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Role of Organizational Design in Twenty-First Century Policing Organizations

NCJ Number
THE POLICE CHIEF Volume: 77 Issue: 8 Dated: August 2010 Pages: 100-102,104
Merlin Switzer
Date Published
August 2010
4 pages
This article presents a framework police agencies should consider when making organizational design changes due to circumstances that challenge current organizational design.
Sarah Miller Caldicott, coauthor of "Innovate Like Edison," identifies a number of forces of change operating in the 21st century in the transition from the Industrial Age to the Information Age. Organizations will be charged with collecting information relevant to their work, looking for patterns, and applying innovation to create new products or services. In designing an organization appropriate for such a transition, Galbraith proposes his "Star Model." The Star Model provides a framework that identifies the following five categories for consideration when making changes in organizational design: strategy, structure, people, process, and rewards. When these five categories are properly aligned, the organization will operate most effectively to guide employee behavior in ways that produce the desired results. "Strategy" refers to the organization's vision, mission, values, goals, and objectives. "Structure" pertains to how power and authority are dispersed in the organization. The "people" category of the Star Model refers to the human resource policies of the organization in its recruitment, selection, rotation, training, and development of employees. "Process" involves how an organization functions. Some processes are vertical, such as planning. Other processes are horizontal and are designed around workflow, such as the handling of a citizen's call from initial contact to the final resolution. "Rewards" provide the incentive and motivation to execute the organization's strategy. They may include monetary incentives, promotion, and formal recognition, as well as feelings of achievement and bolstering of self-esteem. The demands of the 21st century require progressive leaders who are willing to take risks with organizational design in the face of the tradition of the hierarchical police pyramid. 15 notes