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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Question of Leadership Versus Management in the Criminal Justice System

The Question of Leadership Versus Management in the Criminal Justice System

It can be difficult to differentiate between the role of a leader and the role of a manager in the criminal justice system. Leadership is often confused with other concepts; this confusion is caused by the use of often imprecise terms such as power, management, administration and supervision (Yukl, 2014, p. 3) Indeed, to bypass this confusion, the terms leader, manager, and boss are used interchangeably in Yukl's book to indicate people who occupy positions in which they are expected to perform the leadership role. (Yukl, 2014, p. 8) Management can be best used to describe the performance of operational functions of the organization, such as budget planning, recruitment and hiring, infrastructure maintenance, and performance reviews. In contrast, leadership can be described as relationships with subordinates in the organization, and the ability to use influence in these relationships to achieve the organization's goals. However, Yukl notes that the “operational definition of leadership depends to a great extent on the purpose of the researcher” (2014, p. 8)
Effective leadership and effective management often have overlapping roles in the criminal justice system. “Understanding how a bureaucracy functions is critical to an appreciation of the obstacles faced by police leaders” (Perry, 2010, p. 45) The management functions of hiring, firing, and performance review are powerful tools in the motivation and influence of subordinates.
Effective leadership should not conflict with effective management. McCallum lists competence as one of the core characteristics of a leader; “It is important for leaders to understand their job requirements and expectations of their position.” (n.d., p. 2) When a leader's responsibility includes management functions, an effective leader ensures that responsibility is met.
Leadership responsibilities are not necessarily tied to official job descriptions in criminal justice agencies. Cowper states that police departments tend to be organized with rank structures and many law enforcement directors desire respect for the chain of command (2000, p. 229) However, it should be understood that almost every line officer plays a leadership role through their duties in dealing with the public. Vinzant & Crothers discuss street level leadership in a community policing model, although their discussion of the police use of “power, policy-making, and decision-making” apply to every beat cop; “Leadership theory provides a lens through which the evolving role of the police officer can be viewed and described in operational, realistic terms.(Vinzant & Crothers, 1994, p.195)
Due to the many varied interpretations and explanations of what leadership consists of, a leader can not put too much of an emphasis on any given model or philosophy, but must employ whichever tool gets the job done. Yukl discusses two bases of understanding leadership The first would be leadership as a specialized role; .”The person with primary responsibility to perform the specialized leadership role is designated as the 'leader.'”(Yukl, 2014, p. 4) This specialization typology lends itself to more formal role assignments in which a leader can use the authority of position to influence followers. In contrast, a leadership model in which the concept of influence outweighs the position of authority is the model of shared influence. This model lends itself into more organic structures in that leadership is more of an informal “influence process that occurs naturally within a social system and is diffused among the members” of a group.(Yukl, 2014, p. 4) An effective leader would use this model in an organization in which the abilities of the members are suited for independent operation towards the goals of an agency. The salient point returns however to the focus on achieving the organization's goals by using whichever leadership tools are best suited to the task.

Cowper, T. J. (2000). The myth of the “military model” of leadership in law enforcement. Police Quarterly, 3(3), 228–246. Retrieved August 10, 2014 from http://pqx.sagepub.com/content/3/3/228.short
McCallum, D. (n.d.). Leadership within the Florida Department of Corrections. Florida Department of Corrections Retrieved August 15, 2014 from http://www.fdle.state.fl.us/Content/getdoc/5ca27f87-d4c4-4a79-b01f-11cc95e24af9/McCallum-David-paper-pdf.aspx
Perry, A. E. (2010). The evolution of police organizations and leadership in the United States: potential political and social implications. (Doctoral dissertation) Retrieved August 10, 2014 from http://iris.lib.neu.edu/law_pol_soc_diss/20/
Vinzant, J., & Crothers, L. (1994). Street-level leadership: The role of patrol officers in community policing. Criminal Justice Review, 19(2), 189–211. Retrieved August 23, 2014 from http://cjr.sagepub.com/content/19/2/189.short
Yukl, G. (2012). Leadership in Organizations [VitalSouce bookshelf version].
Retrieved November 6, 2014 from http://digitalbookshelf.southuniversity.edu/books/9781256650225/id/ch01tab01

1 comment:

  1. nice post! I really like and appreciate your work, thank you for sharing such a useful information about leadership and organisation stratergies, keep updating the information, hear i prefer some more information about jobs for your career hr jobs in hyderabad .