- . High complexity in terms of professional training of organizational members
- 2. High decentralization of power
- 3. Low formalization
- 4. Low stratification in differential distribution of rewards
- 5. Low emphasis on volume (as opposed to quality) of production
- 6. Low emphasis on efficiency in cost of production or service
- 7. High level of job satisfaction among organizational members
many states are attempting to build treatment centers for the sex offenders and are being met with severe resistance from the communities in which they plan to locate the centers. Local community members do not want institutions for sex offenders in their backyards. 430
A change as fundamental as creating community corrections centers may run into resistance from the public. Organizations whose members are unionized face another potentially powerful constraint on change. Management– labor contracts often call for specific behavior on the part of both management and labor. These agreements reinforce particular routines and make them unalterable for the duration of the contract. 431
Organizational development (OD) focuses on the environmental influences of an organization. The process attempts to alter simultaneously a system's values, routines, and structures in an attempt to create an atmosphere in which obstacles to change can be identified and minimized (French, 1969). Also, OD is a planned change effort that involves a total system strategy with the goal of making the organization more efficient (Beckhard, 2006). Traditionally, OD programs have been the responsibility of a single change agent, an individual whose sole role is to promote change within a system. The change agent may come from within an agency—usually from management—or may be a consultant from outside the agency. 436
To paint a drearier picture, winners are often agency members who are skilled at political wars but who are not necessarily excellent or productive workers. As a result, good employees who foresee they will become losers may take early retirements, change jobs, or continue to accept their paychecks while opting out of the productive process. Moreover, mediocre employees with friends in high places may find rewarding niches in the system within new organizational arrangements as a result of their allegiance (sucking up) to the “friends.” 440
Symbolic usage: Use of research to justify a specific decision, such as a budget.
Conceptual usage: Data used to enlighten and inform, yet not used in decision making.
Police departments, courts, and corrections agencies all exist in highly political environments. At the upper levels of organization management in those environments, many questions of policy are strongly tied to questions of value and preference. No matter how defensible a practice may be on research grounds, no one can afford to be seen as insensitive to community standards—whether that means being seen as soft on crime or as excessive in the use of force or other forms of social control. Facts may play a secondary role when decisions are driven by such political considerations. 454
The writing style and narrow dissemination of academic research have been identified as major reasons that some administrators report that research findings are of little use in their decision-making process 454 455
Academic researchers and practitioners may have different views on the value of data. Expertise in methodology and statistics gives researchers confidence that conclusions based on the analysis of data are technically sound and rational; the better the methodology, the greater confidence they have in their conclusions. For practitioners, however, additional expectations may need to be met.
Practitioners must be convinced first of all that research findings are relevant to the problems they face. National studies or research done in other jurisdictions may seem too distant to them, despite the soundness of the methods. Furthermore, because even the best studies must acknowledge their limitations, policy makers may be hesitant to accept their conclusions. Practitioners may be far less comfortable than academics with notions of probability, confidence levels, and statistical significance. Thus, academics need to do a better job communicating the meaning and value of such ideas. 455
For the practitioner, however, it is the outlier rather than the typical case that often demands attention.455
still more basic problem has been raised by some academics, who question whether social science research has reached a level of sophistication sufficient to merit influencing public policy. Elliot (1990) responded to a call for greater influence (see Petersilia, 1993) by sounding a note of caution. He argued that criminologists should be more hesitant to offer advice to policy makers. Although experimental design research of the highest quality has become more common, Elliot notes that such studies are still few in number and that little data on criminal justice have been collected over a long enough period of time to ensure confident conclusions. 456