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Criminal Justice Organizations: Administration and Management

Criminal Justice Organizations: Administration and Management

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Criminal Justice Organizations: Administration and Management

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  1. Criminal Justice Organizations: Administration and Management Chapter Ten Power and Political Behavior

  2. Learning Objectives • Understand a definition of power as being both an individual construct and an organizational construct. • Distinguish the various types of authority and power. • Comprehend the consequences of power relations within criminal justice organizations. • Grasp the importance of expressing power and political behavior among criminal justice administrators. • Describe effective types of power within criminal justice agencies. Chapter 10- Power and Politicial Behavior

  3. Power Defined • Power and politics are inseparable in the criminal justice system. 1. To criminal justice employees it often seems that the power is used inappropriately. 2. The consequences of this belief can be injurious to the organizations as a whole. • Police organizations employ different types of power to gain compliance from officers. Chapter 10- Power and Politicial Behavior

  4. Power Defined • Power exists in relationships. • Individuals and organizational units that are able to deal with environmental uncertainty and instability often possess more power. • In stable environments, like criminal justice organizations, power is possessed by the most efficient or effective individuals and groups. • Power exists in people and the jobs they do. • Individuals or groups that cannot easily be replaced tend to be more powerful. Chapter 10- Power and Politicial Behavior

  5. Key Aspects of Power in Organizations 287 • Power resides in the individuals or groups who determine what other persons, groups or organizations do. • Power relationships exist between organizational units and at the interpersonal level. • Power depends on: • The ability to deal with uncertainties facing the organization, • Whether an individual or group function can easily be replaced (substitutability), and • The importance of an individual or group function to the organization’s overall mission (centrality). Chapter 10- Power and Politicial Behavior

  6. Power versus Authority 287 • Terms are often used interchangeably. • Difference is in the perceived legitimacyof their use. • Authority is generally perceived to be a legitimate use of power. • Powermay be used to influence the behavior of others even without legitimate authority. Chapter 10- Power and Politicial Behavior

  7. Types of Power and Authority (Weber, 1947) 287 • Distinguished between power and authority. • Power – based on coercion, not compliance. Often used in organizations emphasizing strict obedience. • Authority – compliance with the directives necessary for achieving a common or shared goal. • Weber’s Three Types of Authority • Traditional– vested in the position held by a person. • Charismatic– found in the personal attributes of a particular individual or organization. • Legal – based on the formal rules and regulations of an organization. Chapter 10- Power and Politicial Behavior

  8. Types of Power and Authority (French and Raven, 1968) 289 • Five bases of power in all organizations. • Reward power is based on the perception of the power recipient that the power holder can grant some type of reward or remuneration for compliance to orders or commands. • Coercive power is based on the belief of subordinates that if they do not do as they are told; they will be either threatened with punishment or punished directly. Chapter 10- Power and Politicial Behavior

  9. Types of Power and Authority (French and Raven, 1968) 289 • Legitimate power—the type most closely aligned to Weber’s concept of authority—is exercised when a power holder is able to influence a power recipient to do something based on some internalized belief of the power recipient. • Referent power is based on the identification of the power holder with the power recipient. This power is predicated on the attractiveness of the power recipient to the power holder. • Expert power is based on the power recipient’s belief that the power holder has a high level of expertise in a given area. This type of power is based on the “cognitive structure” of the power recipient and fosters the dependence of the power recipient on the power holder. Chapter 10- Power and Politicial Behavior

  10. Other Types of Power • Other forms of power can also be acquired by individuals or groups within organizations that: • Control information in the organization (Pfeffer, 1977) • Acquire resources for the organization such as grants contract funds (Salancik and Pfeffer, 1977) Chapter 10- Power and Politicial Behavior

  11. Types of Power and Authority (French and Raven, 1968) • There is no power unless it is expressed by one person and received by another. • Power holder – the person who expressesthe power, and • Power recipient – the person who receivesthe power. Chapter 10- Power and Politicial Behavior

  12. Consequences of Power Relationships 291 • Power does not exist in a vacuum. • Power is contextually defined within individual and/or organizational interactions. • Consequences of power relations within organization are along two dimensions: • Behavioral conformity (conformity without internalization of norms), and • Attitudinal conformity(conformity and internalization of norms) • Types of power are not equally effective in every situation. Chapter 10- Power and Politicial Behavior

  13. Consequences of Power Relationships • Behavioral conformity: • In many situations, we are uncertain how to think or to act. We use the behavior of others to help us figure out what is going on in the situation and what to do about it. • Informational social influence occurs when we conform because we see other people as a source of information. • We conform because we believe that others’ interpretation of an ambiguous situation is more correct than ours and will help us choose an appropriate course of action. Chapter 10- Power and Politicial Behavior

  14. Consequences of Power Relationships • Normative social influence • Occurs when one conforms to be liked or accepted by the members of the group. This need of social approval and acceptance is part of our state of humans. • In addition to this, we know that when people do not conform with their group and therefore are deviants, they are less liked and even punished by the group. • Normative influence usually results in public compliance, doing or saying something without believing in it. Chapter 10- Power and Politicial Behavior

  15. Consequences of Power Relationships • Attitudinal Conformity: Is based on social norms. • Conformity can occur in the presence of others, or when an individual is alone. • For example, people tend to follow social norms when eating or watching television, even when alone. This also carries over to the workplace. Chapter 10- Power and Politicial Behavior

  16. Types of Power and Authority 293 • Among inmates, Stojkovic (1984, 1986) found five types of social power. • Coercive – used by prisoners to gain ‘respect’. • Referent– power often used by religious groups. • Legitimate – rests with older and longer confined inmates. • Provision-of-resources – developed by inmates who are able to ‘import’ and distribute contraband. • Expert– prisoners who are knowledgeable about legal systems and case law. Chapter 10- Power and Politicial Behavior

  17. Consequences of Power Relationships 293 • Social bases of power are more limited among correctional officers. Stojkovic identifies three: • Coercive • Reward • Access to information • These bases of power are often eroded by: • Interactions with inmates who are themselves attempting to gain power. • Changes in the demographics of prison populations. • Changes in the way correctional officers are encouraged, or even allowed, to do their jobs. Chapter 10- Power and Politicial Behavior

  18. The Legitimacy of Power and Political Behavior 296 • Political behavior – actions that promote individual goals over organizational goals. • Political power likely exists in criminal justice organizations when: • A lack of consensus among members about goals, • Disagreement over the means to achieve goals, or • Anxiety about resource allocation. Chapter 10- Power and Politicial Behavior

  19. The Legitimacy of Power and Political Behavior 296 • Often necessary in criminal justice agencies to: • Secure adequate resources through the budget process. • Seek the legal authority to respond to an emerging crime trend. • Create or recreate an organization’s mission and values statements. Chapter 10- Power and Politicial Behavior

  20. The Legitimacy of Power and Political Behavior • The political process in criminal justice agencies can be used: • Legitimately – if the agency adheres to its mission and values • To refocus the organization’s attention on an important and emerging social trend, e.g. terrorism • To define or redefine the organization’s mission and vision. • Illegitimately – if the agency departs from its mission and becomes self-serving. • When individuals within the organization use agency resources and power to satisfy their personal needs. • When the organization attempts to resist a legitimate attempt to become more relevant. Chapter 10- Power and Politicial Behavior

  21. The Legitimacy of Power and Political Behavior 300 • Is political behavior only a function of situational or structural characteristics of criminal justice organizations? • Hellriegel, Slocum, and Woodman suggest that four personality traits make people prone to exercising political behaviors in organizations. Chapter 10- Power and Politicial Behavior

  22. The Legitimacy of Power and Political Behavior 300 • The need for power: Leaders who seek to simply dominate others through expressions of power will create climates where political behavior is more likely than those leaders who seek power to move employees toward some identifiable and acceptable levels of performance. • Machiavellianism: Predicated on the ideas of manipulation and deceit, this trait accentuates manipulation of employees for specific ends. In the long run, it perpetuates greater division among employees and between employees and administrators. • Locus of control: Refers to individuals who belief that they are able to control events and influence people that affect them. • Risk-seeking propensity: These leaders view risk-taking as a necessity within a politically charged organization. Chapter 10- Power and Politicial Behavior

  23. Effective Power in Criminal Justice Agencies • Critical question – What types of power are criminal justice employees most likely to consider legitimate? • The effectiveness of power is highly dependent upon its acceptance within the organization. • Even legitimate power can be ineffective if subordinate employees disregard their leader’s legitimacy. Chapter 10- Power and Politicial Behavior

  24. Effective Power in Criminal Justice Agencies Chapter 10- Power and Politicial Behavior

  25. Effects of Power Criminal Justice Agencies 301 • What types of power are criminal justice employees most likely to consider legitimate? • Legitimate, charismaticand expert power are more universally accepted. • Reward and coercive power can be effective if used for a legitimate purpose • Reward and coercive power may lead to dysfunctional effects if used illegitimately. • Learned helplessness (psychological dependence), or • Resistance (psychological withdrawal). Chapter 10- Power and Politicial Behavior

  26. Effects of Power Criminal Justice Agencies • The types of power traditionally associated with the traditional police structure are, in part, the cause of resistance, most notably the development of a police counterforce and departures from the organization. • The future of criminal justice administration hinges to a great degree on how legitimacy will be gained from both subordinates and the general public. • The traditional types of power employed in these agencies no longer promote effective administration. • Other bases of power would seem to be conducive to criminal justice management. Chapter 10- Power and Politicial Behavior

  27. Effects of Power Criminal Justice Agencies • Some suggest that politics is too invasive and pervasive in criminal justice organizations. • This circumstance impedes the ability of administrators and managers to do their jobs effectively. • Although a legitimate concern among criminal justice administrators, it is not clear how this situation can be altered. • Criminal justice administrators must develop and hone political skills to protect organizational turf while attending to organizational concerns. Chapter 10- Power and Politicial Behavior

  28. Effects of Power Criminal Justice Agencies • This creates a fundamental disjuncture between: • The interests of employees (typically centered on accomplishing tasks) • The interests of administrators (centered on the political concerns of their bosses or significant others) • Effective criminal justice administration means being sensitive not only to the political demands of external interests, but showing concern for the constraints and difficulties experienced by subordinates. Chapter 10- Power and Politicial Behavior

  29. Effects of Power Criminal Justice Agencies • Criminal justice subordinates are public employees with significant rights as defined through labor negotiations. 1. Civil service employees are accountable to a host of public regulations 2. Administrators have an obligation to promote the best possible strategy to achieve their missions and visions. Chapter 10- Power and Politicial Behavior

  30. Chapter Summary • Power can be understood and exhibited at both the individual and organizational levels. • Power and authority are not the same thing. • Weber identifies three types of power – traditional, charismatic and legal. • French and Raven identify five types of power – coercive, reward, legitimate, referent and expert. • Other researchers include the control of information and access to resources as sources of power. Chapter 10- Power and Politicial Behavior

  31. Chapter Summary • Power relationships within organizations can be defined along two dimensions – behavioral conformity and attitudinal conformity. • Different expressions of power will have different impacts on organizations. • There is a relationship between legitimacy and political behavior in criminal justice organizations. • The political process is not inherently bad for criminal justice administrators. In fact, in many cases the political process is how things get done in criminal justice organizations. Chapter 10- Power and Politicial Behavior

  32. Chapter Summary • To criminal justice employees it often seems that the power is used inappropriately. • The consequences of this belief can be injurious to the organizations as a whole. • Police organizations employ different types of power to gain compliance from their officers. • The discussion suggested that the types of power found in many criminal justice organizations produce effects that are, in the long run, dysfunctional. Chapter 10- Power and Politicial Behavior

  33. Chapter Summary • Certain types of power may be more useful than others to administrators of criminal justice organizations. • These types of power were legitimate, expert, and referent. But they can be effective as compliance mechanisms only when other key issues of goal consensus, means to achieve goals and resource allocation are addressed. Chapter 10- Power and Politicial Behavior

  34. Thinking Point • While driving home one evening the District Attorney of a rural Midwestern county is injured when his vehicle strikes a deer. • This is the third time this DA has hit a deer on the roadway. • He decides that the excessive deer population in his county is a threat to public safety. His appeals to the state wildlife agency for assistance (increasing the hunting limits) are unanswered. • The following week the DA issues a press release informing the public that his office will no longer accept poaching cases involving deer. • Because game poaching cases must be prosecuted by his office, this action effectively eliminates deer hunting limits in his county. Chapter 10- Power and Politicial Behavior

  35. Thinking Point Questions • Does the District Attorney have the power or authority to make this decision? • What type of power or authority is the District Attorney exercising? • Given what you know about the consequences of power, what are the possible effects of the District Attorney’s actions? Chapter 10- Power and Politicial Behavior