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Organized crime is one of the commonly reported vices in today’s society and it can be defined as an organized criminal caucus comprising more than two individuals, operating for a given duration and working together with a common goal of executing one or several illegal activities. Organized criminal gangs create well-coordinated and organized hierarchical structures, which enable them to make illegal profits or command territories. This distinguishes them from other conventional illegal practices because their elaborate management systems enable them to engage in several crimes compared to the less organized gangs. Organizational links creates a large network that enhances teamwork between criminals, which would not otherwise be possible. The form of management adopted by an organization, whether legal or unlawful, is determined by the nature of its activities the management experience of its officials.
Models of Organized Crime
“A patron-client organization is a group of criminal patron’s who exchange information, establish a network of connections with political leaders and government officials, and have access to a network of operatives for the purpose of benefiting the group’s clients politically and economically” (Lyman & Potter, 2007, pp. 12-76). In such groups, there is a vertical flow of power form the highest to the lowest cadre. Parton-client syndicates are secretive and use various mechanisms to dodge detection. On the other hand, bureaucratic associations have formal structures that comprise protocols, guidelines, and laws, which control and define the operations and limit the capacity of members and officials in the low cadres to make decisions. Thus, bureaucratic systems apply a red tape kind of rule. A highly bureaucratic management model in most cases makes the organization highly dependent on decisions and authority of top management; hence, wasting the skills and initiative of junior officials.
However, in patron-client associations, junior officials and ordinary members have the capacity to make decisions, mobilize resources, form links, and do business without necessarily seeking the sanction of the top brass officials if such activities are helpful to the association. Furthermore, in a bureaucratic association, the administration takes responsibility when the association fails to meet its core aims, but in a patron-client business, individuals involved in the syndicate are blamed for the group’s malfunctioning. The extent of management is small since extensive chains of management are impractical. Control is also a primary challenge because it is not easy to create command oversight.
Although criminal management models have various structures, they all provide necessary information that contributes towards the understanding of the nature and trend of criminal activities. This enables law enforcement officials to understand how organized gangs operate in different settings. Moreover, each model adds inimitable elements, which have particular details. “This in return, can be extremely useful in many ways as it enables law enforcement officials to implement methods that will deter, detect, and apprehend individuals involved with illegal organizations and operations” (Lyman & Potter, 2007, pp. 45-89). In addition, law enforcement agencies can inform society on mechanisms of mitigating crime, and set up several anti-crime measures and programs.
From this discussion, it can be concluded that both legal and illegal associations have a primary goal to profit. “Each organization has numerous similarities and differences, but both are structured in such a fashion that there is always someone who is in charge of maintaining the organization’s success” (Mallory, 2007, pp. 67-101).
Lyman, M., & Potter, G. (2007). Organized crime. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall.
Mallory, S. (2007). Understanding Organized Crime. Sudbury: MA: Jones and Bartlett.