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Mr President, less is better than many

By Vision Reporter

Added 25th May 2011 03:00 AM

EDITOR: Last week the buzz in the media was about the new Speaker and Deputy Speaker of Parliament. Some circles like the Church, tribal blocks, regions, herbalists and traditional healers and a whole plethora of interest groups were peaking over their shoulders to see if one of their own was on thi

EDITOR: Last week the buzz in the media was about the new Speaker and Deputy Speaker of Parliament. Some circles like the Church, tribal blocks, regions, herbalists and traditional healers and a whole plethora of interest groups were peaking over their shoulders to see if one of their own was on this speculative list!

From what was being said, clearly President Yoweri Museveni was delivering yet another "obese" cabinet in contrast to the needs of this country. Some of the new ministries proposed are for oil and gas. This huge cabinet is a burden to the taxpayers.

In the late 1920s, German psychologist Max Ringelmann compared the results of individual and group performance to a rope-pulling task. For instance, three people pulling together should exert three times as much pull on the rope as one person, and eight people should exert eight times as much.

Ringelmann’s results, however, did not confirm his expectations. Groups of three people exerted a force only two-and-a-half times the average individual performance.

Groups of eight collectively achieved less than four times the solo rate! Mr President, it is not merely the numbers but the right numbers that matter. It does not follow that splitting the energy ministry makes for better management of the Albertine region. Neither does it follow that by creating a ministry for that region makes sharing of the product better or effective.

Fragmentation of decision-making slows the whole process down. It would be better assigning individual tasks and responsibilities, particularly if demanding targets must be met in a short period but not forming ministries.
Brendan Kasyaba
Uganda Management Institute

Mr President, less is better than many

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