The kerfuffle in Qatar has died down quite a bit now, though issues at the Qatar campus of the College of the North Atlantic are not about to go away anytime soon.
That's the opinion of a former employee who contacted me recently by email. This person says the problems in Qatar are just an extension of business as usual' here in Newfoundland, which was news to me hence this post.
"The fuss in Qatar is just an extension of the management style prevalent here in the province," said the employee, who retired not too long ago after more than 20 years of service. "I have followed it in the media and I get a real sense of deja vu. Over the years I have seen many situations which would make the problems over there pale in comparison, and it still goes on today. The management group at the college (which I was a part of) is generally unprofessional in its approach to governance. There is a lot of favoritism in promotions, mutual back scratching and rewarding of sycophants. As evidence, you might check the number of management positions that are posted internally, rather than publicly, where you are most likely to get the best candidates. Why complicate matters by broadening your search when you can just reward your buddies?" Too often, the writer says, people who are not qualified are promoted from within the organization.
"Eventually you get a management group that is mostly incompetent," he writes. "These behaviours are not lost on the rank and file, hence the poor morale. Remember the recent auditor general's report? I don't recall any heads rolling after that fiasco. There are some good people there but they are rendered generally ineffective by the structure and the culture. A little investigative reporting would turn up many situations'. I am not writing this because I am a disaffected employee. Quite the contrary, I did quite well personally, because I fit the "culture" (ie, played the game) but it was very frustrating not to be able to correct the problems that I saw for so many years. I do not believe they can be corrected internally (something like the police investigating themselves). It will take the efforts of someone external to the organization to bring it into the open, otherwise the problems, the waste, and the poor morale will continue."