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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 78505 Find in a Library
Title: Organizational Change in Law Enforcement
Journal: Journal of Criminal Justice  Volume:9  Issue:1  Dated:(1981)  Pages:79-91
Author(s): J R Greene
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 13
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Six specialized police units which were established in police agencies in Michigan were examined to determine the factors which influence the implementation of structural changes in police organizations.
Abstract: In contrast to previous studies, which have focused almost exclusively on the outcomes of change and have rarely specified the object of change, this study focused on the process of change and identified the objects of change. The specialized police units studied included high-visibility saturation patrol units, covert surveillance units, and regionalized detective bureaus. Each unit was initially designed to improve the sponsoring agency's operational capability. In addition, each unit was identified as a specialized subunit of the larger police organization. Study data were obtained from a mailed survey instrument which used a Likert-type response set to examine process and outcome variables. The respondents included 500 police chiefs, command personnel, operational personnel, and administrative personnel from the sponsoring agencies and nearby police agencies. Findings indicated that domain consensus (agreement as to the role of the special unit by others) had a significant effect on the specialized unit's use and acceptance. In addition, external dependence on the special unit as either a source of information or as a provider of direct service was found to have a negative effect on evaluations. Creation of perceptions of influence among other organizational personnel had a positive effect on gaining environmental acceptance and use of the special units. Finally, perceptions of threat created by the establishment of the special unit had a negative impact on the implementation of change. Findings demonstrated the importance of organizational factors in the success or failure of changes in law enforcement systems. Such factors should be considered when strategies for organizational change are developed. Tables, notes, and 32 references are provided.
Index Term(s): Change management; Michigan; Organization development; Organization studies; Police attitudes; Police internal organizations; Specialized police operations
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