The working groups and the group dynamics tend to impact the working conditions significantly. The department of the police is one main department of law which needs a coherent group dynamics, similar goals and objectives and employee trust and mutual understanding with each other in order to meet a common goal or department’s purpose. The concept of working in groups and following the dynamics of groups is of utmost importance in police departments. In this situation the officers like Officer Robert Barton, who belong to a bilingual background and a graduate from a small town was a part of a subculture when he joined the police department which came out as a shock for him. He had his own set of values, morals and standards in order to perform his responsibilities well and in an honest manner.
Officer Robert Barton like many other police officers became strongly involved in group dynamics and in order to ensure that others accepted his presence and considered him part of the group, he felt compelled to sacrifice his own values and standards and follow what the group norms and standards were. The concept of right and wrong was no more important . Instead, the mere notion was loyalty towards the group and their standard practices.
When does group cohesiveness cease to be positive and become pathological?
The cohesion within the group ceases to be positive and become pathological when the clash of personalities tend to exist within the group, and group dynamics are disturbed due to several reasons. The disagreement among group members tend to exist regarding their job responsibilities, social roles and other job related tasks. This leads to lack of communication between the group members or between the group head and group members. The cohesiveness within the group cease to be positive when the one or more members struggle to gain control over the group, or there is a strong disagreement on the objectives and targets of the group.
The cohesiveness of the group, hence becomes pathological when the members fear that they will become alienated because of the subculture they belong to, or they will lose their rank and credibility. This prevents the members to raise their concerns over issues, highlight creative concepts. Pathological concerns are one of the most important ingredients of group dynamics and thinking process. This occurs when officers like Robert Barton, strive to gain acceptance within the group by accepting whatever the group says or do and leaving behind the notion of right or wrong.
Are subcultures in police work inevitable? Explain.
The subcultures in the police department is a behavior pattern in police that is considered to be an appropriate course of actions of police officers. This may mean a collaboration and mutual understanding of police officers that belong to similar backgrounds or have similar working standards, etc. The existence of subcultures in the police is inevitable because, there are people belonging from different cultures, ethnic backgrounds, small towns, etc. They tend to coordinate with each other and become comfortable around each other than other groups. They tend to practice their personal code of ethics than the professional code of ethics in which they of tend to compromise the group’s loyalty and their main duty which involves protection of the departmental ethics and serving the public.
What steps might you take, as a police administrator, to prevent this from occurring?
As a police administrator, it will be my duty to ensure that the formation of subcultures is not encouraged within the group dynamics and people involving from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds join each other so that they work towards a common goal that serves the department rather than forming common goals, comfort level and mutual understanding for each other. The police officers must be given training sessions on group dynamics so that they understanding the negative impacts of subcultures.