Criminal Justice Administration

There are three main management approaches that criminal justice administrators can employ in the management of their organizations. These include the scientific management and human relations management used in the first half of the 20th century and the system management that has been in use since the 1960s. These management approaches have their strengths and weaknesses.

Individuals in different societies relate differently according to the culture of their society. This understanding is essential in the management of criminal judicial system. For example, in some societies, the avoidance of direct eye contact is a sign of respect and humility while other cultures use exaggerated gesture in their communications. In the management of criminal justice system, the personnel need to have cultural empathy. The understanding of the peoples culture will help the practitioners in the criminal justice determine the most appropriate management style. Ronald Lynch suggested three historical management styles that can be employed in the criminal judicial systems. These management approaches includes the scientific management, human relations management and system management. Each approach was dominant in specific periods in history.

Management styles
The scientific management approach was developed by Fredrick Taylor. He worked as an engineer in a steel mill industry in the industrial city of Pennsylvania. He was a chief engineer and invented new methods of steel making. When he retired at the age of forty five, he became a lecturer and a writer. In 1998, he was hired by the Bethlehem Steel to develop strategies that would increase productivity in the industry. From his measurement, he recommended that if the employees were allowed to have hourly breaks, their productivity increased. He also recommended piecework systems. Following the implementation of his recommendations, the productivity of the workers increased as well as their earnings. The cost of production also decreased significantly. Although his approach was criticized by many people, his approach was adopted by many organizations in the early 20th century. His book, the principles of scientific management led to the adoption of formal management structures where authority and division of labor was emphasized.

The use of scientific management approach in the criminal justice was suggested in the mid 1930s by Luther Gulick. He developed the POSDCORB theory which has been used in the management of criminal justice system for many years. The POSDCORB stands for planning, organization, staffing, directing, coordinating, reporting and budgeting. The main disadvantage of this style of management was it emphasis on the technical aspects without taking into consideration the human aspects. The approach disregarded the human feelings and money was the only form of motivation which led to a lot of criticisms.

The human relation management started developing in the 1930s. This was as a result of the weaknesses of the scientific management style which affected the workers negatively. Research in the 1920s had indicated that the productivity of workers in an organization was largely determined by their social capacity and not their physical capacity. Consequently, non economical rewards were seen as better motivating factors. The research indicated that workers react as a group and not individually to rewards and management styles.

Towards the mid 20th century, the criminal judicial systems started recognizing the importance of informal management structures. The police department for example started techniques such which included job enlargement and enrichment. This was aimed at encouraging more people to take policing as a career. Research indicates that employee centered form of management is more effective when compared to management that is centered on productivity of the employee. This gives room for democratic management practices in the police force where all officers participated in the decision making. However, the human relation management was not without limitations. This form of management focuses on the employee while ignoring the structures in the organization. The main disadvantage of this approach is the emphasis of this management approach on the social rewards to the employees without paying much attention to the accomplishment of the rewards. The police officers therefore became less effective while they expected more rewards in return which proved this approach unrealistic in the police force.

In the second half of the 20th century, a need for a more effective management approach emerged. The system management approach was therefore developed from the strengths of the scientific management approach and the human relation approach. This management approach aimed at helping the administrators and managers in reaching the goals of the organization and the desired productivity by using the workers effectively. The aim of this management approach is to bring together the individuals in the organization to work for the common goal in the organization. This form of management realized the importance of authority in the coordination of the functions of the organization.

This management approach is based on the Abraham Maslows hierarchy of needs, the human motivation theory by McGregor and the managerial grid by Blake and Mouton. System management approach therefore focuses on the people and the task to be accomplished. System management styles have proved to be effective in criminal justice management. The style of management is dependent on the interpersonal ability of the manager and his ability to deal with conflict and changes in the work force. The limitation of this style of management is the large pool of knowledge the management team is required to be effective.


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