Assessing the Impact of Officer-centric Versus Autocratic Management Styles
Management and leadership training are developed to maximize the effectiveness of departmental operations as well as to increase productivity within police departments. The challenge is aligning the needs of the command staff with the needs of police officers. This quantitative and qualitative study uncovered Georgia police officers and supervisors’ core motivations and their beliefs about departmental operations as a means of assessing the impact of autocratic and officer-centric management styles.
The participants in the study were 139 officers and 38 supervisors. Participants completed 11-question surveys that asked their opinions about police operations and their roles within their departments. The results showed that supervisors and command staff could improve departmental communications within the chain of command, but they focused more on the broad and long-term strategic needs of the department. Though officers wanted more input in departmental decision making, they tended to focus on their individual needs, which were not always aligned with departmental needs. The results of this study should encourage officers and command staff to be more considerate of one another’s concerns as a means of improving departmental operations.