The paper can be divided into two parts: the first one provides an overview and analysis of the current culture in the Department, and the second contains the recommendations of improvements and their suggested implementation. The key areas include communication (in particular, that between the leader and the new followers), motivation, trust (including community trust), and the cultures or subcultures that, in our opinion, require investigation.
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The current culture of the Department has a number of significant issues. The one that is going to challenge the efforts, which will be aimed at rectifying the situation, is the lack of trust that the employees have for the new leader who they expect to become the “new broom.” This fact lowers the staff morale. Other signs of it being low include the apparent lack of motivation, commitment or loyalty. The situation leads to a disintegrated culture, which, in turn, hinders communication.
The work habits of the employees are correspondent to the lack of commitment, which leads to the absence of self-initiated activity and inadequate quality of work that results in the loss of citizens’ trust. The key behavioral issues are connected to the work habits (the disinterested type X employee’s behavior is positively harmful) and the culture. The specialized gang enforcement team has become an unfavorable subculture that promotes the lack of subordination, works to disarrange the society and poses itself as its exclusive part.
The existence of different perceptions of the organization, some of which are unfavorable, makes the culture weak, but we do not know much about them so we suggest a plan for their research (Robbins & Judge, 2014). The employees’ motivation is also a problem that needs to be addressed directly. Given the specifics of the X-theory, it is suggested that this type of employee requires supervision, which will improve the workers’ motivation and also help to monitor their progress. Also, the values and loyalty to the organization need to be nurtured, and it is suggested that the idea of serving the society should be advanced, for example, through community policing, to help the employees realize the importance of their work. Apart from that, the community policing is regarded as a measure of its own that will help us build the community trust and lead to other important outcomes.
Finally, the key issue is the improvement of the communication between the new leader and the “old” employees. The starting point for the solution is a meeting; the problem of the weakness of the organizational culture will be brought up. Also, an attractive way of dealing with the issue is using action research.
Two subcultures that had been mentioned appear to prevail in the Department. We believe that they should be investigated. The tattoo group imagery is somewhat alarming, but a closer investigation might demonstrate its reasons. Possibly, the group that appears to have some commitment and loyalty (the qualities that most of the department apparently lacks) can become a core for a new organizational culture.
While the first subculture might turn out to be useful, the second one is bordering on being destructive. It is aimed at fragmenting the organization, and it promotes unfavorable behavior. As a result, it does need to be investigated, but very soon an ultimatum must be posed: either the group plays by the rules, or they will be considered to be too unfavorable and will need to be disbanded. The decision about the group possible disbanding is a serious one, though; it might contribute to the impression of an outsider who works to “clean the house.” As a result, such a decision should be made with the support of the officers; the explanation of the issue may be presented at a special meeting.
In order to motivate and at the same time monitor the performance of an X-type employee, clear goals and supervision are needed (Robbins & Judge, 2014). Quarterly counseling is a type of supervision that can be used for X-type employees. In this case, every of them has a supervisor who observes their progress and works with them to help them reach their goals. This measure is multifunctional: apart from improving efficiency and encouraging the employees to achieve their aims, it helps the upper-level management since they do not need to counsel employees; they may simply look through their files.
Community policing is a similarly multifunctional measure. The primary reason for its implementation is the fact that the citizens of the City do not have a good relationship with the Friendship Police Department, and Community Policing can help them build trust. The key elements of community policing include developing community partnerships, solving problems, and implementing specific organizational features (Community Oriented Policing, n.d.; Scheider, n.d.).
To adopt community policing, the following responsibilities will be delegated to the officers. During the shifts, they will perform house/business checks, get out of their cars and directly talk to the citizens to find out about their issues, needs, and the things that the Department can do to help (Community Oriented Policing, n.d.; Scheider, n.d.).
The positive outcomes of community policing are multiple. The officers will get to know the community, which will help them gain trust and build relationships. They will also train their professional and other skills like communication or cognitive ones (for example, problem-solving). Also, community policing will show the officers the actual need for their work and help them realize its importance. As a result, their morale would be expected to raise, and the organizational values could get promoted. Building the values and supporting the vision of the organization is the key to improving the loyalty of the employees, motivating them, and eventually enhancing the quality of the work which should affect the community trust.
Indeed, the community trust should rise as a result of community policing. The community will also benefit from it since they are going to feel safer, protected by the force they believe. Also, the constant presence of an officer is likely to reduce and prevent crime.
Finally, we need to address the organizational issues that are the most complex and the most important ones since they are going to affect the process of change in the Department. Action research is technically aimed at organizational change: it consists of engaging employees in the investigation of the issues that need to be corrected and the search for a solution. Given the fact that AR requires communication and cooperation, it can be regarded as a solution tool of its own; apart from that, it will provide the information on the issues that could not be identified in a short summary. In other words, AR will contribute to the resolution of all the mentioned issues and work to remove the key challenge: the communication problem. AR has been implemented in a variety of environments, including a police department one as can be seen, for example, in the works by Rai (2012) or Rosenbaum (2010). Similarly, it has been used for culture change, for instance, see Fortune, McKeown, Dupuis, and de Witt, 2015. However, it does not appear to have been used for culture change in a police department, which brings up the possibility of carrying out new research.
Community Oriented Policing. (n.d.). Web.
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