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Motivation & Control: The Police Supervisor’s Dilemma


It is reasonable to insist on the fact that motivation and control are two opposites since control always induces to commit obligations under the leader’s authority and seldom applies some incentives. In its turn, motivation is unlikely to be promoted if it is controlled. After an overhaul examination of captain Frebe’s case study, I have faced the confrontation of these two issues. On the one hand, the necessity of control is obvious since this is basis of any effective organization. On the other hand, an extreme pursuit of rank officers makes them fail to perform their work in the proper way. To solve the problem, the police managerial should introduce the control over the officers’ accountability only. Secondly, the control should be directed on the improvement of the officers’ efficiency. Finally, officers must have strong incentives in order to work harder. Therefore, supervising should not deprive officer of the ability to fight with criminals.

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It is universally acknowledged that the effectiveness of the work is toughly connected with a consistent organizational structure and subordinate system. Each organization should have a persuasive leader who is able to manage the whole organization correctly. In this case, the effective leader can lead until he/she has followers. Hence, captain Frebe’s strategy to lead is rather controversial since his leading skills exclusively provide control and subordination only. In fact, a successful leader is should take into consideration a human factor. Thus, Frebe’s strict system failed due to the extreme psychological pressure that only mortified the policy stuff rather than encouraged. To improve the situation, Frebe should have abolished some extra fines for parking because this fine system did not influence the police work and lessened the officers’ productivity.

Secondly, an excessive control always implies an excessive responsibility. However, captain Frebes consider responsibility in a much wider meaning. Hence, he made the officers make unnecessary reports that did not relate to the clearance of crime but take the most part of work time. As a result, though the increase of accountability was observed it did not advance the responsibility rate among the police staff. In this case, a better solution would be a better supervising of performance responsibility.

The officers’ job is rather dangerous and relates to the criminal-fighting activity. Hence, it requires high efficiency and accuracy because the mistake might cost the officers their lives. Therefore, it is better to find the balance between rewarding and punishment to higher the lever of the productivity. Providing beneficial programs would serve a strong incentive for officers to work effectively. In our case, the captain did not give much attention to it. Instead, he only aggravated the conditions of work and discouraged the officers’ motivation.


In conclusion, control and motivation are still opposed to each other but they are still connected. Control is often required to regulate the decision-making and problem solving processes. However, control should have obvious boundaries since it can turn out to a terror. Captain Frebe’s gross mistake is the ignorance of officers’ needs and excessive supervising. Extreme control broke up the organizational structure and lessened the police staff efficiency. Thus, constant focusing on the accountability led to loss of responsibility and even desire to work under the pressure. The necessity to reduce the control can only improve the motivating environment among file officers.

Reference List

Criminal Justice Organizations (2007) Motivation and Control: the Police Supervisor’s Dilemma. US :Wadsworth.

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