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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 69661 Find in a Library
Title: Effects of Situational Factors Upon Police Management
Journal: Journal of Police Science and Administration  Volume:8  Issue:2  Dated:(June 1980)  Pages:201-204
Author(s): R L Tannehill
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 4
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The key to effective police management is leaders who have sufficient sensitivity to be aware of changes in situational factors and the ability to adapt their leadership styles to meet the needs of the situation.
Abstract: Research has proven that there is no single group of traits that can be called leadership commonaltites and that the 'great man' theory of leadership is unsupportable. The situational view of leadership is becoming more popular, wherein leadership behavior can be understood only by explaining the context within which the behavior occurs. Thus, the total system, or at least those aspects of the system which most directly affect leadership behavior, must be considered; e.g., an officer who is a good leader in the patrol section may not be a good leader in other situations within the same organization. Investigators have also concluded with regard to leadership style, that of laissez-faire leaders who never volunteer help to a group, autocratic leaders who make all decisions, and democratic leaders who act as discussion leaders while groups make the decisions, the last of the three is the most effective. The more friendly and helpful the leader, the better the morale, the productivity, and the involvement of subordinates, and the lower the tension. Yet, while democratic styles might be preferred, leaders must be prepared to be flexible. In periods of crisis, such as riots or shootings, firm, immediate direction must be available to subordinates on the scene. The supervisor might conduct a 'postmortem' analysis with group discussions, but the emergency nature of such situations requires a change in leadership style. Instead of identifying a generalized type of police leader, various leadership situations must be examined and generalizations confined to specific types of leaders. Footnotes are provided.
Index Term(s): Police internal organizations; Police management; Police organizational structure
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