Public Health Management

EXERCISE 13: Questions for Review and Discussion
Instructions: After reading Chapter 26 “Budgets and Cost Control”, answer the ten review questions presented below. You are encouraged (but not required) to refer to other chapters in the book, outside resources, and the Power Point slides to support your responses. Please use proper citation as needed (APA style). You should be able to answer each question sufficiently in 2-3 sentences. Please limit your entire response (including the questions) to less than 750 words. Your responses should be thoughtfully organized and free from typos. Each question below is worth 2 points for a total of 20 points possible.

1. Often the productivity of a work group decreases following a layoff even though there is more work to be done overall. Why might this be so?
2. In budgeting, why are funds for operating expenses and funds for capital expenditures always kept separated?
3. Describe one set of circumstances under which a supervisor may be largely powerless to affect a particular expense charged to the department.
4. Is overtime expense fully controllable, partially controllable, or not at all controllable by the supervisor? Explain.
5. If the numbers say the organization has to reduce 20 positions, and 20 employees leave via resignation and retirement, why might it still be necessary to reduce positions further and even engage in some hiring?

6. How can benchmarking assist the supervisor in determining whether a staff reduction may be necessary?
7. What conditions or circumstances in your own department should you consider before deciding to reduce staff?
8. The term “reengineering” literally means “engineering again.” Why is so much so-called reengineering not true reengineering?
9. As a department supervisor, why might you often not get what you have asked for in the capital budget?
10. What information can the department supervisor often supply to finance or information services that can help in developing revenue projections?

Required Textbook: McConnel, C.R. Umiker’s Management Skills for the New Health Care Supervisor, 6th edition, Jones and Bartlett, Sudbury, MA 01776, 2014, ISBN: 9781449688851less




Public Health Management

Question 1

The layoff of employees in a company can demoralize the remaining employees. This demoralization is because downsizing can make employees feel insecure about the job (Richards & Jones, 2008). The employees who retain their job end up lacking trust, become less engaged and tend to look for work elsewhere.  These issues and the resulting stress to employees cause a decline in productivity.

Question 2

The process for capital expenditure budgeting is crucial for the growth of a financial entity. Capital expenditures create profits for the company for a period longer than a year. The duration distinguishes them from operational expenditure, which is expenses for assets that are purchased and used up within the same tax year. Capital expenditure represents substantial investments, and returns are expected over a longer period it is important to separate it from operational expenditure, which is managed on daily to weekly basis (McConnell, 2010).  Separate budget for operational and capital expenditures allows easy calculation of tax issues since operational expense deductions apply to the current tax year, but capital expenditure deduction applies over a period of years a process referred to as depreciation.

Question 3

Budgeting system relies on accurate cost accounting systems. Supervisors cannot control fixed expenditures or costs. Fixed costs do not vary with output. Fixed costs include expenditures such as rent and supervisors salaries (McConnell, 2010). Fixed costs are charged to a department and cannot be controlled by supervisor since they remain constant despite changes in output.
Question 4

Overtime expenditure is partially controllable by supervisors. This claim follows from the fact that McConnell (2010) explains that overtime expense control is one of the areas where supervisors can significantly affect cost of a department. However, despite the fact that supervisors have control of overtime expense, their ability is limited by national regulations on the amount paid for overtime. Therefore, overtime expense is hence partially controllable by the supervisors.

Question 5

After laying off of employees, it is important to hire new staff so as to bring on willing and motivated employees. Members of the staff who were not affected by resignation or retirement can foster the working culture that existed before the hiring of the new staff (McConnell, 2010). However, it is essential to reducing surviving members to a small number so that the organization can hire disciplined and energetic employees to improve workgroup productivity across all departments. Such will avoid job dissatisfaction of the previous employees who maintained their jobs but who might feel insecure.

Question 6

Benchmarking is the best tool to decipher the correlation of internal processes against an external standard. Benchmarking allows managers to establish what best practices to adopt and maximize. It allows managers to compare the staff of the competitors with his or hers and act as a measure in determining the right size of the company staff (Cameron, 2004).
Question 7

Before deciding to reduce the number of employees, it is important to identify needs that are critical to a business, review positions of employees and how they relate with the identified business needs, job performance, and consideration of alternative restructured jobs and appointments (Mellahi & Wilkinson, 2004).

Question 8

Reengineering, in this case, means changing attitudes of employee towards dynamic conditions in the operations or demands and encouraging innovativeness and creativity while true reengineering means just bringing on new changes (Sahdev, 2003). Commitment and empowerment are required for reengineering and not just to operate process after they have been changes, that is in the case of true reengineering.
Question 9

Department managers have partial voice in purchase proposals. This inference is because their proposed purchase require administrative approval while major acquisitions necessitate approval by board of directors (McConnell, 2010). The approval required is determined by the value of the proposed purchase.
Question 10

Supervisors supply past data and trends useful to the success of the business. Such information pertains to the type of business organization needed and the type and number of employees to hire. Moreover, Richards and Jones (2008) also give the amount of money to be invested and marketing strategies needed in the company as crucial information to finance of information services.






Cameron, K. S. (2004). Strategies for successful organizational downsizing. Human Resource Management, 33(2), 189-211.

McConnell, C. R. (2010). Umiker’s management skills for the new health care supervisor. Jones & Bartlett Publishers.

Mellahi, K., & Wilkinson, A. (2004). Downsizing and innovation output: a review of literature and research propositions. In British Academy of Management Conference, St Andrews.

Richards, K. A., & Jones, E. (2008). Customer relationship management: Finding value drivers. Industrial marketing management, 37(2), 120-130.

Sahdev, K. (2003). Survivors’ reactions to downsizing: The importance of contextual factors. Human Resource Management Journal, 13(4), 56-74.

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