Manage Supervise Leading Strategies Research Paper

Length: 5 pages Sources: 4 Subject: Business - Management Type: Research Paper Paper: #6327403 Related Topics: Fire Department, Public Personnel Administration, Fire Safety, Employee Morale
Excerpt from Research Paper :

Manage/Supervise/Leading Strategies

Public agencies concerned with safety are presently facing crises of leadership. Many experienced and skilled personnel in several communities are encouraged to flock away from their departments due to incentives for early retirement provided. Moreover, several leaders in the police departments are also fast nearing the age for retirement. Consequently, there is a looming shortfall of leaders within the department. It is estimated that from the year 2020 the bulk of those in leadership positions in the United States of America (USA) will be a cadre of generation millennial. Chief Dwayne Orrick, in an article appearing in the Police Chief Magazine, was quoted as saying that across the country, many police departments are experiencing high rates of staff turnover which leads to problems of staffing level maintenance. This requires many agencies of law enforcement to work harder to develop and maintain their cadre of future leaders. Research indicates that several academies of public administration are doing very little to address the looming crisis of leadership, and worse still, they reject the notion of an impending crisis. On the other hand, the practitioners are making efforts to make them acquire enough training to ground them in leadership so that they can handle the problems associated with leadership which they confront on a daily basis

(Michelson, 2006).

The planning for succession is a dynamic process which needs at least five years in order to come up with a feasible plan, and because it is lengthy and involved, it is incumbent upon the chiefs to disclose their plan for retirement early enough. This requirement always presents the chiefs with difficulties although it is very essential for the department's strength, according to Kreisler (Stelter, 2015). A point made in the March 2000 issue of Training and Development (as cited in Withrow, 2001) is that some agencies may have succession plans that are well established. However, many of them concur that plans that succeed are customized and development-based with emphasis on particular analysis of the specific organization's needs and components (Withrow, 2001).

A review of past literature, investigation and research into succession in public safety and the evaluation of the results and reflection are presented in this essay. The methods of succession planning of the fire agency have been chosen for an in-depth profiling.

Literature Review

Rebecca Luhn Wolfe, Ph.D. (1996 as cited in Deadman, 2003) in the book entitled "systematic succession planning," takes a critical review of the leadership circle. She says that since employees are the greatest assets an organization can have at any level, an organization can be only as effective as its employees are. In turn, the employees are only as effective as the leaders who focus, develop and guide them. As a consequence, every organization should view commitment to leadership as a continuously evolving and dynamic process. Her definition of succession planning is that it is a system that an agency systemizes as a guarantee for the continuity of leadership positions by designing activities that will enhance the talent of personnel from within the organization (p.4) (Deadman, 2003).

Tropiano (2004 as cited in Murray, 2006) in the paper entitled Effectiveness of Succession Planning explores those important aspects or components that should comprise a model for succession planning. Among many findings, it was revealed that there are those who refer to the planning for succession as a deliberate, systematic, and strategic activity that guarantees an organization will in future have the capability to fill vacant positions without favoritism or patronage. A vital aspect that is emphasized throughout the article is the desirability of integrity and commitment on the part of the organization's leadership and CEO because they are integral to planning succession. He explained that as the National Academy of public Administration (NAPA) holds it, the common denominator principle for managing leadership and managing succession issues is the need for top management to be deeply involved and personally committed (Muray, 2006)

In the article Succession Planning, Coleman (1988, as cited in Murray, 2006) examines the practice of belief that the fire department develops positions that are heir-apparent basically because their rank structure is pyramidal. This is based on the assumption and premise that as one gets near the top, the most likely candidate to take the mantle of responsibility...


This assumption is dangerous, because as Coleman posits, if the person next in command is passed due to nepotism or an act of favoritism in choosing the next chief, then the number two who ought to have filled the position often turns into an echo or shadow of the present administration's intent to retain that element of favoritism. The second shortcoming in this method is that the person assumed to be the heir is always perceived to be an obstacle to the individual lower in the rank than him/her (Muray, 2006).

Field Research and Investigation

Fire service Agency

It is essential to appreciate the fact that the plans for succession will vary from organization to organization. Varying organizational designs, different attitudes and various resources should all mean that the plans for succession are adaptable and flexible enough with the capacity to attain business continuity and satisfy different needs. Yet, there exists a universal framework that departments in agencies can employ as the basic guide for planning their succession structure. This framework entails the following:

Step 1 -- Identifying Key groups of Key Positions

The definitions of occupational group or Key Position vary, but the two most important criteria that should be taken into account are the risk of retention and criticality. A critical or Key position is that one, which if it fell vacant, would have a major effect on the ability of the organization to carry on with normal activities. The importance of the effect could be evaluated in terms of efficiency, operation of equipment, safety, public opinion, financial operations and other factors. The risk of retention implies a position in which the departure of the holder is forthcoming, for instance, mandatory retirement or its possibility or the turnover history. By evaluating these benchmarks on a scale of low-to-high, an agency can predict which positions need planning for in the short run or in the long-term. As part of workforce planning, a gap analysis can also be a priceless tool for identifying major occupational groups or key areas (HR Policy and Planning Division: Public Service Secretariat, 2008).

Step 2 -- Identifying Competencies

All employees who are filling certain functions are expected to possess certain necessary abilities and skills, and therefore, having an understanding of the level of competence needed for a job is a must element of recruiting personnel which can act as a general bottom line measure to evaluate potential candidates. Even so, plans for succession still provide ample chances for reviewing the skills and competencies that are commensurate with specific jobs, especially with regard to present objectives and goals (HR Policy and Planning Division: Public Service Secretariat, 2008).

Step 3 -- Identifying and Assessing Potential Candidates

The main reason for assessing and identifying employees against job competencies that are core to an organization is to assist in focusing and streamlining their development and learning opportunities with a view to getting them ready for future responsibility in the organization. There is the danger of falling into a lopsided selection process if traditional approaches to planning succession are adopted. In this case, the organization notes a major position and then the top management chooses an individual with a high score for training preparations. And due to the potentially sensitive nature of this process of decision, an employee might be notified privately about his/her prospects for advancement. This approach is obscure and it can impact negatively on other employees' morale including the individual who is earmarked for promotion. This can also affect their relationship with the employer.

Contemporary methods of succession planning emphasize that accountability and transparency are the best organizational practices. Although recruitment in the public sector is founded on respect, fairness and merit, still, these approaches are supported and maintained throughout the process of succession planning (HR Policy and Planning Division: Public Service Secretariat, 2008).

Step 4 -- Learning and Development Plans

After the identification of suitable candidates depending on their potential focus and interest in key positions, it is the duty of the organization to ensure that such employees get easy access to targeted developmental opportunities and learning processes (HR Policy and Planning Division: Public Service Secretariat, 2008).

Step 5 -- Implementation and Evaluation

Examining the efforts of plans of succession will guarantee the authenticity of the process and validate it. After the establishment of a succession plan, it is important to monitor its effectiveness and efficiency. And therefore, every plan of succession should be established within a framework permitting evaluation so that progress and success can be evaluated with a view to providing evidence in support of any changes to the process of succession planning…

Sources Used in Documents:


Deadman, D. (2003). Developing the Potential Future Leaders of The Birmingham Fire Department. Michigan.

HR Policy and Planning Division: Public Service Secretariat. (2008). Succession Planning and Management Guide. Newfoundland and Labrador: Government of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Michelson, R. (2006, June 6). Preparing Future Leaders for Tomorrow: Succession Planning for Police Leadership. International Association of Chiefs of Police, 73(6).

Muray, P.S. (2006). Preparing for the Future- Succession Planning for the Hudson New Hampshire Fire Department. Hudson.
Stelter, L. (2015, March 10). Strengthen Your Agency by Planning for Your Replacement. Retrieved from

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