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The Organizational Reasons Police Departments Don’t Change Case Study


The article “The Organizational Reasons Police Departments Don’t Change” shows clearly that there are underlying issues that make it impossible to have any meaningful change in American police departments. The organizational culture embraced by different police departments supports various malpractices such as inequality and the use of discriminatory policies. The current training practice also fails to consider the major issues affecting different citizens.

For instance, the use of force has been to be justifiable, especially when “an officer mistakenly shoots an unarmed suspect who only appeared to be reaching for a gun” (Armacost, 2016, p. 3). These aspects continue to affect the welfare of many societies in the country. A new change can, therefore, present better organizational practices capable of saving more American lives.

Problem Identification

The main problem described in this article is that of police misconduct. This kind of misconduct explains why many police departments have failed to change. This far-reaching problem explains why many lives continue to be lost daily in the country. According to the author, police-related shootings have led to over 590 deaths in 2016 alone in the country (Armacost, 2016). The external environmental forces presented below portray the major causes of this problem.

Government/Political Environment

The regulations promoted by the government can be used to describe the nature of the American police force. Many studies have been done to understand why police brutality is a major concern affecting many minority groups. Politicians have failed to propose better strategies that can transform America’s police departments (Armacost, 2016).

Economic forces

Although many whites have access to a wide range of job opportunities, individuals from minority groups struggle to have better lives. These trends have forced many African Americans to engage in various criminal activities (Armacost, 2016). Consequently, institutional racism has dictated the performance of the country’s police force.

Social factors

According to this article, minority groups have higher chances of being frisked, stopped, and arrested. Many police officers believe that African Americans have higher chances of becoming criminals (Armacost, 2016). These stereotypes have contributed a lot to the nature of this problem. Issues such as the distribution of wealth and educational inequality also explain why many unemployed African Americans are victimized.

Legal factors

The legal rules applied in America make it impossible for many trainees to learn from deadly blunders. For example, the legal framework supports “police brutality whereby officers are allowed to assume a specific level of violence in the situations they face” (Armacost, 2016, p. 3). The law also gives police officers the benefit of the doubt whenever they use brutal force (Armacost, 2016).

Public Opinion

The nature of this problem is also attributable to the public opinion existing in the United States. Many people believe strongly that the police force is brutal and racial (Armacost, 2016). The society also believes that some racial groups are violent than others. Consequently, such facts explain why this problem remains a contested issue in the country.

Addressing the Problem: Lewin’s Change Model

The ultimate goal of every police officer is to improve the livelihoods of the people he or she serves (Armacost, 2016). Certain forces have reshaped the nature of American police departments. These forces have made change impossible, thereby affecting the quality of security services available to many citizens. In order to transform the situation experienced by these departments, a powerful change model is needed, thereby safeguarding the lives of American citizens. The proposed tool for change is Kurt Lewin’s model. The discussion below describes how the model can be applied to revolutionize the police force (Kritsonis, 2005).


During this stage, a powerful analysis will be done to examine the major causes of the existing problem. Members of the public and police officers will be engaged in the unfreezing stage. Every stakeholder will be informed about the major issues inhibiting change. Malpractices such as discrimination and legal misinterpretation will be highlighted (Kritsonis, 2005). Legal considerations will also be made in order to outline the major strategies capable of making the force more friendly and effective.


This is the most critical stage towards solving the existing problem. In order to record positive results, a positive organizational culture will be implemented. This culture will ensure every officer is accountable for his or her actions. The issue of ‘rogue cops’ will be abandoned in an attempt to promote positive actions (Armacost, 2016). Aggressive behavior will also be unpermitted in every department. Police officers will also be trained to handle suspects politely. The quantitative performance will be disregarded because it rewards negative actions. Positive crime-fighting practices will also be implemented in an attempt to record desirable results.

New training sessions will encourage officers to apply friendly policing techniques. This will be done by examining past events and violent incidents recorded in the country. Community policing and inclusiveness will be encouraged in the country’s police force. The officers will be taught about the dangers of institutional racism. Non-discriminative policies, positive leadership practices, and sophisticated training focusing on the welfare of the American citizen will be used to address this problem (Armacost, 2016). Transparency will be critical in dealing with racial profiling.


Over the years, police brutality has remained a major challenge in many societies. The proposed change can make a difference and safeguard the lives of many people. However, a powerful refreezing strategy is critical towards preventing most of the malpractices associated with various police departments. A positive leadership strategy will be implemented to promote best practices. Rewards will also be awarded to officers who produce positive results. Supervisory measures should also be employed to ensure no citizen is discriminated against because of his or her racial background (Kritsonis, 2005).

A new culture characterized by equality, proper training, and concern for every person’s welfare will be reinforced. Police officers should embrace the best leadership approaches whenever providing security services to their clients.

Addressing the Problem: 7-S Model

The performance of police departments can be improved using a powerful tool such as McKinsey’s 7-S Model (Ravanfar, 2015). This model can ensure the most desirable processes are implemented in an attempt to safeguard more lives. The first approach is to consider the hard and soft elements proposed by the model. These elements are presented below.


This is one of the critical tools of this model. Leaders use this tool to outline the targeted change and how to address the ever-changing demands of the public. During the stage, the targeted objectives, such as the best organizational culture, legal practices, and community policing ideas, will be analyzed (Ravanfar, 2015). Positive practices, such as training and proper legal interpretation, will also be considered.


This tool will ensure the selected leaders create teams, select competent leaders, and recruit new supervisors who can support the targeted change. Decision-making and training will also be decentralized. Every police officer will be empowered to practice intelligently and safeguard the welfare for all. New communication strategies will also be outlined in order to deliver positive results (Ravanfar, 2015).


The systems existing in every department will be aligned with the targeted change. For instance, HR systems will be required to communicate with departmental leaders and officers (Ravanfar, 2015). New rules promoting team spirit will also be considered in every department. Supervisory measures will also be implemented to monitor the initiatives undertaken by different officers. New training processes will also be implemented in accordance with the anticipated objectives.

Shared Values

New values will be outlined in an attempt to strengthen the performance of different departments. The main core values will include integrity, respect, equality, and delivery of exemplary security services (Armacost, 2016). Such values will be used to create a new vision that can deliver quality outcomes.


This tool is fundamental towards achieving the above objectives. A proper leadership style should be implemented in the police force. The recruited Leaders will support a positive culture that has the potential to address racial bias. Such leaders will implement new learning processes. Sophisticated training will ensure every officer is empowered. The training will ensure more officers handle various crime scenes and empower victims in a professional manner (Ravanfar, 2015). Policy implementations should also be guided by scientific inquiry.


This tool is relevant if the best results are to be realized. Police departments will be guided to have leaders, supervisors, and trainers. These individuals will be required to empower their respective teams. They will be expected to outline the best competencies that can deliver quality outcomes (Armacost, 2016). Feedbacks collected from community members will be used to improve service delivery.


New skills are needed to support the targeted organizational culture. For instance, leaders are required to punish abusive behavior in the force. They should use their skills to develop better-policing behaviors (Armacost, 2016). New skills, such as public safety, should also be taught. This strategy will minimize the unnecessary shootings recorded in the country.

Summary and Conclusion

A new organizational culture can make a huge difference for every American police department. The heartbreaking instances encountered in the country have shown that the shooting of unarmed suspects is justifiable (Armacost, 2016). The proposed change will, therefore, transform most of the activities and wrongdoings associated with different police departments. The change will result in a new style of policing that increases every citizen’s trust.

Complaints presented by citizens will also be handled in a humane manner. Police officers will also get new concepts and learn from every deadly error. Such training practices will also focus on better-policing techniques. A positive organizational structure will also make it easier for police departments to have responsible leaders. The culture will create the most desirable environment for promoting change and learning (Armacost, 2016).

The above external forces, such as politics, legal frameworks, and public opinions, will be considered in order to understand the unique causes of this problem. This understanding will ensure the above models of change are applied in a proper manner, thereby addressing the problem. The existing unconscious racial malpractices and biases can be addressed using non-discrimination policies. Every stakeholder should, therefore, be involved in order to ensure these police departments continue to save more lives in the country.

Reference List

Armacost, B. (2016). The organizational reasons police departments don’t change. Harvard Business Review, 1(1), 1-4.

Kritsonis, A. (2005). Comparison of change theories. International Journal of Management, Business, and Administration, 8(1), 1-7.

Ravanfar, M. (2015). Analyzing organizational structure based on the 7s model of McKinsey. Global Journal of Management and Business Research: A Administration and Management, 15(10), 1-7.

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IvyPanda. (2020, October 13). The Organizational Reasons Police Departments Don’t Change. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-organizational-reasons-police-departments-dont-change/

Work Cited

"The Organizational Reasons Police Departments Don’t Change." IvyPanda, 13 Oct. 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/the-organizational-reasons-police-departments-dont-change/.

1. IvyPanda. "The Organizational Reasons Police Departments Don’t Change." October 13, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-organizational-reasons-police-departments-dont-change/.


IvyPanda. "The Organizational Reasons Police Departments Don’t Change." October 13, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-organizational-reasons-police-departments-dont-change/.


IvyPanda. 2020. "The Organizational Reasons Police Departments Don’t Change." October 13, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-organizational-reasons-police-departments-dont-change/.


IvyPanda. (2020) 'The Organizational Reasons Police Departments Don’t Change'. 13 October.

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