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Chapter Overview –
This chapter examined employee supervision and evaluation. We discussed how such a concept must be placed within the context of multiple and competing goals. Criminal justice organizations are expected to accomplish many things for many different people; arriving at consensus about the purposes and direction of these organizations is often problematic. Unlike product-based organizations, criminal justice organizations have many stated outcomes, yet it is not clear which outcome has primacy over another. Lack of consensus about purposes and outcomes forces criminal justice administrators to adopt structures that critics and reformers find antiquated and nonreceptive to the demands of changing communities.
Additionally, criminal justice managers face competing and rival concerns in developing models of employee supervision and evaluation. We proposed two models of employee supervision. The traditional model with its emphasis on formal structure and control through increased centralization, formalization, and complexity strives to maintain, as much as possible, direct supervision over employees, even though we questioned the efficacy of such an approach in the accomplishment of larger objectives in criminal justice organizations. This model of employee supervision has many critics.
In contrast, the humanistic model of employee supervision seeks to break down the traditional bureaucracy found in public service organizations. We examined how a humanistic model of employee supervision could be realized, given the constraints and limitations that face public organizations. The challenge facing criminal justice administrators will be how to remain attentive to the demands of employees while maintaining an organizational structure sensitive to conflicting interests, competing goals, and multiple constraints. We can conclude that effective supervision occurs within criminal justice organizations when supervisors exhibit technical skills (specialized knowledge or expertise), human skills (the ability to work with and motivate people), and conceptual skills (the ability to analyze and diagnose complex situations) to complete the supervision function. We then concluded the chapter with some guidelines on how employee evaluation and supervision can be conducted, recognizing that any strategy of employee evaluation and supervision must fit the needs, goals, and structure of the organization and must be rooted in empirical research findings.
In the next chapters we will explore group issues facing criminal justice administrators, specifically the topics of power, occupational socialization, and conflict. Each of these areas has implications for those who manage and administer organizations of criminal justice.
Based on your reading, discuss the importance of structure to the delivery of criminal justice services. Can police organizations or prisons, for example, be less formal and more decentralized in their structures? Why or why not? What goals of police organizations are sacrificed, if any, through decentralization? What about decentralization and employee accountability?
Chapter Powerpoint Attached