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Muni Equipment Maintenance Division

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DATE: February 18, 2019

TO:         Ann Branston

        Muni Equipment Maintenance Division


SUBJECT: Analysis of current organizational culture at Muni Equipment Maintenance (EM) Division, weakness and suggestion

This memo analyzes a series of issues existing at Muni EM division to provide management suggestion to newly appointed DGM -- Ms. Branston for functional improvement. From an organizational culture perspective, we found that current culture at Muni has negatively impacted EM and suggest that Ms. Branston should take immediate action to improve EM performance, and use long-term strategy to build division culture.

I. Issues existing in current organizational culture

  1. Low morale among Muni EM employees caused by a lacking sense of mission:

Employees at Muni EM’s currently have low morale, and it has affected EM’s performance. As a sub-division of Muni, the repair work at EM is not part of Muni’s core task. [1] The core task of the Muni is providing and improving public transportation services, which created an organizational culture that values operation above all else. Excluded from the core task, a lot of the employees at EM do not have pride in what they are doing,[2] which causes poor performance of repairing tasks and low morale. Also, the low morale spreads among EM employees, becomes part of the culture at the EM, and results that low morale becomes a standard.

  1. The tradition of promoting from the ranks at EM:

It is critical to consider the influence that the promoting from the ranks has at EM has on the authority of managers and supervisors and the administration effectiveness. As a DGM who is not from the ranks, Ms. Branston’s authority could be questioned by EM employees who have more specialist knowledge.[3] Similarly, the authorities of supervisors who are promoted from the ranks are also challenged by their former peers, leading to a hostile and ineffective relation between them. What’s more, this tradition of promoting from the ranks undermines the administrative quality because people from the ranks tend to have limited management and interpersonal skills. However, changing this promoting system within the EM will be difficult and the issues that come with it may undermine the implementation of future administrative measures.[4] 

  1. Poor equipment and absence of formal training system:

Another issue to consider in EM’s organizational culture is the outmoded equipment and techniques and the absence of a formal training system,[5] which have undermined employees’ morale and daily repair work. The poor equipment at EM discourages employees to perform work at standard norms effectively, which in turn, leads to the result that their standard and morale decreased over time. Also, without a formal training system, learning the specialized skills at EM become impossible for new employees, which leads to the fact that only a specific group of employees can perform the required job, resulting in tensions among workers.

II. Recommendations

  1. Updating the equipment and mandating employees to take specialized training sessions:

To immediately the change current situation where EM is incapable of performing tasks and effectively conducting repairing works, I recommend that EM should request to upgrade equipment and introduce auto mechanics. To keep up with the development of equipment and ensure that EM possesses necessary up-to-date tools, I also recommend that EM continuously conducts equipment development profile research to be able to request equipment purchase and update in time.[6] 

To utilize the upgraded equipment, I recommend that mechanics at the EM should immediately attend training sessions to learn modern techniques and skills and how to use the updated equipment. I also recommend mandating employees to take training sessions periodically to learn the newest techniques and technologies.[7]  What’s more, I suggest that Ms. Branston should join the training sessions with employees to learn specialist knowledge.



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