Administrative Convention and Guidance

Administrative conventions are groups where people join as a means to an end. Membership to this group is voluntary or involuntary. It not only ensures a groups ‘survival but has more control over the members. Involuntary membership sometimes deprives the members of their rights and is exploited by those whose ends their membership serves. In administrative conventions, power is distributed according to its need. Sociologists and vocational counsellors, are interested in the effects of this distribution.

In administrative conventions, members who are able to define group culture have considerable control over group life. If there is a blend of democracy power is distributed among members, otherwise, power is concentrated in the hands of a few. Usually, most conventions are neither administrative nor social, so power falls somewhere in between. Power is assigned according to the norm is called authority. This authority is supported by convention norms and accepted by members. Ideal administrative conventions set formal secondary relationship. They are rationally organized in order to achieve specific goals.

People specialize in narrowly defined tasks and perform roles which are rigidly defined. Power is distributed in hierarchy, Decisions are supposed to be based on rational considerations in the interest of organization rather than on personal feelings and welfare of individuals. According to Johnson (1986) bureaucracies interfere with the needs of individuals so administrative conventions do not derive their security from the welfare of their individuals. Administrative conventions narrated carrier are the groups whose primary concern is in carrying out a task. Here counsellor comes in contact with those adults who are partially motivated by task oriented motivations, but at the sometime they need for affiliations, identity. security and power, and mutual help.

A Counsellor has to facilitate the conventions work. He does so by mobilizing managing, and modelling. Here initial convention meeting is important. Dyer and Vriend (1975) have developed rules for initial meeting of a group. Some of them having relevance with administrative convention are as follows:

  1. Each individual is more important than collective,
  2. The leader is not a member of the group.
  3. Group counseling is for everyone.
  4. Group counseling is not a goal in itself.
  5.  Feelings are not emphasized over thoughts in a group.
  6.  Session-to-session follow-up is an integral part of group counseling.
  7. Effectiveness in group counseling is measured by its outcome.

Before joining an administrative convention, it is important to see that potential member has obtained the following:

  • A clear statement of the convention’s purpose.
  • A description of convention format. ground rules, and basic procedures
  •  A pre-group interview to determine whether the potential convention leader and members suit each others’ needs.
  • A description of the task involved in the convention, rights and responsibilities.
  • A discussion about the limitations of confidentiality and roles as group leaders and participants are expected to play within the convention.

Stages in Conventions:

Gazda (1971) Identified four stages which are exploration, transition, action and termination while lansen-et-al (1980) formulated five stages.

(1) initiating stage.
(2) conflict and confrontation
(3) cohesiveness.
(4) productiveness
(5) termination.

There might be other classifications also. But issues are there where counsellors have to assist. The issues as listed by Gladding (1988) are:

  • Selection and preparing of group members
  • Group-size and duration
  • Open vs closed structures
  • Confidentiality
  • Physical structure
  • CO-leaders
  • Self-disclosures
  • Feed back.
  • Follow up

Administrative conventions usually aim at making decisions that may be about policy or implementation. When a counselor has motivated the member to a desirable extent, he assists the convention by using one or more than seven problem-solving procedures as given by Janis and Mann (1977) which are stated as under:

1. Thoroughly canvasses a large or great range of alternative courses of action.
2. Takes account of the full range of objectives to be fulfilled and the values implicated by the choice.
3. Carefully weighs whatever he or she knows about the cost or drawbacks and uncertain risks of negative consequences as well as positive consequences.
4. Intensively searches for new information relevant to further evaluation of the alternatives.
5. Consciously takes account of any new information or expert judgement to which he!/she is exposed even when information does not support the action.
6. Re-examines the positive and negative consequences of all alternatives.
7. Makes details of course of action.

If in administrative. cannot be made convention. Here again. any the of the counsellor above criteria helps the is not convention considered to reach fully, high quality decision.

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