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NCJ Number: 69573 Find in a Library
Title: Resistance to Change in Police Organizations - The Diffusion Paradigm
Journal: Criminal Justice Review  Volume:4  Issue:2  Dated:(Fall 1979)  Pages:17-26
Author(s): J R Lingamneni
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 10
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper presents an analysis, by use of a diffusion paradigm, of factors which inhibit innovations in police organizations.
Abstract: The diffusion paradigm (Rogers and Shoemaker, 1971) suggests that the rate of adoption or conversely the resistance to the adoption of an innovation depends upon the perceived characteristics of the innovation, the type of innovation decision, the communication channels used, the nature of the social system, and the extent of the change agents promotional efforts. Among the factors that resist change in police organizations, those that are often mentioned include an authoritarian-totalitarian system of organizational structure, traditionalist leadership styles, negative attitudes of the police chiefs, and rigid ideology or dogma. Because of their para-military organization styles, police organizations emphasize centralized command structure, one-way downward communications, rigid superior-subordinate relationships, and emphasis on the repressive nature of the work. This rigidity in the organization blocks attempts to change. Traditional dogmas imposed on police organizations stagnate meaningful change: sets of conventions, customs, and social habits encourage rigidity and secrecy and resist change as a whole. Specific characteristics of an innovation that affect its acceptance or rejection are (1) the cost-benefit factor, (2) compatibility or value consensus, (3) complexity of the program principles, (4) ability to be tried, and (5) demonstrativeness. Any systematic plan for change must also consider the type of innovation-decision, (whether an option or individual type, a collective participating type, or an authority type), the timeliness of implementation, and the nature of the community social system (public opinion). The diffusion paradigm and 18 references are provided.
Index Term(s): Change management; Personnel rank structure; Police attitudes; Police organizational structure; Police reform; Policing innovation; Public Attitudes/Opinion
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