Analysis of Union of International Associations
- / -
Section of Report
of a Preliminary Investigation of the Possibility of Using Computer Data
Processing Methods (1968): a summary of the various parts of
this report, and details
of its contents (with links to the various
parts), are provided separately
The objectives need to be discussed further on the basis of the above analysis
and stated more precisely to. facilitate decision-making and evaluation of
the progress of the organization from year to year. They should place less
emphasis on passively documenting past international activities. More emphasis
should be placed on facilitating the dynamic process of integration and link-formation
by all significant organizations in the world system whether at the national
or international level.
The organization is currently over-extended in terms of personnel resources,
financial strength, publication range and activity. Many competing publications,
lack of general interest and inadequate advertising ability are limiting the
utility and sales of UIA publications. Past activities and the name of the
organization have isolated the UIA and reduced its ability to collaborate with
other bodies, raise funds, ' or to sell itself as an effective other-directed
organization. The internal procedures are inadequate for the effective control,
coordination and utilization of activities, files and incoming flow of information. The
UIA does not have time to correct this.
The UIA should consolidate and cease production of all publications whose
utility, readership or sales are unsatisfactory. It should concentrate on selling
and improving the services related to the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The name should be changed. The organization should build up personal contacts
with other institutions in its field of interest. This is a means of sounding
the environment for suggestions and support for a future UIA role and program
of cooperation with other organizations.
These would be largely dependent on the analysis of the reactions to the
personal contacts made by the UIA with other organizations. The plans should
however involve the use of information and documentary material, particularly
the Yearbook, as a tool to stimulate the formation of formal or informal links
between organizations. They should also aim to build an understandable concept
of the world system and the role of each organization in it. The plan should
be designed so as to make it possible to evaluate annual progress. Great care
should be taken to build and maintain a cooperative forwardlooking image. The
success of this effort should be assessed periodically.
NGOs: A detailed study should be made of NGOs to rank them in order
of activity and importance as NGOs and to the UIA. The results of the study
should be incorporated in the coding of the UIA addressograph plates. This
would ensure that funds were not wasted on mailings to the many letterhead
and speciality centred organizations at present on the mailing list. It would
also provide valuable information to guide the magazine editorial policy.
Organization: The organization chart in Exhibit
35a shows sales, production of publications and advertising as the responsibility
of one person reporting to the Secretary-General. The only personnel
that need to be hired are a sales clerk with accounting ability and a knowledge
of English, and an English speaking secretary to operate the Information Unit. She
would spend part of her time doing general secretarial work. One part-time
typist/filing clerk needs to be hired. The remaining activities would be performed
by accumulating routine work for efficient temporary secretaries. This could
be done for invoicing and general correspondence.
Personnel: Care should be taken that the personnel are well-paid
and that they do not complain of boredom in their jobs. The current impersonality
and isolation of each person in different offices should be reduced, as it
was in the previous building. This could be done by the simple process of arranging
a regular mid-morning and afternoon 10 minute break.
The personnel should be encouraged to suggest means of improving the internal
decor and amenities. A small allocation for this purpose should be considered.
It should be made clear to each employee when he or she can expect an automatic
periodic increase in salary apart from cost of living index increases. Each
should be encouraged to suggest means of improving or extending his or her
job activity so that the impression of being in a dead-end job is reduced.
Advertising: Better quality advertising should be used. Greater
use should be made of journals selected to cover the markets to which the UIA
is selling its publications.
Filing and Costing: The system of order-oriented customer
files should be changed to customer oriented files. A separate card or page
should be used for each customer. This would facilitate control of unpaid invoices.
The number of current files in use should be reduced and a register kept of
their existence and location.
Correspondence: Form letters, photocopies and other short-cuts
should be taken to reduce time spent on correspondence of marginal importance.
This should be answered quickly in this way rather than at greater length after
a long delay. There
would be a useful saving if general correspondence could be prepared on a dictaphone.
Correspondence with people who can influence the future of the UIA should
be followed up regularly. A file should be made of this group.
Collaboration with other organizations: The number of personal
contacts with organizations in the same field as the UIA should be increased.
The UIA could benefit considerably from contacts with the inter-disciplinary
university peace research institutes. It should also adapt and make extensive
use of the important work being done by the American Society of Association
Executives. This society has published a great deal which is relevant to the
operation of an international association. The UIA should avoid the assumption
that it can only benefit from contacts with the few major international unions
of international NGOs. Many national bodies are more active and attract more
funds and better brains.
Information System: Arrangements should be made to obtain
the national publications in which most articles relevant to an understanding
of the international and world system are published. This would enable the
UIA to respond by providing the right sort of survey data. This would lead
to increased sales stimulated by citation advertising.
Control and Coordination: The UIA should cultivate an attitude
of self-evaluation and should be much more objective in comparing its own activities
with those of its competitors. The accounting system should be developed to
make the information useful as ameans of evaluating different publication programs
and sales campaigns. Programs should be coordinated in terms of their respective
contributions to precise goals.
The timing is at the moment right for any change as suggested above. For
various reasons seven members of the personnel are leaving. From December 1968
the sales of the new Yearbook will build up. The departing personnel do not
all need to be replaced, as only a minimum amount of documentary activity needs
to be done in 1969. Any new activities should be undertaken with as much short-term
or temporary staff as possible.
There is one difficulty if a change of objectives is accepted. In a
small organization the personal objectives of the executives have to be compatible
with those of the organization. A change may mean greater efficiency within
the organization and amore effective role and yet be completely dissatisfying
to executives and employees.