Chapter 7 – Significant Findings

Introduction

This chapter shall report on the significant findings discovered during my research using the Chi This Square function of SPSS. A statistical test of association will show the probability of the relationship occurring by chance and the strength of the relationship is measured as a correlation between -1 and +1. Generally, relationships which have less than a 5 per cent probability of occurring by chance (<0.05), are reported as being significant. Relationships with correlation coefficients having absolute values of about 0.7 or 0.8, are reported as being fairly strong. Coefficients correlated between 0.3 and 0.4, do not show much relationship between the variables of interest.

Career potential

In question 13, promotion in the Air Corps is really a matter of being a little luckier than the next person, the significance factor is 0.0498. Question 20, greater number of Enlisted Personnel should be commissioned as officers in the Air Corps, the significance factor is 0.1353. Question 22, suitable Senior NCO’s should be commissioned as officers, in the rank of Captain, the significance factor is 0.0498. Table 7.1, shows the Chi-square score, degrees of freedom score and significance score.

 Chi-SquareD.F.Significance
Q 136.00002.0498
Q 204.0000201353
Q 226.00002.0498

Table 7.1

The above factors of significance are consistent with the views of authors in chapter five of this study. Cummings and Worley (1993), hold the view that careers can be judged in terms of advancement and promotion in the organisational hierarchy. Super and Hall (1978), show that a career is a best a  sequence of positions occupied by a person over a lifetime. The Gleeson Commission of 1990, called for an immediate review of the promotional system for Enlisted Personnel. Six years on this review has not taken place. The Gleeson Commission of 1990, was also seriously concerned about the small numbers of Enlisted Personnel being considered for commissions. In chapter one of this study Hersey and Blanchard (1988), in their discussion of creating a framework for understanding organisational development change, suggest it is necessary to seriously consider the ambition of personnel during the change process. The authors go on to discuss, during the identification of problems stage, it is necessary to evaluate the needs and wants of personnel.

Chapter four of this study reveals the government policy contained in the Department of Defence document, Review of the Defence Forces (1995), shows the commitment of the government to providing a challenging and rewarding career for all personnel of the Air Corps.

I am satisfied that the findings as described support the hypothesis of the research question, that, there is a demand for a career structure in the Air Corps.

Attitudes to work

Question 26, I really enjoy working in the Air Corps shows a significance factor of 0.1353. Question 32, I have little or no influence in the decision-making process attached to my job displays a significance factor of 0.0183. Question 34, I feel confident to discuss any work problem with an NCO, shows a significance factor of 0.0498. Table 7.2, shows how the data is displayed.

 Chi-SquareD.F.Significance
Q 234.00002.1353
Q 328.00002.0183
Q 346.00002.0498

Table 7.2

The above findings support the view of one main contributor in chapter three of this study. Martin (1977), supports the view that manpower development and training is important in career development. He also stresses the importance of a proper job specification which would include motivation of the individual.

Kolb et-al (1984), in chapter four of the study, stresses the importance of team building during the period of organisational restructuring and beyond, improves co-ordinating efforts among team members having the effect of increasing overall group performance. The authors also agree on the need to maintain a high level of interaction among team members. This has the effect of increasing trust and oneness in the organisation.

The above attitudes to work are very important in determining the requirement for a career structure in the Air Corps. I am satisfied that the findings support the hypothesis of the research question and this would be one of many elements in ascertaining the need for a career structure Significant Findings in the Air Corps.

Organisational communication

Question 37, the informal system of communication (grapevine), could be used more constructively in the Air Corps returns a significance score of 0.0067. In question 38, the flow of organisational communication is mostly downward in the Air Corps, the significance factor is 0.3679. Question 39, the flow of downward communication is accepted with suspicion by subordinates, the significance score is 0.3679. Question 41, upward communication is usually watered down as it goes through the various levels of bureaucracy within the Air Corps, the score in this case is 0.3679. Table 7.3, displays the relevant information.

 Chi-SquareD.F.Significance
Q 3710.00002.0067
Q 382.00002.3689
Q 392.00002.3689
Q 412.00002.3689

Table 7.3

The findings outlined above support the views of Hersey and Blanchard (1988), in chapter one of this study. They describe such communication as the ‘star’ system, which is leadership dominated, and can be found in autocratic structures. In any of the change models described in chapter one, the process of effective efficient communication is critical during the diagnosis stage and the implementation stage of planned restructuring. Robbins (1991), in chapter two of this study, takes the view, the most efficient communication occurs in a Organic Structure, which allows lateral, upward and downward communication in an organisation. From the evidence introduced in this study serious problems exist with the system of communications in the Air Corps thus weakening the process of management.

I am satisfied that the findings described support the hypothesis of the research question and the process of organisational communication is one of the central elements of describing the process of management in the Air Corps.

Trust and motivation

Question 47, as a subordinate in the Air Corps virtually no trust is shown in me by Commissioned Officers, the significance score is 0.0183. Question 50, I am undervalued by Commissioned Officers of the Air Corps, the significance is 0.3679. Question 52, there is excellent co-operation between NCO’s and Air-persons, the significance score is 0.3679. Table 7.4, displays the data for the examples.

 Chi-SquareD.F.Significance
Q 478.00002.0183
Q 502.00002.3679
Q 522.00002.3679

Table 7.4

The findings outlined support the views of Hersey and Blanchard (1988), in chapter one of this study. The authors ascertain from within organisations what type of motivational factors used. During organisational development it is imperative to have high trust among employees.

Gunnigle and Flood (1992), in their critique in chapter one, show by changing from traditional style management to a more people focussed management style such as human resource management, it is possible to achieve a convergence of individual employee relations, by placing a greater focus on high-trust relations in the organisation.

I am satisfied that findings described support the hypothesis of the research question and trust and motivation is important during organisational restructuring.

Decision-making

Question 55, policy decisions are mostly made at the top of the organisation without discussion with Senior NCO’s, the significance score is 0.1353. Question 59, I would like to see in the Air Corps the input of Senior NCO’s in planning major change or developing new operating policies and procedures, the Chi-square significance is 0.3679. Table 7.5 displays the recorded data.

 Chi-SquareD.F.Significance
Q 554.00002.1353
Q 592.00002.3679

Table 7.5

The above conclusions indicate the desire to move towards an Organic Structure in chapter two of this study, proposed by Robbins (1991), where organisational employees are involved in the decision making process up to very high levels.

Chapter four of the study discusses the proposition put forward by Robbins (1991), that pushing authority downward, allows people closest and most knowledgeable about an issue, to make decisions regarding that issue. Decentralization of authority gives lower-level employees more control over their work.

In chapter one of this study Hersey and Blanchard (1988), indicate that during the identification of problems stage or diagnosis stage it is important to assess the level of decision-making of organisational employees.

I am satisfied that the overall findings support the hypothesis of the research question and the need to have Senior NCO’s involved in the decision making process is vital in terms of realigning management processes.

Welfare

Question 63, I am not inclined to discuss with my superiors (commissioned officers) any aspect of my family life, the significance score here is 0.0183. Question 65, in general, military life makes heavy demands on my personal life, the Chi-square significance score is 0.1353. Table 7.6, displays the relevant data. The questions in the above section where structured in such a way to test trust and motivation in the organisation. The examples shows that trust is low and the demands of the organisation are high in terms of commitment.

 Chi-SquareD.F.Significance
Q 638.00002.0183
Q 654.00002.1353

Table 7.6

The above findings support the views of Hersey and Blanchard (1988), in chapter one of this study, who examine motivational factors in organisations.

I am satisfied that the research findings support the hypothesis of the research question and maintaining general welfare systems during organisational restructuring is one of the many ways of alleviating survivor anxiety. This would be combined with high trust and high commitment in the organisation.

Management

Question 73, a manpower policy to determine personnel strategic strategy is urgently required in the Air Corps, the significance factor is 0.3679. Question 74, a job description is required for each job function in the Air Corps, the score is 0.1353. Question 75, a personnel management section in the Air Corps should be managed by professionally qualified personnel, the significance score is 0.1353. Question 78, The Air Corps should move from the traditional model of management to human resource management, the Chi-square significance score is 0.3679. Table 7.7, indicates the appropriate information.

 Chi-SquareD.F.Significance
Q 732.00002.3679
Q 744.00002.1353
Q 754.00002.1353
Q 782.0000.3679

Table 7.7

The above findings support views expressed in chapter three, Personnel Management of this document. The need for a manpower policy was raised by the Air Corps Integrated personnel management board in May 1995, Pricewater House (1994), Gleeson Commission (1990), Chapter five, Organisational Development in the Air Corps. This chapter of the study shows that the Department o Defence, Review Implementation Plan, February 1996, that chapter five of the plan deals with the new manpower policy for the Defence Forces. Today the organisation has no manpower policy. This problem was also highlighted by the Gleeson Commission (1990), as indicated in chapter three of this study.

Chapter three of this study deals explicitly with the requirement for Personnel Management in the Air Corps and many of Martins (1981), writings are popularised in this section along with Monks  (1992/3). Chapter one of this research discusses management and the main contributors are Dupuy, Margiotta, Johnson and Bongard (1993); Thomason (1988); and Drucker (1954). Each of the authors agree, when management processes break down, the result is often crises leadership/management. The Air Corps must now begin to move from the mechanistic structure, to the organic structure, as outlined by Robbins (1991), in chapter two of this study.

The style of leadership used in the Air Corps is authoritarian. To maintain consistency, by moving from the mechanistic structure to the organic structure, it will be necessary to introduce a more democratic style of leadership, by using transformational process as indicated in chapter one and two of this study. In chapter two of this study, the board report of Cadet and Officer Training and Education in The Permanent Defence Forces (1992), indicates that all commissioned officers should receive management training appropriate to rank on all future career courses.

I am satisfied that the findings produced support the hypothesis of the research question and the process of management in the Air Corps requires upgrading.

Culture

The following questions are dealt with in this section of the study Q82, Q83 and Q85. Question 82, culture and its development is really important to me shows a significance score of 0.3679. Question 83, I can really identify with the new emerging Air Corps culture (uniform change from green to blue), the Chi-square score here is 0.3679. Question 85, a culture evaluation should be carried out in the Air Corps every two to three years to ensure that it fully represents all personnel, the significance is 0.3679. Table 7.8, displays relevant information.

 Chi-SquareD.F.Significance
Q 822.00002.3679
Q 832.00002.3679
Q 852.00002.3679

Table 7.8

The above findings would be supported by Bass (1981), Watson (1969), Zaltman and Duncan (1977), in chapter two of this study. Many reasons are given in the chapter for a more sensitive people focussed culture to be introduced to the Air Corps. To ensure that culture is never allowed to go into extinction, a culture audit should be carried out every two to three years. It is important that culture awareness training be provided on all career courses in the Air Corps.

Bureaucracy

Question 89, the Air Corps should become less bureaucratic, the significance factor is 0.3679. Table 7.9, shows the data for this example.

 Chi-SquareD.F.Significance
Q 892.00002.3679

Table 7.9

The above findings would be supported by Robbins (1991), in chapter two of this study. The machine bureaucracy is consumed with complete control, which is augmented by rules and procedures. The power levels are controlled by executive managers which effectively means that most subordinates are not empowered. This type of system does not auger well for the future and the Air Corps would be best advised to move from machine bureaucracy to more organic approaches of management.

Outdated bureaucratic rules, can have negative side effects in organisations. Instead of regulating practices, rules can often be used instead to unnecessarily control and discipline people. This generally leads to organisational inefficiency.

During organisational restructuring Hersey and Blanchard (1988), in chapter one of this study maintain that it is essential to evaluate within the organisation what leadership skills are available. This process is going to be important when the process of organisational change begins to affect current working processes in the Air Corps. By examining the extent of how the leadership skills have developed in the past this may help to erode bureaucratic clutter from the organisation.

Power

Question 98, Air Corps officers have a tendency to wield power to get Enlisted ranks to perform work related tasks, the significance here is 0.3679. Question 99, most Enlisted personnel of the Air Corps are kind and considerate, the chi-square significance score is 0.0498. Question 101, Enlisted Personnel of the Air Corps with the skill and knowledge should be sufficiently empowered to assist in implementing required change in the organisation, the score is 0.0025. Question 103, when new units, sub-units of the Air Corps are created, Officers of the Corps use organisational power to create positions for themselves and generally forget about the promotional needs of Enlisted Ranks, the significance score is 0.3679. Table 7.10, indicate the relevant data.

 Chi-SquareD.F.Significance
Q 982.00002.3679
Q 996.00002.0498
Q 10112.00002.0025
Q 1032.00002.3679

Table 7.10

The above findings would be in agreement with Bass (1991), of chapter one of this study, in that leadership can be equated with power which is regarded as a from of influence relationship. Power is almost always the central player in the operation of the machine bureaucracy.

Organisation

Question 117, personnel of the Air Corps are properly aligned with the technological advances in terms of career recognition, job satisfaction etc., the significance score is 0.3679. Question 120, some units Air Corps are understaffed, the Chi-square significance score is 0.0498. Question 122, the 10 year of planned change for the Defence Forces and the Air Corps is too long to introduce required modifications in the organisation the significance score is 0.3679. Question 123, change in the Defence Forces should be introduced over a much shorter period of 2 to 4 years, the significance score is 0.0498. Question 124, as the Defence Forces and the Air Corps move speedily into the change mode, resistance to change will become the norm the Chi-square significance score is 0.3679. Table 7.11 shows the significance of the displayed data.

 Chi-SquareD.F.Significance
Q 1172.00002.3679
Q 1206.00002.0498
Q 1222.00002.3679
Q 1236.00002.0498
Q 1242.00002.3679

Table 7.11

The above findings would be supported by Cummings and Worley (1993), in chapter one of this study. Good accurate planned change is totally dependent on proper diagnosis coupled with a plan which will be supported by the organisational members. The view of Evans, Dos, and Laurent(1989), in chapter one of this research is supportive that it takes a crises to initiate major change. The pressure for change may have been building up in the organisation for a period of This is generally the case in large organisations such as a bureaucracy. Watson (1969), Zaltman and Duncan (1977) in chapter one of this study discuss that during the change process, years. resistance to change may become a problem. Generally people dislike moving from the known state to the unknown state. When the future is uncertain, this can have an adverse effect on organisational members proficiencies and coping abilities. People do not support change unless there are compiling reasons to do so. Kanter (1984), in chapter one of this research discusses people like to be in control of events occurring around them. The rise in participative management contributes hope that ownership of change counts on getting commitment to work. When people are given the chance to participate in the decision making process, they feel better about it. Involvement in details of the change process is better than non-involvement and the more choices that are left to people, the better they feel about the changes in the organisation. The research in chapter one refers to Cummings and Worley (1993), that in over organised organisations such as in highly mechanistic, bureaucratic organisations, various dimensions such as leadership styles, job designs, organisation structure, policies and procedures are too rigid and too defined for effective task performance. Communication between management and employees is suppressed, conflicts are avoided and employees are apathetic. Good organisational structure must encourage the expansion of personal qualities regardless of job occupation. All organisational development outcomes must be carefully evaluated after implementation.

I am satisfied that the findings discussed in this section are traceable to the hypothesis of the research question.

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