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Public sector agencies are also now interested in creating social coalitions that include families, communities, businesses, government and non-government organizations in order to "help build and support strong, resilient families" (Patterson, 2005: 1). The hope is that government agencies will help build a stronger economy by creating social policies that support families and communities to enable better methods for dealing with difficulties and problems that arise on a daily basis.
Recent public surpluses within the government have caused contemporary PS agencies to focus on giving back to the community and to citizens to focus on better education, healthcare and assistance among other important functions (Paterson, 2005). The government is also now focusing on developing policies that encourage work life balance and responding to community breakdowns; their focus includes providing programs that integrate citizen support in areas including health, early education and creating communities that are child and family oriented, capable of providing affordable and high quality child and elder care (Patterson, 2005; Bradley & Parker, 2001).
Managing Out Imperative and Changing Managers Roles
The role and responsibilities of middle managers have changed and will likely continue to change as organizational structures within PSOs become less bureaucratic and monopolistic in upcoming years (Teo, 2000). More emphasis will likely be placed on strategic planning, adopting strong HRM practices instead of merely emphasizing personnel management, more emphasis on evaluating performance and adopting more emphasis on bottom line profitability (TEO, 2000; Metcalfe & Richards, 1992).
With managing out public sector managers now have multiple stakeholders to report to, various interest groups, the media and even government and members of other departments (PSM, 2005:1). Managers are now emphasizing on finding out how to become more outward focused by managing relationships in a new network type environment (PSM, 2005; Bradley & Parker, 2001). Managers must work with governments to become more involved in communities and focus on social inclusion among other subjects; they must also focus more attention on managing media and sending positive messages to the community (PSM, 2005). They will need to work to develop policies that govern their handling of media and consider their ethical obligations while working as public servants (PSM, 2005).
Middle managers will also have to work directly with senior management to improve customer relations and people management. This will include job functions like planning work, organizing resources that include people, materials and time, communicating with people and the community so people know what is expected of them and how work must be accomplished (Agyeman, 2004; Bradley & Parker, 2001). Middle management will also need to work more aggressively to involve staff members in decision-making processes and to encourage staff members to display initiative (Agyeman, 2004). This can be accomplished by providing staff member's new responsibilities that challenge them appropriately.
All of these changes are necessary for any organization or entity that is attempting to create a structure that holds dear the interests of the citizens, community and people that support the entity in the long-term. Middle managers of course must have the support and recognition of senior and executive management teams whose goals, responsibilities and directives must also include paying more attention to creating strategic relationships and cooperation among communities and with citizens (Riccucci, 2002; Bradley & Parker, 2001). Only with this support will PS agencies continue to thrive and support a flourishing economy within the Australian Public Sector.
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Notes On Public Sector Reform and Performance Managementa Australia 1997. Sector Management Act Review Report, viewed 2 October 2005. http://www.dpc.wa.gov.au/psmd/pubs/exec/machgovt/kelly/summary.pdf] Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) 2001, Publlic sector leadership for the 21st Century, OECD, Paris. Pollitt, C 2003, The essential public manager, Open University Press, Maidenhead. Shergold, Peter 2004, Australian Public Sector Governance: Speech at CCH Manual Launch. Viewed 2 October 2005. http://www.pmc.gov.au/speeches/shergold/public_sector_governance_2004-08-05.cfm Sethi, D 1999, 'leading from the middle', Human Resource
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