The ‘Prime Suspect’, is an exceptional television series movie analysis, that provides a deeply profound and insightful picture of how a female officer, handles a murder investigation, with a murder squad of male comrades or counterparts on her team.
In this movie, we find that DCI Jane Tennison, is the first available female officer of her rank, who is summoned by the higher authorities of the Metropolitan police force, to take charge of a murder investigation case, due to a crisis, where her superior DCI John Shefford, suffers an immediate cardiac arrest. In this review, we come across the barriers that DCI Tennison faces, amidst male comrades and the insightful measures, taken by the female officer, to pursue her task regardless, with due diligence, thereby overcoming the barriers due to hostility and gaining the support of her previously hostile team, to spur collaborative action.
The important questions under review is the implications of female leadership and the ‘barriers’, that DCI Jane Tennison faces amongst a group of sexist male comrades and counterparts . It is very interesting to note that she had to win the confidence of her comrades and superiors and earn their respect in solving this complicated murder case.
Although DCI Jane Tennison, was looking forward to an opportunity, that will enable her to prove herself, she finds that she was always being sidelined and had to stand up for her rights, in order to prove her mettle. At the first instance, she has to bring the matter of taking up this murder case to her main nemesis DCI Otley and tries to convince him that, as the next available female officer of the same rank as DCI John Shefford, she needs to be given an opportunity to step up from mundane responsibilities and take charge, as the situation so demands.
The next barrier, she comes across is a group or team of sexist male comrades, who find the prospect of reporting to a female leader, a very entertaining supposition, as they do not feel confident about her superior prowess, in leading a murder squad in a complicated and brutal murder case. Adding to her woes, she finds that her chauvinist counterparts, are also not supportive and having to lead amidst a group of diverse people, was a challenge at hand.
In terms of ‘overcoming the hurdles’ and barriers,that she was forced to face amongst comrades DCI Jane Tennison , adopted a very diligent approach towards modeling the way, in leading a very complicated murder case.
It is very interesting , to note that DCI Jane Tennison is embarking on a herculean task of investigating the truth around a serial rapist and killer who is to be charged and incriminated with six similar murder cases which involves rape, torture and murder as the pathologists and forensic specialists unveil details of severe bruises and brutal injuries. But the officer is faced with the daunting task of acquiring admissible evidence to prove that circumstantial evidences are correct in charging and convicting George Marlow of crime and felony.
The collaborative approach, she uses in modeling the way is by ‘leading by example’ and not by leading by command. Many leadership challenges are rooted in the fact that it is not so easy to ‘lead by example’ . In this case,Inspector Jane puts is a lot of effort to back track the evidence and her comments on the investigations made so far happens to be an eye opener to the entire team, who was unaware of the fact that they had misidentified the victim as Della Mornay, when the actual victim was Karen Howard. This spurred some vigor into an otherwise hostile team who then began to have confidence in the prowess and diligence of DCI Jane Tennison, who they were expected to assist.
In tune with the shared values and principled approach that DCI Tennison had, her followers had high expectations, although their behavior towards her where antagonistic, due to their chauvinistic attitude. It is evident that their morale improves as they start to take their officer and female boss seriously, in taking instructions and proving their mettle .
She was able to live up to their expectations by being able, to take ownership and instigating a no blame culture, although she did not leave any stone unturned in reporting, way-ward mannerisms and discrepancies in mutilating, fist hand evidence of a small diary, that had portions of pages torn way and not included in the first hand report . She also exposes the involvements that DCI John Shefford had during the course of his murder investigations.
The team was then able to share her passion in a leader and a boss, who was able to lead by example and affirm the importance of due diligence, not by mere ‘word of command’. She carries out extensive investigations through detailed analysis , of the rare blood samples and finger prints, along with cross examining the data trails fed into the computer, followed by leg work , intuitive leaps , planned chases , following speculative arrests and detailed recorded interrogations till the ‘Prime Suspect’, finally crack’s under pressure, with no loopholes , in the case and concedes to a confession of six attempted murder .All of the six victims were rightly identified to be acquaintances of his common law wife, Ms Moyra Henson who was a freelance beautician and had a string of customers . It is also evident that she used to accompany George Marlow in his business trips and the series of murder events coincided with the areas of his mostly frequented business routes.
The behaviors of her followers, that proved to be supportive is the fact that they give their 100% vote of confidence, in her favor when she was being replaced at one instance with DCI Hicock on account of not making sufficient progress on the case . But the fact that her comrades,back her up is a moment of deep reflection in favor of her relentless efforts, passion, dedication and commitment , which was being well received and finally accepted. In this instance , her personal life , was also being affected , due to the impact of her work life as her career stands on border line and proving herself in this case becomes very important to her. Although her comrades and chauvinistic counterparts did have hostile behaviors, initially that exhibited a counter- productive effect on the course of this investigative case, they soon realize that values were being infused into their morale, by a diligent leader whose obsession for work pays off eventually .
In conclusion, the vital aspects that contributed towards effective team performance is the ‘collaborative efforts’, Posner, B; Kouzes,M.J (2012), of a female leader that spurs the team into action.They plan on catching the ‘culprit red-handed’, as he repeatedly denies having a lock-out garage where he kept his Rover. Exemplary leadership traits, followed by unstinted and unprecedented efforts , with the help ofher team of male comrades,enables DCI Jane Tennison in the accomplishment of finding the ‘missing link’, by chasing and pursuing the suspects in a planned series of intuitive leaps that finally helps the Metropolitan Police to hold the ‘Prime Suspect’, guilty with admissible evidence ,to be tried in a Court of Law.
The synergistic goals and collaborative approach had set a pattern, for the Team to perform and meet expectations and this contributed towards effective ‘ team performance!
Posner, B; Kouzes,M.J (2012):The Leadership Challenge: How to make extraordinary things happen in organizations : Fifth Edition.