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Decoupling and Police Organizational Structure

Decoupling and Police Organizational Structure The paradox of police organization structure is that while the high-risk environment demands strict bureaucratic control, the devolution of authority and response to environmental changes necessary for street-level decision-making is counter to the rational bureaucracy. This article posits that loose coupling is both a beneficial and a healthy attribute for police organizations in that it allows for greater devolution of authority and supports the level of discretion that is placed at the street level. Loose coupling maintains ties between the primary organization and the subunit, while also supporting an organic connection that allows for street-level decision-making. However, loose coupling is tenuous, and, if not strictly maintained, can lead to a decoupled state. Through the process of decoupling, members of the police organization can exist without proper supervision, form deviant subcultures, or develop a separate suborganization. This article examines the theoretical foundations of coupling theory and applies the theory to police organizations. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Administrative Theory & Praxis Taylor & Francis

Decoupling and Police Organizational Structure

Decoupling and Police Organizational Structure

Administrative Theory & Praxis , Volume 38 (3): 11 – Jul 2, 2016

Abstract

The paradox of police organization structure is that while the high-risk environment demands strict bureaucratic control, the devolution of authority and response to environmental changes necessary for street-level decision-making is counter to the rational bureaucracy. This article posits that loose coupling is both a beneficial and a healthy attribute for police organizations in that it allows for greater devolution of authority and supports the level of discretion that is placed at the street level. Loose coupling maintains ties between the primary organization and the subunit, while also supporting an organic connection that allows for street-level decision-making. However, loose coupling is tenuous, and, if not strictly maintained, can lead to a decoupled state. Through the process of decoupling, members of the police organization can exist without proper supervision, form deviant subcultures, or develop a separate suborganization. This article examines the theoretical foundations of coupling theory and applies the theory to police organizations.

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References (60)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
Copyright © Public Administration Theory Network
ISSN
1949-0461
eISSN
1084-1806
DOI
10.1080/10841806.2016.1173942
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The paradox of police organization structure is that while the high-risk environment demands strict bureaucratic control, the devolution of authority and response to environmental changes necessary for street-level decision-making is counter to the rational bureaucracy. This article posits that loose coupling is both a beneficial and a healthy attribute for police organizations in that it allows for greater devolution of authority and supports the level of discretion that is placed at the street level. Loose coupling maintains ties between the primary organization and the subunit, while also supporting an organic connection that allows for street-level decision-making. However, loose coupling is tenuous, and, if not strictly maintained, can lead to a decoupled state. Through the process of decoupling, members of the police organization can exist without proper supervision, form deviant subcultures, or develop a separate suborganization. This article examines the theoretical foundations of coupling theory and applies the theory to police organizations.

Journal

Administrative Theory & PraxisTaylor & Francis

Published: Jul 2, 2016

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