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Managing Innovation in Policing: The Untapped Potential of the Middle Manager

NCJ Number
Date Published
December 1995
2 pages
Publication Series
A book on policing innovation and management concludes that middle management's power to effect change can be harnessed to advance community policing objectives by including those managers in planning, acknowledging their legitimate self-interests, and motivating their investment in long-range solutions that enhance community safety.
When the book's authors looked for examples of middle managers, such as lieutenants, captains, and civilian counterparts, who had led their organizations toward strategic innovation, they identified those with several personal qualities likely to enhance success. These qualities include comfort with unpredictability, clarity of direction, a desire to make a difference for customers, thoroughness, participative management style, persuasiveness, persistence, and discretion. The book indicates that the transition from traditional to community policing must build on the strengths of middle management and that community policing's emphasis on problem-solving requires middle managers to draw on their familiarity with the police bureaucracy to secure, maintain, and use authority to empower their subordinates. The book also notes that middle managers need support and authorization from police chiefs to devise appropriate strategies and systems to support multi-shift, team problem-solving approaches.

Date Published: December 1, 1995