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NCJ Number: 68469 Find in a Library
Title: PARTICIPATIVENESS AND THE AGENTS OF CONTROL - FRONT-LINE DECISION BEHAVIOR IN AN URBAN POLICE BUREAUCRACY
Author(s): J M JERMIER
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 134
Sponsoring Agency: UMI Dissertation Services
Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1346
Sale Source: UMI Dissertation Services
300 North Zeeb Road
P.O. Box 1346
Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1346
United States of America
Type: Thesis/Dissertation
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE EXTENT TO WHICH INFLUENCE OVER THE OUTCOME OF IMPORTANT SUPERVISORY DECISIONS IS SHARED BY THE SUPERVISOR AND THE SUBORDINATES IS EXAMINED AS A MANAGEMENT STRATEGY IN AN URBAN POLICE ENVIRONMENT.
Abstract: THIS 1979 DOCTORAL DISSERTATION ATTEMPTS TO ANALYZE, FROM THE EGALITARIAN PERSPECTIVE OF A PARTICIPANT IN THE ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR DOCTORAL PROGRAM OF THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY, THE PSYCHOLOGICAL AND ORGANIZATIONAL DETERMINANTS OF THE DECISIONMAKING PROCESS OF POLICE OFFICERS IN THE STREETS OF A METROPOLITAN AREA. SUCH FRONT-LINE DECISIONS ARE CHIEFLY MADE UNDER STRESSFUL CONDITIONS. THIS STUDY ARGUES THAT, TO COPE WITH THEIR INABILITY TO CONTROL CRIME, THE AMERICAN POLICE HAVE DEVELOPED ELABORATE POLITICAL STRATEGIES TO ENHANCE THEIR PUBLIC IMAGE AND OBTAIN VALUABLE RESOURCES. ONE OF THESE STRATEGIES IS PERCEIVED AS AN INFUSION OF MILITARY SYMBOLISM AND IDEOLOGY INTO POLICE ORGANIZATION TO COINCIDE WITH CRIME-FIGHTING CONCEPTUALIZATIONS. SOME OF THE SYMBOLIC AND COMMENSENSICAL ASPECTS OF POLICE BUREAUCRACY ARE EXAMINED, AND DESCRIBED AS HIGHLY COMPLEX. THE ORGANIZATIONAL IDEOLOGY OF THE AMERICAN POLICE, WHICH INFLUENCES DECISIONMAKING PROCESSES AND BEHAVIOR AT ALL LEVELS, IS DEFINED HERE AS BEING OF A QUASI-MILITARY NATURE. ONE OF THE MAIN POINTS ARGUED IN THIS STUDY IS THAT THE AUTHORITARIAN TENDENCIES IN POLICE ORGANIZATION ARE DIRECTLY LINKED TO POLICE-CITIZEN INTERACTION. THIS ATTITUDE IS NOT HARMFUL IN DANGEROUS POLICE ENCOUNTERS WITH VIOLENT CRIMINALS, BUT MAY ADVERSELY AFFECT ROUTINE POLICE-CITIZEN CONTACTS. SUCH CONTACTS CAN ALSO BE HARMFULLY INFLUENCED BY INDIVIDUAL OFFICERS' CONSCIOUS OR UNCONSCIOUS RESENTMENT OF SUPERVISOR'S AUTHORITARIANISM SUBSEQUENTLY TRANSFERRED TO CITIZENS UNDER THE RESENTFUL OFFICER'S AUTHORITY. THIS THEORETICAL STUDY ALSO INDICATES THAT POLICE SUPERVISORS COULD ACHIEVE POSITIVE OUTCOME BY USING PARTICIPATIVE DECISIONMAKING ON THE PART OF THEIR SUBORDINATES (I.E., THE FRONT-LINE POLICE OFFICERS WHO MUST ROUTINELY INTERACT WITH THE CITIZENRY AT THE INTERPERSONAL LEVEL) AND BY DISCARDING TRADITIONAL ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT DECISION BEHAVIOR IN MILITARY-TYPE ORGANIZATIONS. APPROXIMATELY 200 REFERENCES ARE PROVIDED.
Index Term(s): Attitudes toward authority; Behavior under stress; Personnel rank structure; Police decisionmaking
Note: OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY - DOCTORAL DISSERTATION
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