may arise and conduct a plan of action where needed. It gives them both some privacy and a chance to engage on a more personal level. An appraisal is a tool to measure a team member’s strengths and weaknesses and develop an action plan with realistic targets. Generally, appraisals are emphasised as a good motivation technique as they help the workforce feel valued and delegate work to more senior staff Thomas (2003).