Sample Essay on Organizational Theories

Some of the major organizational theories associated with policing are the Contingency theory, the Resource theory, and the Institutional theory. Contingency theory holds that no single most suitable method to organize, lead, or make decisions in a corporation exists; instead, the ideal strategy is contingent (dependent) on individual external and internal contexts at a time. The (cognitive) resource theory holds that a leader’s intelligence and experience are essential in lessening the influence of stress (which undermines rationality) on personal actions. While stress undermines rationality and the abilities of leaders to think analytically and logically, intelligence and experience are essential in alleviating the adverse effects in low-stress and high-stress circumstances respectively. On its part, institutional theory emphasizes on resilient and underlying elements of social structure, considering the processes in which structures such as rules, routines, behaviors, and norms develop into established guidelines for behavior in an organization. The theory examines the processes of creation, diffusion, adoption, and adaptation of these elements in terms of both time and space, along with how they decline and become disused.

I think that institutional theory is the most appropriate for police organizations because of its focus on the development, adoption, and adaptation of underlying values, rules, and norms that characterize police organizations and their structure. Recognition of the institutional contexts in which policing organizations operate and participate represents a critical component of running an efficient policing organization. Both contingency and resource theories are inadequate and ineffective because they focus on narrow and temporal processes and mechanisms in a policing organization – individual contexts at a time and stress circumstances respectively. In comparison, the institutional theory focuses on an in-depth and long-term assessment of the fundamental context and structure in which a policing organization operates.