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Improving the Use of Quality Circles in Police Departments

NCJ Number
Date Published
90 pages
This study examined practical issues faced by police departments when deciding about the adoption, design, and implementation of a positive motivational approach to police management -- quality circle programs.

Quality circles employ a small-group, participatory approach to problemsolving, involving primarily nonmanagerial personnel. Data were collected between 1983-1984 through a literature review, a mail survey of police departments so on. usable responses, 37-percent return), telephone interviews with personnel at 13 departments using this approach, field visits and in-person interviews, and a questionnaire. Overall, results suggest that quality circles have reasonable potential for effecting a number of small-scale service improvements and for somewhat improving morale of work units. The circles have generally focused on improving working conditions and solving narrowly specified operational problems. Introduction of quality circles appears to produce no major negative side effects, so departments risk little in using such programs. The program, however, can be expected to require modest expenditures for training, overtime pay for participation, and so. A number of practical difficulties in scheduling circles were noted. 24 notes and approximately 105 references.

Date Published: January 1, 1986