Informal organizations are critical to the effectiveness of bureaucracies. These networks can be instrumental in helping individuals adapt to problems of ineffective management and interpersonal tensions. Networking is also a factor in the ease of an individual's vertical movement within an organization. The absence of social ties between people who frequently work together could be a sign of exclusion, and could warrant intervention given the benefical nature of such alliances. The following articles provide insight into the types of informal social organizations typical of government agencies.
The subject of "Mentoring: Philosophy and Practice" by George Caravalho and Terri Maus is the concept of mentoring and its application in government agencies. One of the concerns facing local government is the preparation of tomorrow's leaders. Government has a responsibility to its future leaders to share the wisdom and knowledge gleaned from experience. Mentoring provides the opportunity to accomplish this objective.
The author's purpose in writing the article is to facilitate the practice of mentoring in the bureaucracy. The philosophy of the concept of mentoring is explained. Tips for both mentor and mentee are provided.
Although mentoring can be established as a formal relationship, it works best as an informal arrangement. According to the authors, "Informal relationships tend to prosper and flourish in organizations that hold the value of the individual in high regard and that make a corresponding commitment to ongoing training and professional development." Mentoring often involves an informal or unspoken commitment of support from a person who has achieved a high level of expertise to one who is aspiring in his or her upward mobility. Mentoring involves the discovery of common ground and affinity between the two parties. Such relationships generally evolve slowly, but have the power to bear considerable frui...