EXPLORING THE ROLE OF COORDINATION TECHNOLOGIES AS MECHANISMS FOR MANAGING A DISPERSED WORK FORCE WITHIN RPMD AND THE RTCS

This study examined work coordination among administrative/managerial personnel within the Residential Program Management Division (RPMD) and Residential Treatment Centers (RTCs) of the Minnesota Department of Human Services. The study assessed how administrative/managerial work is currently coordinated within and between RPMD and RTC facilities and explored how computing and telecommunications technologies might be used to enhance coordination activities. The study considered such issues as: (a) current use and non-use of technology to facilitate coordination, (b) employee commuting patterns and work-related transportation on the job, (c) current use of transportation systems, and (d) employee attitudes toward their work. Commonalities and differences on these issues were identified across various work locations. Study results show that administrative/managerial personnel at RPMD/RTCs are heavy users of transportation systems, with the typical individual commuting 16.3 miles (26.2 km) to and from work. Most employees do not travel between facilities on a regular basis, but there is a fair amount of travel to non-DHS locations, such as county offices. There is very little availability or use of public or state-provided transportation. Consequently, travel is primarily via the individual's private car. This tends to limit inter-facility travel and, because communication systems are not extensive or sophisiticated, there are significant differences in the operations and work culture of various facilities. Expansion of information, communication, and coordination systems would facilitate standardization and integration of work across the facilities. The RPMD/RTCs represent a large, geographically dispersed organization that, according to this study, could benefit across the board from improved technology support. Resources are needed to improve information sharing, communication, and coordination within and among all of these facilities. Updating of existing systems, improved availability and access to new systems, and infusion of new systems are all needed. Improvements in management support systems, coupled with a "wheel-and-spoke" managerial model, may help the organization tremendously in the future. The wheel-and-spoke model has a central office (RPMD) which serves as a hub for centralization and control, but there is a high level of sharing of knowledge and resources across facilities.

  • Corporate Authors:

    University of Minnesota, Minneapolis

    Carlson School of Management, 271 19th Avenue South
    Minneapolis, MN  United States  55455
  • Authors:
    • DeSanctis, G
  • Publication Date: 1991-9

Language

  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; Tables;
  • Pagination: 52 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00667765
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Oct 27 1994 12:00AM