Case Study 11: Who Brought Bernadine Healy Down?
The public service culture present in the case is the Red Cross. Wise argued that public service motivation is found more in the government than in a private sector. As Wise says government work focuses on public service, it is clear to see that the government played its part with the Red Cross because, Red Cross is America’s premier, nonprofit disaster-relief organization, it is a huge $3 billion, quasi-government agency which is governed by a fifty person board, which consist of several appointed senior federal officials. Being that Red Cross helps the public and the community on keeping them safe, is the reason why it gets the funding and help it needs, if this was a private sector, which only catered to certain people, I don’t think it would get the same service motives as Red Cross.
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Healy’s motivation for accepting the Red Cross presidency is in the line with the public service motive because she was grateful to live on after recovering from a brain tumor. She wanted to give back, and “do good”. I think she falls into two categories of Wise’s public service motives. Normbased-By her wanting to “do good” tells me she felt it was her duty to do what was right for the public. Affectived-She came on so strong and fast with designs for the organization’s “greatness”. By her having a strong emotion for this program shows that she had affective motives.
This case study indicates modern complexities of professional personnel in the public setting. Dr. Healy was a cardiologist, medical school graduate, dean of the Ohio State University, New York native, a blunt speaker, and a mother. Her being president of Red Cross, was totally a different line of work for her. She was an entrepreneur, where she was in her own control; she didn’t like the fact that boards could control her. She got criticized even when she made right decisions. She wasn’t diplomatic, stern, and she did things her way, without explaining why she did it that way. Although they wanted change, the members of the organization were stuck in their old ways, and could not accept Healy’s changes.
Yes, I believe there are some contemporary problems of public personnel motivation which are the rational motives. The mixed motives of human beings changing from time to time, and turning away from motives altogether as their needs are fulfilled.
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