The purpose of this paper identified trait theories, leadership theories and change strategies that have molded or are molding the policing culture. Change must occur if the culture of police organizations are going to meet the demands of the 21st century and several issues affecting this change were discussed. An in-depth review of the transactional and transformational styles of leadership was seen as being the styles that a leader in the 21st century would want to use to meet the needs of their employees and motivate them toward success and self-actualization.
Although no empirical research is completed in this paper, the literature reviewed and previous research indicate that the transformational style of leadership augments the transactional style, but not vise versa. It also emphasizes that leaders need to become more transformational toward employees and allow them to participate in the decision-making process. As more leadership research is continued, the following research question is proposed for future study: To what extent would an exclusive transformational leadership style in police organizations have on rank structure and promotions? 3 Introduction
Organizations, including law enforcement agencies, require leadership. Dependable and apposite leadership is crucial to the success of any organization (Spineless, 2006). Leaders aspire for change in people toward a desired goal. Lousier & ACH (2004) insisted that leadership was a procedure that not only influenced employees, but leaders as well, to accomplish the goals of the organization through change. Leadership entwines leaders-employees, influence, organizational objectives, change and people. Leading involves people. Everyone is leading someone somewhere, but the question is where and how.
In order to e a good leader one must be a good employee. Many scholars define leadership as one who plans, directs, or guides people toward a mutual goal. Hisser (1999) noted, “Leadership has two component parts, personal and organizational. Success, over time, demands knowledge of and commitment to both”. Spineless (2006) describes a successful leader as being accountable and suitable. Leadership has been described as an influence relationship among leaders and employees who intend real changes and outcomes that reflect their shared purposes (Daft, 2005). The qualities for effective leadership and fellowship are the same (Daft).
The basis for good leadership is a respectable personality and unselfish service to employees and the organization (Clark, 1997). “The best leaders are those who are deeply interested in others and can bring out the best in them” (Daft). 4 Souses & Posses (2007) add that exemplary leadership comes from modeling the way, inspiring a shared vision, challenging the process, enabling others to act and encouraging hearts. Leadership in the law enforcement culture has changed over the decades, but must continue to change in order to address modern day problems.
The purpose for this paper is to examine police leadership from historical and empirical standpoint and discuss possible theories for change. An in-depth review of the advantages and disadvantages of two leadership theories (transactional and transformational) are explored as well as the possible outcomes of each. Leadership Traits and Characteristics An important characteristic of leadership is using human talents to grow performance, trust and integrity in employees and the organization (Daft, 2005). One’s personality plays a major role in the way they lead.
Personality is a combination of traits (distinguishing personal characteristics) that classifies n individual’s behavior. Personality affects conduct as well as insight and attitudes. Knowing personalities helps explain and forecast others’ behavior and job performance (Lousier & ACH, 2004). The Big Five Model of Personality assesses whether a person is stronger in currency, agreeableness, adjustment, conscientiousness, or openness to experience. Currency includes leadership and extroversion traits (Lousier & ACH, 2004). The need for power compares to the Big Five dimension of currency.
People with a high need for power are depicted as wanting to control situations and enjoy intention in which they can win because they do not like to lose. 5 They lean toward being ambitious and have a lower need for affiliation. They are more concerned with influencing other people than they are with what other people think about them (Lousier & ACH,). Extroversion is the extent that a person is outgoing, sociable, talkative, and relaxed in meeting and talking with new people. A person with high marks in currency wants to be in charge and have influence over others (Daft, 2005).
Influencing is the ability of the leader to communicate ideas effectively to employees so employees will not only accept these ideas but motivate them to implement needed changes. Agreeableness is the trait of being able to get along with other people. Some behaviors that characterize agreeableness are being good-natured, cooperative, forgiving, and compassionate, understanding and trusting (Daft, 2005). The need for affiliation compares to the Big Five dimension of agreeableness. They are socially motivated and seek close relationships whether in a group setting or with personal friends.
They are more concerned with what other people think about them than influencing other people (Lousier & ACH, 2004). Adjustment is commonly referred to as emotional stability. This trait shows the level that people are well-adjusted, calm and secure (Daft, 2005). Conscientiousness includes traits related to achievement (Lousier & ACH, 2004). People with a high need for achievement take responsibility for solving problems, are goal oriented, seek challenges, strive for excellence, desire concrete feedback on their performance and work hard. They perform well in non-routine, challenging, and competitive situations (Lousier & ACH).
Conscientiousness also shows how well a person is responsible, dependable, and persistent. This trait is more concerned with tasks to be completed rather than relationships (Daft, 2005). Openness to experience relates to a person being willing to change, try new things, imaginative, creative and having a broader range of interests (Daft, 2005). Souses & Posses (2007) described how credibility is the foundation of leadership: Everyone wants to be fully confident in their leaders, and to be fully confident they have to believe that their leaders are individuals of strong character and solid integrity.
To be credible in action, leaders must be clear about their beliefs; they must know what they stand for. Then they must put what they say into practice: they must act on their beliefs and “do” A leader can not model the way nor enable others to act if they are not seen as being honest and trustworthy (Souses & Posses). Honesty is seen as the utmost important characteristic between leaders and employees. Being proud of where one works, perceived as a team member, valuing the values of the organization, having a sense of belongingness and ownership are benefits of a credible leader.
Unmotivated or motivated only for money, low production, criticizing the organization, looking for another job and having a feeling of being unappreciated re characteristics of a leader that has lost credibility (Souses & Posses). If a leader is found to be dishonest, they lose respect among the employees which leads to a loss of motivation and over time the employee loses self-respect (Souses & Posses). Past Practices in Police Leadership The English Parliament passed the Metropolitan Police Act in 1829.
The passage of this act created the London Metropolitan Police which became the model for American policing. 6 7 This model of policing was based upon a highly centralized command and bureaucratically controlled organization which was used by the military’s dervish. This leadership established a hierarchical authoritarian organization that instilled impersonality into the structure (Fee, Greene, Walsh, Wilson & McAllen, 1997). The first American city that tried to implement this style of policing was New York in 1851. Stretcher (as cited in Fee, et al. 1997) notes that New Work’s attempt to use a strong central authority style of leadership was negated due to political, social and economic forces. This particular style of leadership had a crippling effect on the communication process and the amount of risks that patrol officers would be involved (Smith, 2008). Most of the leaders during this time were appointed because of who they were or where they came from. The bureaucratic-efficiency model used in the early twentieth century continued to use the military command but added the component of scientific management.
Not much changed with this style of leadership because leaders still had total control through a centralized and an inflexible chain of command structure in order to achieve overall organizational efficiency. Leaders were usually promoted based on longevity and experience and not on the characteristics they offer as leaders. Scientific management was a result of the Industrial Revolution. Leaders would scientifically develop what would be expected of the worker and then teach and train them how to do their jobs. The downfall of this model was the lack of interest in the worker (Fee, et al. , 1997).
All of these models focused on the leadership at the top and nothing on the officers at the bottom. This led to officers being told what, when and how to do tasks instead of empowering them to make decisions for themselves (Steindler & wasteland, 2008). 8 Ginger (2003) blamed the failed leadership on being unable to delegate or understand the sense of urgency, an unwillingness to consider alternatives and autocracy. As police leadership evolved over the years it was ultimately classified as being Autocratic, Laissez-Fairer or Democratic. Autocratic leadership is concerned with giving orders to accomplish a task quickly y.
Autocratic leadership is when employees are told what to do, how to do it, when to do it and then are watched to make sure it is done. Laissez-fairer leadership allows a group of people to make decisions on their own, but gives no guidance (Lousier & ACH, 2004). Democratic leadership involves a group of people making decisions with audience from the leader. Democratic leadership encourages participation in decisions, facilitates discussion so everyone will know what to do and then allows them to do their jobs without close supervision (Professional Organizations, n. Conventional police leadership is primarily protective of their power and skeptical of officer independence (Wasteland & Steindler, 2006). Present Practices in Police Leadership The literature indicates that present leadership practices are mixed throughout various police organizations. The researchers suggest that present police dervish practices are either the same as they always have been or changing. Fee, et al. (1997), notes that present police leadership still resembles a military style of leadership. Silvers (2007) agrees there is minimal verification that police leadership practices are shifting.
Most police organizations continue to foster their centralized culture through the use of hierarchy and rank. This in and of itself continues to produce quasi-militaristic officers who are disciplined and follow orders within a bureaucracy. 9 This type of control reminds officers that they are just subordinates and have distinct place within the organization. Sylvester (2007) emphasizes that today’s police leadership is unwilling to share information within the organization and rarely allows others to participate in decommissioning opportunities.
The philosophy of the twenty-first century police leader is one of being strong, assertive, competitive, performance based and unreceptive to change. Conversely, Wasteland & Steindler (2006) report police leadership is progressively developing from an autocratic, centralized style that was based on wisdom, integrity and courage to that of one that embraces teamwork, involvement, and shared leadership. The researchers assert that police organizations are allowing more supervision from the bottom up and less direct control. Modern police administration is more about ‘winning the hearts and minds’ of the police force,” claimed Sang & Hairnets (as cited in Steindler & Wasteland, 2008). This philosophy was a by-product of the concept of community policing. According to the International Association of Chiefs of Police [ICP] (1 999), the use of a participatory leadership style has taken root because command and control have damaged productivity and morale. As one can see, here are varying opinions on whether police leadership has really changed or remained the same.
The literature points to different styles of leadership as being the crux for change. Leadership Theories and Styles Leadership style is the combination of traits, skills, and behaviors leaders use as they interact with employees (Lousier & ACH, 2004). In order for one to favor a leadership style, one must understand where the leadership styles originated. Throughout the years, the topic of leadership has been debated. 10 However, research indicates that certain characteristics or traits are inherent in adders (Murphy, 2005). According to research, the sass’s proffered leaders as maintaining certain traits.
These traits were based on physical and personality characteristics as well as intelligence and interpersonal skills (Steers, Porter, & Begley, 1996). Marquis & Huston (2000) associated the Great Man Trait Theory with that of the Aristotelian philosophy, which indicated that leaders were born and not made and depending on the need a leader would surface. The limitations of trait theory are that leaders can not be developed through their skills and education (as cited in Murphy, 2005). In contrast with trait theories, the behavioral methodology centered on the recognizable actions that made a person an effective leader (Wright, 1996).
Personal Behavior Theories discussed in the University of Michigan and Ohio State University studies identified two more Styles of Leadership: job-centered (task) and employee-centered (people). The job-centered (task-initiating structure) behavior focuses on the leader taking control in order to get the job done and the employee-centered (people-consideration) behavior focuses on the leader meeting the needs of employees and developing relationships Lousier & ACH, 2004). The findings in the Michigan study indicated that leaders who were highly employee oriented and allowed participation fostered more productive teams.
On the other hand, leaders who were more concerned about accomplishing tasks cultivated lower producing teams. The findings from the Ohio State University study emphasized the consideration and initiating structure as the two underlying structures found in the University of Michigan study. 11 The Ohio State University study concluded that both structures were separate components, but if a leader were dedicated in both they could achieve Geiger results (Murphy, 2005). Research at the University of Iowa expounded on the studies above and identified two basic leadership styles: Autocratic and Democratic.
These and other research studies asserted four (4) main leadership styles: concern for task, concern for people, Directive Leadership and Participative Leadership (Wright, 1996). Fiddler (1967) explored the idea that there was not just one ultimate style of leadership for a given circumstance, but leaders would be more effective by varying their leadership style depending on the situations that faced them. Fiddler’s Model based leadership styles on either being task or relationship oriented and the style use depended on whether the situation was one of leader- member relations, task structure or position power (as cited in Murphy, 2005).
Hershey and Blanchard theorized that the style of leadership was determined by the employee’s perceptions. Hershey and Blanchard theory expounded on Fiddler’s model by creating four (4) leadership styles: Directing, Coaching, Supporting and Delegating (Murphy, 2005). Building on the same principles of the contingency theories above, House (1971) suggested that the pathology hero influences and motivates employee’s views and opportunities. Employee contentment, accomplishment of goals and improved functioning would be derived from the leader’s direction, training, guidance and support.
Despite the findings of this research, Marquis & Huston (2000) disagreed and noted that situational theory focused on the situation rather than the interpersonal and interpersonal factors. The following leadership styles are derivatives of the ones discussed above. 12 This research paper will examine Autocratic, Laissez-Fairer, Participative (democratic), Transactional and Transformational leadership. Autocratic Leadership Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines an autocrat as “a person (as a monarch) ruling with unlimited authority or one who has undisputed influence or power” (http://www. Rimier-Webster. Com/dictionary/autocrat). This style of leadership is considered job-centered as identified by the University of Michigan and Ohio State University studies. The job-centered (task-initiating structure) behavior focuses on the leader taking control in order to get the job done quickly. It relies heavily on employees taking orders from the leader instead of the deader offering much clarification or dialogue (Professional Organizations, n. D. ). According to a (University of Central Florida [LICE], (n. D. ) study, employees are inspired through threat of correction and reprimand.
The autocratic leadership style offers several advantages: swiftness of project completion keeps group members from producing alternatives that influence the minority negatively, guarantees the leader is heard and informs members when their conduct is undesirable. The disadvantages of the autocratic leadership style are: dissociates group members, non-development of employees and convenience of use instead f round tabling quandaries (Professional Organizations, n. D. ). One might use this style of leadership when the group is in danger of not accomplishing a task in a timely manner or in a crisis situation (Murphy, 2005). 3 Laissez-fairer Leadership The Laissez-Fairer leadership style frequently has a negative connotation. This style of leadership depicts an inert leader who is averse to stimulating subordinates or giving focus (Deluge, 1990). The Laissez-Fairer leadership style places an emphasis on the employee centered attribute that was discussed in the University of Michigan and Ohio State University studies (Professional Organizations, n. D. ). Leaders who use this style fail their employees because they offer no positive or negative direction nor do they interfere at any time (Webb, 2007).
According to Deluge (1990), Laissez- Fairer leaders renounce their leadership thus giving employees a wide spectrum of decision-making which could lead to amplifying their power and influence. Another assessment of research reported these leaders shun goal-setting, opportunities to succeed, fail to coordinate organizational objectives, ignore responsibilities, and routinely avoid making decisions on important matters van Eden, Colliers, & van Adventure, 2008). Leaders assume the employees will make decisions in a timely manner and handle whatever problems that arise (Professional Organizations, n. D. ).
There are some advantages and disadvantages of using this style of leadership. It allows team members to develop a working relationship in an informal setting and generates an opportunity to be successful by making their own decisions. On the other hand, a team member can dominate and take control which could lead the team to make incorrect decisions and possibly have the team reprimanded which would lead to negativity within the group; affecting the process and their motivation (Professional Organizations, n. D. ). This absence of leadership leads to nothing happening which promotes ineffective leadership (McGuire & Keenly, 2006). 4 Participative (Democratic) Leadership A participative leader must have a pioneering, imaginative and adventuresome mindset in order to empower employees to make decisions involving the organization (Smith, 2008). Participative leaders empower their employees in the decision-making process by meeting with them periodically and listening ND trusting them (CUFF, n. D. ). Wolf, Poland & Ackerman (Bibb) defined empowerment as “the awareness of a person’s potential talents, gifts, and power and how a person can contribute to the organization’s goals (as cited in Thayer, 2003).
Participative leadership requires and encourages participation from everyone and shares decision-making for the betterment of the organization. Employee motivation is derived through obtaining financial and self-image awards. Leaders reward employees through financial gains and positive evaluations which in turn increases motivation and morale (Murphy, 2005). The research contends there are some advantages and disadvantages to using this style of leadership.
Sang (2006) noted that leaders who allowed employees to participate in decommissioning showed improvement in labor-management relations, encouraged employee commitment, enhanced community service, and diminished employee rejections of police restructuring (as cited in Steindler & Wasteland, 2008). Research provides a plethora of findings for implementing participative leadership such as: increased occupational contentment, organizational allegiance, an organizational ownership behavior, apparent support, elaborateness collaboration and employee performance (Steindler & Wasteland).
Smith (2008) suggested that the police rank structure impeded this style of leadership. Furthermore, the police organizational system has embedded a culture of risk aversion by continuing in a hierarchical structure. 15 The researcher suggested that since the hierarchical system promoted employees to rank that it actually blocked participation at different levels within the organization due to a lack of trust or experience. Other researchers suggest that some have been left out of the decision-making process by allowing employees to participate at a suggestion level or their discretionary decommissioning on the street.
Labor unions have increased their control within the police organization, but have not been included in the decision-making process. Flynn (2004) and Sang (2004) contend these labor unions are not being asked to help in the decision-making process because of the hierarchical ethos of the police organization and the selfishness of the labor unions (as cited in Steindler & Wasteland, 2008). Spain & Yarrow (2003) suggested that labor union representatives and police leaders only cooperate with each other when here is a critical situation (as cited in Steindler & Wasteland, 2008).
Transactional Leadership Burns (1978) and Bass (1985) portrayed a transactional leader as one whom: (1) recognizes what it is one wants to get from his/her work and tries to see that one gets what his/her wants if performance warrants it; (2) exchanges rewards and promises of reward for effort; and (3) is responsive to one’s immediate self- interests if they can be met by getting the work done (as cited in A. Chant & E. Chant, 2005). Bolder, Gosling, Monaural, & Dimension, (2003) presented that employees are inspired through the use of recompense and chastisement (as cited in Taylor, 2009).
Taylor (2009) asserts that employees are held accountable regardless of competency or resource availability. 16 Transactional theories of leadership assert that people will follow leaders who are inspirational. The leader will develop a vision (possibly collaboratively), sell the vision and lead the way (Taylor, 2009). Van Eden et al (2008) defined transactional leadership as a transactional process between the leader and employee. Warthog, Van Meijer & Conman (1997) added that the leader- employee relationship not only involves exchanges, but bargaining as well.
Deluge (1990) supported this by stating that leaders and/or employees can exercise a significant amount of control and influence over one another during this exchange and bargaining process. Pettier (1972) and Mechanic (1962) stated “a leader’s control over vital information or an employee’s special skill in solving crucial organizational problems provides each participant leverage from which to negotiate” (as cited in Deluge, 1990). The overall success of the organization depends on whether the leader has the power to strengthen the recess in which work is completed by staff Gould & Wood, 2007).