Organizational Culture Issues in Law Enforcement

Organizational culture is just another name for workplace culture. And if you want to understand what workplace culture is, you need to first define it. Workplace culture is a combination of the principles, values, and beliefs within an organization and how the people inside the organization interact with each other, as well as with outsiders. Leaders should know that workplace culture is indoctrinating and training workers to always consider external stakeholders when doing anything. 

The four most common kinds of organizational culture include Market, Hierarchy, Adhocracy and Clan. They encompass both the external and internal factors when it comes to focus and integration. Law enforcement agencies ideally should have all four of these because of how diverse their services typically are. 

Organizational Culture Issues

The truth is, creating and maintaining a positive organizational culture in a law enforcement entity can prove very difficult sometimes. Many law enforcement agencies have tried and failed to develop and create their desired workplace culture. 

The challenges most of these agencies face when it comes to the implementation of a positive organizational culture are:

External Culture and Employee Diversity

Law enforcement agencies usually try to create a workplace culture in a way that looks to assume that.

  • The employees working for them didn’t know how to do things before
  • The employees working for them didn’t have many ways of getting things done
  • The employees working for them are insulated from the cultures of the external world 
  • Adults tend to change how they do things quite casually and easily

Modern law enforcement agencies are usually made up of people that vary in gender, race, age, and orientation. Understanding the culture that already exists and trying to push people to start operating differently from the norm won’t help you create that positive workplace culture you’re in search of. Or at least, it won’t be enough. If you want to create new cultures, you need to first understand what’s already there and the meaning it has to the workers within the organization. 

Internal Structures and Systems 

Adults usually learn experientially. Whether the learning culture in your organization is formal or not, all workers are learning something new daily. They learn what and who gets rewarded. They learn both the unwritten and written rules. Rarely do law enforcement agencies seek to align or question all their structures and systems in place to the desired culture. Therefore most never succeed to implement the organizational culture they most desire. 

With that said, however, it doesn’t mean a culture can’t be implemented even though you may not fully understand all the structures and systems in the organization. It might just be a little harder to do so. 

Takeaway

Most law enforcement agencies are distinguished by their organizational culture, whether bad or good. Positive workplace culture is important because it provides an organization with the opportunity of being able to distinguish itself and leverage the human capital within to give it a competitive advantage. A great culture will inevitably improve the performance of the agency as a whole and help push it to greater heights.