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“HUMANO RECURSO, Part 2” Vertical Entry Versus Lateral Entry

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(BY: BOVIC L. LUCERO)    This is not a topic on accounting entries nor an issue on Geometric dimensions but a subject matter about the movement of employees across an organization in a government setting. The Civil Service Commission calls this “Personnel Action.”

When one talks about vertical entry it shall mean that the employee has been promoted from one position to another higher position, within a section, a unit or division of an office, or it could be a movement of an employee to a higher position from other offices belonging to the same organization. In a nutshell, the employee rises from the ranks. This is possible when a higher position than the presently occupied is actually vacant which can be filled by way of a promotion.

On the other hand, a lateral entry, presupposes the issuance of an appointment to a person who does not belong among the ranks of employees from within the organization. In other words, an “outsider” shall be appointed to the vacant position available.

So what is the importance of promoting an employee coming from the ranks? The advantages could be: 1. He/she knows the job to be done; 2. He/she knows what it takes to perform the work; 3. He/she had developed rapport and relationship with others involved in the job; 4. The government had spent a substantial amount of money for his/her trainings in preparation for a higher responsibility.

What about the advantages of filling-up a position through lateral entry? I can only think of one, which is the person possesses a superior qualifications in terms of education, experience, training, past performances, leadership qualities, character and integrity over the person from within the organization. What is negative about lateral entry is the fact that people see it as an act of political patronage otherwise known as the “spoils system.” This could be justified especially if the appointee has obvious connection with the appointing authority, regardless if the appointed person meets the qualifications of the position. This is where the notorious notion emanating from the people that gives credence to the terms MPA (May Padrino Ako) and MBA (May Backer Ako). This is one of the pitfalls of lateral entries especially if the newly hired employee who merely meets the necessary qualification standards, they tend to become over-paid On-the-Job-Trainee or popularly known as OJT for the simple reason that they are still coping and feeling their way into the well-established system of the organization.

Organizational “outsiders” are not bad as it is. At times they are needed to stir up the organization to achieve growth especially if there are no available “talents” from within the office or agency. However, if it is done on a wider scope involving juicy positions wherein qualified personnel abound from within, then that’s another story. These are the very same employees who fuels public service to greater heights with their performances, creativeness and loyalty. Surely it will affect their morale who had worked so hard in their career-life only to be disillusioned by the principles of Meritocracy in the end. Hence, we will see the rebirth of a mediocre society wherein we had worked so hard to give a face-lift only to fall flat-faced on the ground by a mere act of discretion, or should I say, indiscretion! You be the judge!

(For your comments, please E-mail me at bovic_lucero@yahoo.com)




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