Process or Profession Basis of Departments

Process or Profession Basis of Departments:

A department may be organized on the basis of Process or Profession. Process means a technical skill or profession to perform specialized work. For example, medical service, accounting, typing, and engineering are some of the processes which are needed in all organizations. When departments are created on the basis of technical skill involved in the work, the exercise means the organization of departments on a process basis. Such departments as are established on the basis of process are a source of specialization. These can ensure the availability of up-to-date technical skills to all. These can be a source of economy and better coordination and uniformity in administration since specialized skills are needed for carrying out the task effectively and efficiently. Public Works Department is an example of a department organized on the basis of process.

Merits of the Process Basis:

When departments are organized on the basis of the process or nature of activity more or less specialized in nature, the system of organization is called the process basis.

It has the following merits:

(1) Brings specialization and up-to-date technical skills- A single service can perform technical work more efficiently and economically. When all those engaged in any technical field are brought together in a department, the work produced is bound to be of a higher quality.

(2) Avoidance of duplication and waste- Departments organized on a process basis are a source of economy and avoid duplication of work. Such departments are a source of development of technical skills of the workers. These become specialists. These become a source of economy and efficiency.

(3) Brings coordination and uniformity in Departments- Each department organized on the basis of process is a source of coordination because it looks after all aspects of a particular process.

(4) Useful for the development of career services- Due to the opportunities available for the development of technical skills in the departments organized on a process basis, the personnel working in such departments become specialists. Because of the presence of a fairly big cadre of its own branch of specialized personnel, such departments can provide bright chances of promotion for the personnel working in such departments.

Demerits of the Process Basis:

The following are the major demerits of the Process Basis of the organization of a department.

(1) Leads to problems of Coordination- The performance of any single function always creates the necessity of cooperation of many other process-based departments. For example- for defense operations, the cooperation of the engineering, medicine, supply and so many other process departments would be necessary. Failure on the part of one department would certainly retard the progress of work in all other departments and as such many bring the working of the government to a stand-still.

(2) Over-specialization is harmful- In each such department, the personnel can try to become specialists. A lawyer besides being an expert in his special skill must also be familiar with the working of the department wherein his technique is to be applied. Legal work is not the same in all departments. The legal work in the Income Tax Department is different from the legal work of the Home and Foreign Affairs Departments.

(3) More importance to ends and little to means- The objective of administration is to serve the people to fulfill their essential needs and to protect their property. The Process Basis ignores this important fact. It unnecessarily puts emphasis on the agencies which may be useful for bringing about these services to the general public. It creates the wrong impression that the government is being run only to maintain police efficiency or the principle of public health etc.

(4) Source of professional arrogance and rivalry- Under this basis, the administrators always lose the services of the generalist administrators. When each department is manned by a single class of professionals, all promotions are to be from that class. So the heads of the departments are bound to be technicians. There would be no place for generalists in such a system of formation. It ignores the importance of generalists in administration.

(5) Wastefulness or Financial Extravagance- The heads of such departments feel it is their moral obligation to keep their employees employed even if they are no more required by the department. This costs unnecessary expenditure to the government.

Thus there are both merits and demerits of the Process Basis of departmental organization.

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