Theories gave organizations a framework for knowledge and a guide to achieving their goals. The Industrial Revolution prompted the need for better supervision of workers to boost productivity within the automobile, steel, and coal industries. It is because of this need that the various theories of management began to take shape. The classical management theory, which came about during the Industrial Revolution, focused on the single best way to perform and manage tasks. This enabled factories to operate year round and mass production of goods.
But as the revolution went on, the factories divided into separate schools of thought regarding management yet still considered it to be a part of classical. The emphasis on manufacturing and getting work done is the concept of the classical scientific school. Managers constantly monitored workers and controlled the work they did. This caused productivity to increase but failed to consider the needs of the workers. Thus, workers sought ways around the controls that were placed on them. They were not permitted to voice their ideas or try anything new. But organizations became more complex and there was a need for a new theory.
Companies focused on productivity and efficiency which lead to the classical administrative school. The emphasis now was on the flow of information and how the companies should operate. Managers were given guidelines to follow and shared goals. Henry Fayol introduced general principles of management giving managers functions such as planning, organizing, commanding, coordinating, and controlling. Though this thought process developed and molded those in management positions, it did very little for employees. Workers were treated like robots instead of people and consequently were not enthusiastic about their jobs.
In the law enforcement organization both of these schools associated with the classical management theory have been implemented at one time or another depending on who is in top management. Some pushed officers to work harder on the streets but were not concerned with the poor equipment they had to use or lack of praise given for the extra effort that was being put forth. With the lack of enthusiasm for the job being felt by numerous officers, the rate in which officers began to call out from work increased while others sought employment with other agencies.
That was their way of undermining the controls and their lack of a voice in procedures. The behavioral management theory saw that the employees’ needs were important. That if organizations treated their employees as assets and with dignity their enthusiasm and commitment to the organization would increase. It was Douglas McGregor who stressed that the workers were capable of exhibiting many talents with the proper motivation and the opportunity to contribute. He gathered the Theory X and Theory Y concept in which X portrayed workers as needing to be controlled and lazy.
Theory Y is of the thought that regarded workers as eager to learn, responsible and creative. But because human beings are complex, managers had a tough time due to lack of training, dealing with conflicts and the various needs of various people. Next, around World War II, management theories moved to the mathematical approaches called quantitative school of management and management science. These allow managers to measure the effectiveness of their operations. In emergency services they use computer programs for dispatching and tracking responses to 911 calls.
By using the computer program they can measure the effectiveness of response time and the number of calls they receive. In turn, that information allows them to plan, organize and staff accordingly. Management Information Systems (MIS), a computer program, give managers important information in which they can base the decisions they make. Law enforcement uses a management information system when it comes to criminal activity. The computer based program, once all information is entered, tells supervisors which areas of town are seeing higher rates of criminal activity as well as the type of criminal activity i. robberies, burglaries, and car thefts.
It is from that information that supervisors can determine the areas that require more police presence. Most law enforcement agencies are made up of subsystems that allow the agency to function. These subsystems, such as the Detective Bureau, Administrative Bureau, Service Bureau, and Uniform Patrol Bureau all operate together as a whole which is what the systems school approach to management is based on. The managers of each of the bureaus are aware of the others function and communicate often.
This is important so that the plans of one bureau do not negatively affect those of another. When an agency joins forces, so to speak, with an outside agency it’s known as synergy. It increases the effectiveness of the cooperation. The systems approach tells managers to keep employees focused on the objective so that overall goals can be met. The contingency school theory is when those in management use approaches or take actions depending on that particular situation. This theory supports suing all or parts of past theories to solve a problem. Law enforcement utilizes this approach on a daily basis.
Officers respond to calls for service in which they are expected to rectify. They use their years of experience and training along with past incidents of similarity and decide on what actions are necessary to take. The contingency school is based on flexibility and being opened minded or “thinking outside the box”. Emphasis on improvement and learning are stepped up in the quality management theory which is often called total quality management (TQM). No matter how well things are going, according to the Kaizer approach, things can always be better.
It’s a Japanese term that encourages continuous improvement for products, service and people. When what a company does and how they do it is the focus it is known as a reengineering approach. Here the concern is what an organization should be doing in accordance to its core competencies. By improving quality, organizations and its managers are able to produce and deliver high quality goods and services to customers therefore boosting the organizations profits. Taking all the management thoughts into consideration it is easy to see how we’ve come to the management processes used today.
Though the classical management theory clearly was the starting point in making better managers, the concept of “thinking outside the box” continues. In the twelve years that I have been in law enforcement the way in which the division functions has changed with its leadership and the management theories they used. Some have taken the approach to managing the troops using a combination of all the management theories. Though they wanted the quality and quantity of work being done to be consistent they were also interested in what the officers thought and how they felt.
Because of this type of interest in them, they came to work eager to meet the divisions’ needs and those of the community. Presently, under our new administration, the concern for the workers (officers) is not there. Morale is low. Therefore, more officers call out sick form work and put forth only what is asked of them, nothing more. Management is forever changing and with that in mind it is important that those in top management positions adjust their thoughts on how to manage workers along with the changes that take place in their organizations.