The governance of an organization determines whether the organization is successful or not. In most cases, good governance leads to prosperity in an organization as well as growth. The report will focus on the governance of the Singapore Dragon Boat Association. In looking at the governance of the organization, it is possible to spot areas that have shortcomings and rectify them early enough. The report will provide comprehensive information gathered through interviews. Finally, the report will provide recommendations in areas found the have shortcomings. Singapore Dragon Boat Association is a sports organization that was founded in the year 1987. The organization is a member of both international and regional organizations focused on governing the sport. As a part of the larger Dragon Boat sporting community, the Singapore Dragon Boat Association plays an important role in promoting the development of the Dragon Boat sport. The organization also aims ad increase mass participation in the country (Singapore Dragon Boat Association,2017).
The concept of governance can be understood from different perspectives. However, it all boils down to organizational structure, accountability, transparency, equity, and inclusiveness. Good governance, therefore, entails all the above as well as organizational leadership and management. Good governance ensures that objectives set out by an organization are achieved, risks that may arise in the process are captured, monitored and dealt with. Good governance also ensures that the performance of every individual in the organization is optimized.
Good governance is not a single activity that ensures things are running in the organization, instead, it is a systematic approach that includes all best practice strategies in planning, implementation, risk assessment, as well as, performance management. Like organizational culture, good governance requires intensive investment in the process for the organization to be successful (Governance today, 2020).
Good governance in any organization is essential in three different ways. The first is that when an organization is well structured and the activities are running smoothly, it instils confidence in the stakeholders of the organization. Secondly, good governance provides a good foundation for a successful organization. Good governance calls for accountability, transparency, and so much more. Therefore, with all this in place, it forms the ground for the success of the organization. Lastly, good governance ensures that an organization is well placed to deal with external factors that may affect the daily operation. Good governance does not happen immediately; it is a process that starts with an assessment of the shortcomings in the organization. The assessment ensures that major areas that need to change are sported and further provides the necessary recommendations. This report focuses on an assessment done on the Singapore Dragon Boat Association, identifying the gaps that need filling to improve on the governance. Consequently, it will help the organization reap the benefits of good governance.
In order to get a comprehensive understanding of how the Singapore Dragon Boat Association works, a number of tools were used. One of them was the use of questionnaires. A questionnaire is a research tool that contains a series of questions meant to gather comprehensive information regarding a subject. In this case, questionnaires were used to gather information regarding the governance of the dragon boat sport by the Singapore Dragon Boat Association. The questionnaires were given to members of the association from different levels of management. In doing so, it made it possible to get comprehensive information from different perspectives. In cases where the respondents could not fill in the questionnaires for different reasons, interviews were conducted based on the questionnaire. Unlike the application of questionnaires in research, interviews utilize open-ended questions. Consequently, the
respondents have a better opportunity to explain their responses bringing a better understanding for the interviewer.
The research into Singapore Dragon Boat Association governance focused on several aspects that form the building blocks for the organization. The interviews and questionnaires contained questions that entailed different aspects of the organization. Other than the overall management of the association, the research also focused on roles and responsibilities in the organization, mission and strategic direction, financial integrity and finally meetings. The research focused on responses from two individuals in the
Singapore Dragon Boat Association. These were responses from the general manager and from the secretary-general. Each of these respondents had different views on how the organization is governed as well as the division of responsibilities and achievement of the organizational goals. According to the response from the general manager, it is possible to understand that from his view on the overview of the organization, there is little performance evaluation in the organization. Under roles and responsibilities, Mr Raizal believes that although the management committee understands their legal responsibilities as trustees, the association has not provided a copy of the organization’s by-law to all the members. The general manager also believes that the organization takes up to two months to fill vacancies in the association which may impact its overall performance. Under mission and strategic direction, Mr Raizal believes that everything is done in accordance with the requirement except when it comes to the provision of resources needed to accomplish a plan. he further believes that the financial state and management of the organization is good. However, when it comes to meetings, he believes they do not start or end at the time stated, therefore, issues with time management during meetings. The response from the secretary-general seems to concur with that of the general manager except for the financial integrity part. According to the secretary-general, the members are not well equipped to ask meaningful financial management related questions.
As already seen, good governance ensures that there is proper management of resources as well as continued growth of an organization. From the interviews conducted, it is possible to see that there are some disparities in the management of Singapore Dragon Boat Association governance. The first issue in the governance of the organization is one that relates to performance assessment. According to the two
respondents, there is little evaluation of performance at the end of every year. Performance evaluation is a key tool in the assessment of whether an organization is achieving its goals or not. It is also a key tool in ensuring that the key players are well compensated for their good performance. Without it, the organization just runs with little drive to achieve the set goals.
The other shortcoming found with the governance of the organization lack of enough support or resources to help members make the right decisions. For example, the organization has not provided a copy of the by-laws of the organization to each member of the managing committee. This means that they can only refer to the text when something goes wrong. Provision of a copy for each member ensures that they have the right tools to make decisions proactively. Another example is the lack of necessary skills to understand the financial standing of the organization and ask the right questions when needed. This is a key skill needed in order to hold the finance department accountable for every coin spent in the organization. Lastly, another issue with the governance of the organization is time management. The time management issue comes clear in two different aspects. The first is where the organization fail to fill vacancies in the organization as soon as possible. This delays the process and as a result, impacts the overall performance of the organization. The other aspect is when conducting meetings, the meetings end up starting later than specified which results in inconveniencing the individuals who were on time for the meeting.
From the results and discussion above, it is clear that although the organization is functioning as it is supposed to, a number of changes need to be made in order to improve performance, growth and shorten the amount of time needed to achieve the goals set out. The first recommendation that the report provides is provision of a copy of by-laws to all management committee members. By-laws are legally binding rules written during the formation of an organization. They form the structure by which an organization conducts its daily business (Thompson, 2019). However, in most organizations, they are
only consulted in case there is an issue in the organization. This should however not be the case, instead, every management committee member should know and understand the rules. Like most organizations, by-laws are neglected in Singapore Dragon Boat Association where only a few selected individuals have a copy. Rather than waiting until something goes wrong in the organization in order to refer to the by-law, a copy of these rules should be provided to every member. As a result, it will ensure a proactive response
to an issue or even identification of a problem before it takes place.
The second recommendation is that the organization develops a consistent annual assessment of its progress. From the information gathered, it was clear that the organization does not have a consistent way of evaluating the performance of the organization annually. Consequently, it is impossible to know whether the organization is progressing or not. Evaluation is important as it helps point out the shortcomings of an organization every year. This way, the organization is able to rectify and proceed smoothly. An annual assessment also ensures that there is an evaluation of the set goals and whether they were accomplished. If not accomplished, the organization is able to know where they went wrong and make changes necessary to make the environment conducive for growth.
Anon, 2017. Mission and Vision. Singapore Dragon Boat Association. Available at: http://sdba.org.sg/governance/ [Accessed November 2, 2020].
Anon, what is it and why is it important? Governance. Available at:
https://www.governancetoday.com/GT/Material/Governance__what_is_it_and_w hy_is_it_important_.aspx?WebsiteKey=0cf4306a-f91b-45d7-9ced-a97b5d6f6966 [Accessed November 2, 2020].
Thompson, L.N., 2019. Non-Profit Governance: The Importance Of By-Laws. hagehodes.com. Available at: https://hagehodes.com/nonprofit-governance-the-importance-of-by-laws/ [Accessed November 2, 2020].