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'A retrospective view of how modern leadership models can be used to explain the development of policing in 1820s England and 1930s America.'

Andrew C. Fisher
Student No. 08040516

Professional Doctorate – Policing, Security & Community Safety

July 2010

“The task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been.”

Henry Kissinger
The centrality of leaders and leadership has long been recognised as a defining feature of the working practices of organisations. Few would dispute the assertion that effective leadership is vital to the processes of organisational change (Denston, 2003; Silvestri, 2007). Indeed, for some, the very definition of successful leadership is the ability to bring about sustained organisational change (Allen and Kraft, 1987).

Throughout policing history, leadership has played an essential part in organisational development, learning and management of crises. Some leaders have played their part in the development of the police service whilst others have come to the fore at times of crisis. This essay will take a historical look at some of the people who have played an influential role in the development of policing in the UK and the USA and will ascertain whether the development of the police service in both countries can be attributed or compared to modern leadership models and behaviours.

The essay will use historical evidence and will apply modern leadership models to ascertain the influence on the development of the Metropolitan Police service by Peel, Rowan and Mayne and the development of the American police service some 100 years later by Vollmer and Wilson.

The models used include, in the case of Peel, Fiedler’s Contingency theory and Adair’s Functional Leadership. Ethical leadership will be used in respect of Vollmer and Wilson. The models will be applied to specific time periods and context. In relation to the development of the Metropolitan Police service, this will be the tumultuous period immediately prior to the creation of the ‘new police’ in 1829 and the period immediately following this. In the case of policing in the USA, this will be the 1930s, an exciting time of scientific advancement and challenge to integrity.

Cole (2004) states that one must be mindful of the need to consider context within the role of leadership. Historically, many researchers have studied the traits of leaders with the hope of distilling the ‘essence’ of leadership and then modelling those traits in others (Fyfe et al., 1997). Fyfe et al., continue that more recent study has included the concern for context within which leadership occurs. Cole (2004) supports this, stating that some theorists have broadened out the study of leadership from a relatively narrow base of personality or traits and/or the personal style of leadership, and the way that it is exercised, depending on a range of variables. When examining the connection between leadership traits and situation, the work of Fiedler, and his Contingency Theory of leadership, represents that best attempt to make sense of the interaction; the strength of the model is that it makes intuitive sense (Fincham and Rhodes, 2005; Haberfeld, 2006). Although several approaches to leadership could be called contingency theories, the most widely recognised is Fiedler’s (Northouse, 2007).

Contingency theories are based on the belief that there is no single style of leadership appropriate to all situations, suggesting that leadership styles will change according to the variables of the situation. Fiedler’s research, based on a wide range of group situations (Northouse, 2007), concentrated on the relationship between leadership and organisational performance (Cole, 2004; Mullins, 2002; Fincham and Rhodes 2005; Haberfeld, 2006) and suggested that leadership behaviour is dependent upon the favourability of the leadership situation. There are three key variables that determine the favourability of the situation and that affect the leader’s role and influence.

Mullins (2002) and Northouse (2007) posit that the first variable is the task structure. This is the degree to which the task is clearly defined for the group and the extent to which it can be carried out by detailed instructions or standard procedures. Structured tasks that have a clear path and can display when they have been completed tend to give the leaders greater control and influence. The second is leader-member relations. This is the degree to which the leader is trusted and liked by group members and their willingness to follow the leaders guide. It also includes loyalty and the confidence and attraction that group members have for the leader. The third variable is the position of power. This is the power of the leader by virtue of the position in the organisation and the degree to which the leader can exercise authority to influence rewards and punishments, or promotions and demotions. Drodge and Murphy (2002) draw the variables together, stating that the potency of Fiedler’s Contingency Theory is the attempt to understand follower motivation and the delineation of paths to organisational success via reconfigured tasks, adjusting leadership and supporting followers

Fiedler developed the Least Preferred Co-Worker (LPC) scale in order to verify the impact of leader-member relations versus task structure versus position power in order to identify a preferred leadership style (Northouse, 2007). The primary concept of Contingency Theory is that task oriented leaders perform best under very favourable or very unfavourable situations; relationship oriented leaders are most effective under situations of moderate favourableness (Haberfeld, 2006). According to Fiedler (1967), the most favourable situation for the leader is when they have good leader-member relations, the task is highly structured, and they have a powerful position (Cole, 2004; Mullins, 2002; Haberfeld, 2006, Northouse, 2007).

In relation to the task that Peel faced, Cole (2004) refers to the complexity of the task, the time scales, the demands, the success of rewards and the cost of failure. As mentioned above, Haberfeld (2006) states that leaders will perform more effectively under very favourable or very unfavourable conditions.

The conditions for Peel throughout the early part of the development of his police service were very unfavourable. The task for Peel, who by 1822 was the Home Secretary, was immense. There was an imperative for criminal justice reform and development of a police service, yet politics and opposition to the establishment of the Metropolitan Police service complicated the nature of the task.

The imperative for criminal justice reform had been identified by Pitt following the Gordon Riots[1] in 1780 (Reith, 1956; Critchley, 1967; Emsley, 1983). Rather than the reform being welcomed, there was widespread condemnation with dismay being displayed by the press and the City of London (Critchley, 1967) resulting in Pitt withdrawing his reform Bill some 50 years before Peel's attempted reform. However, Peel was determined to reform the criminal justice system (Reith, 1952).

Gladwell (2009) refers to a ‘Tipping Point’ where three elements combine together resulting in an occurrence that relies on the three events occurring and combining at the same time.

The first event that lead to the Tipping Point in relation to the formation of the Metropolitan Police Bill was the rise of urbanisation and increased population of inner cities during the early 19th century (Lee, 1901; Critchley, 1977; Ignatieff, 1979; Stead[2], 1980). Rapid industrialisation (Alderson, 1979) saw an alarming increase in criminality on Britain’s unpoliced roads and canals. The second event was the fact that the standard of policing was dependent upon the wealth of the area in which the recipient lived (Reith, 1956). The more affluent the area, the greater the police response. It is interesting to note that despite the unpopularity of ‘watchmen’ (Rawlings, 2008), growing economic activity had seen villages grow into towns and the local elite wanted the trappings including a professional watch system. This had a snowball effect as reform in one town led to the next introducing similar changes as they did not wish for criminals to migrate from well-policed areas to poorly policed areas. The third event involved the continued use of the military to quell public order situations resulting in fatalities at Peterloo in 1819 and a year later following the trial and funeral of Queen Caroline[3] (Rawlings: 2002; Hurd, 2008).

Prior to the development of the ‘new police’ in England, Peel had been responsible for the development of the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) in the early 1800s. However, the task of developing a police service for the Metropolis was complicated by two key facts. Firstly, Peel knew that a police service based on the Irish model, which was very militaristic, would not be acceptable to politicians and senior figures within the capital. Secondly, although Peel was committed to reform and the development of a police service, he had to wait until he had sufficient power in Parliament to fulfil his plans (Reith, 1956).

The task for Peel was encapsulated in two points ; firstly, develop a policing service that would be acceptable to the people of London and secondly, ensure that the style of policing was supportive rather than oppressive, as in the case of the RIC (Critchley, 1973). Peel’s vision was to ensure that both points were delivered via a style of policing that emphasised gaining the support of the people primarily through the prevention of crime rather than punishment (Reith, 1956; Critchley, 1977; Alderson, 1979; Alderson, 1988; Stead, 1980). In order to reassure the public that the police posed no threat to liberty, Peel cast the ‘new police’ as a service rather than a force.

Peel’s vision demonstrated that he understood the task before him. Understanding the task is not only a key part of Contingency Theory, it is also an essential element of the Functional Leadership model (Adair, 1998 & 2002; Mullins, 2002). Functional Leadership is based on three overlapping circles which make up the primary elements required to be balanced by a leader. The circles are labelled as achieving the task; building and maintaining the team, and developing the individual (Cole, 2004; Adair, 2002; Mullins, 2002). Adair (2002) states that once the task has been defined, strategic thinking is required to plan and implement the solution, which includes the formation of an effective team to address the task; this is equally applicable to Fiedler’s theory.

Haberfeld (2006) links the elements of the complexity of the task, as identified by Cole (2004), to its inclusion within the Functional Leadership model, stating that leaders must interpret and define the external context for the team, including such factors as political concerns. Peel was already aware of the political resistance to his reform and he recognised that in leading the development of the Metropolitan Police service, he had to move slowly in order to appease those who did not support the police reform. In demonstrating this understanding, Peel stated[4]:

“I intend to proceed slowly with the experiment with a cautious feeling of the way and deriving aid from experience, essential to the ultimate success of all reforms.” (Critchley 1973: 50)
The importance of Peel creating a vision linked to the emphasis on the reasons for reform is identified by Kotter (2007) who states that lacking a vision based on a sense of urgency are two reasons why organisational development fails. Kotter continues that transformations often begin when an organisation has a new head who, as a leader, is able to see the need for change and is able to articulate a vision. Northouse (2007) comments on the simplicity of Peel’s vision, stating that transforming leaders have a clear vision that is usually simple, understandable and energy creating. The outcome of this is that people within the organisation know where they fit in and feel empowered. The importance of this point, linking to leader-member relations, would become evident when Peel chose his team to assist in the development of the Metropolitan Police. Without the clarity of vision, they would not know what was required of them.

This point is emphasised by Blair (2003) who notes the importance of clarity of vision, stating that it is imperative that police leaders make clear their vision of the organisation and involve staff both in its creation and delivery. This again reflects elements of Contingency Theory and Functional Leadership in relation to achieving the task and developing the team. Although Blair was referring to modern day police leadership, the message was as relevant in 1829 as Peel was about to determine a social function that would initially attract a great deal of opposition, the strength of which Peel later admitted he had underestimated (Reith, 1943).

Peel had a clear path in relation to delivery of reform and exerted both control and influence at an early stage. Even at this point, Peel demonstrated the strategic planning referred to earlier by Adair (2002). In order to mitigate against failure of the task, thereby increasing opposition to his reform, Peel submitted his Bill for Improving the Police in and near the Metropolis as a skeleton in structure with key organisational details omitted (Reith, 1956), thus making it an enabling measure with no actual plan of post acceptance organisation (Critchley, 1973).

When applying the Contingency Theory and the Functional Leadership models, Peel selected people to form a ‘group’ to help him implement his reform, thus exerting further influence and control. Peel's control started from the point of appointing his first two commissioners of police, seeking men of sympathetic views. Putting the ‘flesh on the bones’ of the skeleton in line with his vision was the role that Peel determined for his police commissioners Rowan and Mayne. Peel illustrated his requirements in a letter to Lord Rosslyn.[5] Peel stated

“The two magistrates [commissioners] are to submit to me a detailed plan for organising the police.” (Reith 1956: 129)

Referring back to the situation, it is interesting to note that in the ‘unfavourable situation’ that Peel was in, he successfully laid the foundations of the Metropolitan Police. Peel used elements of Contingency Theory and Functional Leadership to identify the complexities of the task against a background of substantial political and social resistance; create a vision, and choose group members to assist him to achieve the task,

How Peel worked with Rowan and Mayne to achieve his vision and develop the ‘new police’ will now be reviewed as part of the second element of Contingency theory; leader member relations. The relationship that he forged with his Commissioners will be assessed against the developing team element of the Functional Leadership model.

According to historical documents, Peel intended to choose the Commissioners personally (Reith, 1956), and began the search for two Commissioners while the Metropolitan Police Bill was still before parliament (Critchley, 1977, Hurd 2008). Peel had a clear idea of the type of men that he wanted for the job. He was looking for a combination of two men: one with a military background and one with a legal background. Relating to the military choice, in a letter to William Gregory[6], Peel wrote

“…he must be a very superior man… a man of great energy, both of body and mind, accustomed to discipline and with a power of enforcing it, and taking an interest in the duty assigned to him. Then he must be a gentleman and entirely trustworthy.” (Reith 1956:126)

This comment suggests that Peel intended to work closely with the candidate and in terms of the ‘trustworthy’ element, may have been considering empowerment. For example, Hurd (2008) states that Peel took corresponding trouble over the bulk of the new force, and determined that merit, not patronage would govern recruitment. As will be shown, Peel demonstrated his trust in his new Commissioners, and subsequently delegated this responsibility to them. However, Peel gave clear instructions as to the type of person that would be accepted as a recruit. He recognised the threat in recruiting the wrong type of person into his ‘new police’. This is evidenced in a letter that he wrote to the Duke of Wellington[7], in which he stated

“…the chief danger of the failure of the new system will be if it is made a job, if gentlemen’s servants, and so forth, are placed in the higher offices. I must frame regulations to guard against this as effectively as I can.” (Reith 1956:132)

At Peel’s direction, Rowan ensured that recruiting took place, not from the gentry, but from men who had ‘not the rank, habits or stations of gentlemen’ (Critchley, 1973). This ensured that there was mutual sympathy between the police and those that they would come into contact with in order to develop forbearance. However, Peel had to provide support to his Commissioners when they were pressured to recruit from the ‘gentry’ by politicians and others with influence (Reith, 1943). In a memo to his Commissioners[8], in which he outlined his requirements in relation to the character and qualifications of new recruits, Peel demonstrated his satisfaction with the fact that they were following his guidance, stating

‘…I am satisfied that you have, on offering your recommendations to me, acted rigidly upon that suggestion in every instance’. (Hurd 2008:104)

In choosing his Commissioners, Peel selected Charles Rowan, a former Colonel in the Light Brigade and Richard Mayne, a barrister. Rowan retired from the army after a distinguished career and became a magistrate in Ireland and displayed dignity, reserve and deference and had a single-minded devotion to duty and the ideals of the police establishment. These were the exact requirements that Peel mentioned in his letter to Gregory. Mayne, like Rowan, was reported to have a very unusual, rare and outstanding personality and according to Reith (1948) both men shared a consummate and astonishing tact, patience, firmness and an almost total absence of egotistical self-consciousness. The three men quickly began to develop an effective strategic leadership and used their knowledge and experience to develop the ‘new police’ organisation. This is supported by Critchley (1977) who states that it became obvious within a short time that Peel’s choice for his commissioners had been a happy one as the skills of the two men began to compliment each other.

In terms of the social interaction and support elements of the leader-member relations, the strength of teamwork between the three men is commented upon by Reith (1956) who states that during the period that he was Home Secretary[9], Rowan and Mayne were assured of the support of Peel. The importance of this fact is that this is a key aspect of both Fiedler’s Theory and Functional Leadership

In terms of individual talent and contribution, Rowan and Mayne quickly began to exercise their own leadership style on the ‘new police’ service. Rowan used his military knowledge and experience to shape the organisation, establish its working style and working relationships between ranks. Rowan had three outstanding qualities: a flair for organisation, enlightened leadership and readiness to not only adopt Peel’s view of policing as a preventative rather than oppressive nature but also to translate this into specific plans of action (Critchley, 1977) through instructions to the force in the form of General Instructions. Mayne was responsible for drafting the second part of the General Instructions that defined the legislative powers. Mayne would regularly use his legal knowledge to address the many challenges that the Commissioners had to face.

In terms of their working relationship, under law, both commissioners had equal status, however, Critchley (1967) states that Rowan, probably because he was 14 years senior, appeared to have been referred to as the senior commissioner. This is supported by Critchley (1977) who states that the partnership developed between Rowan and Mayne and their contribution to the development of the ‘new police’ lay in the close partnership and the willingness of Mayne to learn from the older Rowan.

In line with the Functional Leadership model, building and maintaining the team was essential if Peel was to achieve his task and vision. It is apparent that the three men worked well together and supported each other, particularly when they were challenged, for example the pressure to recruit staff from the gentry. Adair (1998) states that good leaders within the Functional Leadership model use, evoke or draw leadership to form the group by working as a senior partner with other members to achieve the task, build the team and meet individual needs. There is evidence that Peel did this by giving clear direction to Rowan and Mayne in relation to his vision, supporting the Commissioners to rise to challenges and assist them in developing the organisation by acting almost as a mentor.

An indication of this is provided by Rowan, who in 1833 gave evidence to a Parliamentary Select Committee in which he comments on the discussion surrounding police uniform and provides evidence of Peels influence[10].
He comments; - “There was a discussion with the Secretary of State [Peel] whether they [police officers] should be put into uniform or not. The question was discussed at great length, and the advantages and the disadvantages of the two systems weighed; it was thought more desirable that they should be in uniform; it was obvious, if it was a quiet uniform, that a person wanting assistance might obtain the aid of a policeman.” (Critchely 1977:89)

However, the situation changed and the relationship was not destined to last. Critchley (1967) states that Peel worked loyally with the Commissioners in riding out early storms, but once he was succeeded as Home Secretary in 1830, Rowan and Mayne lost their mentor. This appears to have had little impact on the continuing development of the Metropolitan Police. This may be explained by the developing leadership and friendship between Rowan and Mayne, their leadership style and the fact that having drawn up a plan for Peel, they had already determined the basic structure and strategy of the ‘new police.

Peel’s tactical awareness enabled him to make an excellent choice for his coalition ensuring that he had two men who were both recognised within their own professions. In terms of temperament, Rowan had a calm authority and mature self-confidence that was matched by Maynes more aggressive questioning temperament and strong personality (Critchley, 1977). As mentioned earlier, Rowan and Mayne developed preferred roles within the group. Rowan developing structure and staffing issues whereas Mayne developed systems and processes. Both worked together on a style that reflected Peel’s vision.

When applying the Functional Leadership model, there is not a great deal of evidence of Peel developing Rowan and Mayne once the Metropolitan Police was under way. In fact Peel often failed to provide support for the Commissioners. This aspect of Peel’s leadership relates to his authority and the third element of Fielder’s Contingency theory. The relationship between the three men was borne out of the complexity of the task mixed with contentious political issues. Peel’s plan to submit the Bill in skeleton form resulted in a great deal of pressure being placed on Rowan and Mayne to continue the development of the service. Reith (1956) states that Peels carelessness in evading necessary decisions was inexplicable and can only be excused by the fact that Peel had before him a long period ahead as Home Secretary. But perhaps Peel’s greatest injustice to the Commissioners was piling responsibility on them without having defined their status and authority (Reith, 1948), something that he did not attend to until December 1829. This may have been for a number of reasons. It is unclear when Peel knew that he would no longer be Home Secretary and it is likely that he would have been distracted by political requirements of the post. However, in the face of such obvious opposition, especially at the crucial stages of development, it may have been expected that Peel would have supported Rowan and Mayne more in the crucial development of their new role.

Based on their previous experiences, Peel, Rowan and Mayne each had the ability to perform a leadership role. When applying Fielders Contingency theory, it is apparent that not only did the leadership style vary according to the context, but it also varied according to the time period. In other words, Peel appears to have had less of an impact once the ‘new police’ was implemented, and Rowan and Mayne took on the mantle of leadership.

Blanchard (2007) states that whole managers are flexible and adapt their leadership style to the situation. Peel certainly did this, albeit it was linked to the pre and post implementation of the police service. However, Rowan and Mayne, post implementation had to weather a storm of aggression against themselves and their officers and displayed a stoic leadership style.

As mentioned above, the third variable of Fielder’s Contingency theory relates to power and authority. Mullins (2002) distinguishes between three types of authority; charismatic – based on heroic or mystical personal traits; traditional authority – based on established customs and the right to rule dominant groups; and rational authority – based on the legal occupancy of senior positions by those who exercise authority. Fincham and Rhodes (2005) state that rational authority reflects the application of a formal structure of administration as the means of completing complex tasks, this is clearly applicable to the hierarchical structure developed by the Peel, Rowan and Mayne and the complex tasks referred to earlier. Peel secured his authority for the duration of his role as Home Secretary by ensuring that overall power for the police service was vested in the Home Secretary (Reith, 1952). Through his rational authority he was able to ensure that the task of developing the service was completed. Weber (1964) states that leadership styles that relate to authority are autocratic and democratic. Autocratic leadership involves the leader making all of the decisions without reference to anyone else, determining policy and procedure for achieving goals and tasks. Alternatively, a democratic leadership style is where the force of authority rests with the group via greater interaction and the group members have a greater say in decision making, determination of policy and implementation of systems and procedures. There is evidence to show that up to the point of implementation, Peel displayed an autocratic leadership style, defining tasks and making key decisions for example vesting power with the role of Home Secretary.

This may suggest that Peel was an ‘incomplete leader’, in other words, a leader who knew when to ‘let go'. The incomplete leader knows that leadership exists throughout the organisational hierarchy wherever expertise, vision, new ideas and commitment are found Ancona., et al (2007). In Rowan and Mayne, Peel knew that he had chosen men who had all of these attributes. To reinforce the validity of Peel’s democratic leadership style, application of the model of leadership patterns in decision making suggest that Peel moved quickly from an ‘autocratic style’, to a ‘democratic style’ that permitted Rowan and Mayne to function within the limits defined by his vision. Tannenbaum and Schmidt’s model of ‘decision making style’ shows authority existing as a continuum from autocratic to democratic with the level of influence decreasing from the leader to followers as the leader moves to a democratic position (Cole, 2004; Fyfe et al., 1997,Adair, 1998, Mullins, 2002).

Adlam (2003) states that democratic leadership works for three reasons. Firstly, a social style that moves between directing and consulting makes it easier for people to achieve – to get the ‘job done’ and have their needs for inclusion met. Secondly, participation in decision making means that the members of the group are more likely to become committed to the action that is decided upon and thirdly, group discussion enhances communications and this leads to cohesiveness and co-operation between the group. This suggests that for Peel, democratic leadership would have greater success in achieving the task of not only the implementation of the ‘new police’, but also, through empowerment, its development into a fully functional organisation that is capable of delivering with immediacy.

Peel, Rowan and Mayne worked as a triumvirate to create one of the longest lasting legacies in British, if not world heritage. Peel’s contribution to policing is identified by Alderson (1988) who states that one of Peel’s greatest services to police reform was establishing police principles that have stood the test of time. Their vision, leadership and communication skills manipulated politicians and ordinary people to develop and shape an organisation that is the envy of the world. Each individual added an element that meant that the three were successful. Without one, it is questionable that they would have succeeded to the extent that they did.

Fyfe et al., (1997) state that Fielders Contingency Theory is personality theory, but one that incorporates several ideas about what shapes leadership styles. They continue that the model ultimately suggests that it is easier to change the nature of the work than to change the personality of the leader; in other words, effective leadership behaviour will ultimately rest on an assessment of the situation in which it is to be exercised. This matches the role of Peel in assuming an autocratic leadership style during the development stage of the ‘new police’ and moving to a democratic style throughout the implementation stage.

Examining the development of the Metropolitan Police service in the 1820s and the leadership behaviours of Peel, it is clear that his behaviours match the variables of the modern leadership models of Fiedler’s Contingency Theory and the Functional Leadership model. The result is that the structure and systems of the Metropolitan Police force would eventually become the model for the future of American municipal policing (Fyfe et al., 1997). The following section of this essay will examine the development of policing in the USA under the direction of Vollmer and Wilson.

A mere 57 years after Peel, Rowan and Mayne developed the Metropolitan Police Service, New Orleans, USA, witnessed the birth of a man who would create a dynasty of policing leadership that, like Peel, Rowan and Mayne, would last to influence modern day policing. That man was August Vollmer.

Like Peel, Vollmer was a great reformer, albeit according to Fyfe et al., (1997) Vollmer was one of the first reformers to come from within the police service. McNamara (1977) states that Vollmer’s contribution to the ‘American’ version of the ‘new police’ can be organised under four major headings, scientific policing; the educated policeman; professional integrity and the centralisation of police services. However, it is his relationship with protégé O.W. Wilson and their focus on integrity within policing that had a significant impact on law enforcement in America.

Both Vollmer and Wilson switched between academia, policing and the military. At various stages of their career both men were police chiefs and university professors. Vollmer’s early career in the military is thought to have given rise to his emphasis on soldierly bearing, neatness and concepts of duty and integrity (MacNamara, 1977), aspects that are similar to the requirements of a commissioner that Peel included in his letter to Gregory. Wilson, on the other hand, entered the military later in his career and used the experience to reinforce concepts that he had used prior to joining the army, and gain ideas in relation military systems of organisation and administration that he would put to use when he returned to policing. As with Peel and Rowan, both Vollmer and Wilson used military experience to develop policing, supporting Adair’s (2002) assertion that strategic leadership has its roots in the military.

Vollmer introduced intensive recruit training and an insistence on police integrity. Wilson supported this stance and this ethical influence had an impact on Wilson. As a result of a major scandal, the Chief of Wichita was removed from office and the City Manager asked Vollmer to recommend a ‘scrupulously honest police chief’ who would completely re-organise the department. Vollmer recommended Wilson, but Wilson, who was aware of the fact that Wichita was a churchgoing town with strict licensing laws, had misgivings that he would not be accepted and wrote the following to Vollmer[11]

“I hate to go through life being a hypocrite. Yet since leaving Fullerton [his previous police command] I haven’t been to church in over half a dozen times, I smoke cigarettes, and so does my wife, we play bridge…. And have even enjoyed intoxicating liquor. And I don’t feel even mildly wicked or immoral. What would the population of Wichita think of that?” (Bopp 1977: 36)
In modern time Mills (2003) states that in the light of a rapidly changing society, where so many institutions and traditions are being challenged, the view that ‘I am upholding the law, and therefore I am ethical’ is not a valid response to negate the necessity for an ethical debate. Applying this sentiment to Wilson and his indecision to take the Wichita role, it seems that he may well have been able to answer this question 65 years ago with ‘yes, I am upholding the law and yes I am willing to have that ethical debate.’

Wilson accepted the post and during his tenure he endured a number of tests of his ethical leadership, the greatest of which was to cost him his role as Chief. The relationship between Vollmer and Wilson was very much that of a teacher/pupil and having seen Vollmer introduce policing in vehicles, Wilson undertook research that led to single manning of vehicles in Wichita. Following the murder of one of his officers who was shot whilst on patrol in a single manned vehicle, the media blamed Wilson and sought to have him rescind a number of strategic decisions. The issue was complicated in that the offender was subsequently detained by an ex police officer who had been fired by Wilson for drinking on duty. The reinstatement of this officer and a return to double manning of patrol vehicles where two things that Wilson was under pressure to rescind. Wilson stoically refused. This was a real ethical dilemma for Wilson. His situation in Wichita became untenable and he ultimately resigned taking up a role in academia.

The significance of Wilson’s stand, in relation to his position, is identified by Mills (2003) who states that if ethical decision making is to be a meaningful part of the conduct of policing activity and the articulation of its ethos, it must be accompanied by ownership of and commitment to this activity at the highest level within the organisation. However, the relevance of Wilson’s decision is explained by Adlam and Villiers (2003) in their editorial note of Greive’s article ‘The Mask of Police Command’ (Grieve, 2003). The editors state that leadership, as ethics, is a matter of choice. They concur with Greive’s conclusion that good leaders need to grapple with moral dilemmas, assess the risk of options open to them, and have the moral courage to live with the consequences. To Wilson, the issue concerning the dismissed officer did not relate to his courage, but his lack of ethics. In assessing the risk, Wilson’s choice to resign was not made for his own sake, but for the sake of the good name of the Wichita Police Department and the morale of the police officers (Bopp, 1977), again displaying his ethics, values and moral courage.

Ethical leaders have been categorised into three broad categories: nurturing and service oriented; being just and honest; and being committed to common goals. In terms of nurturing, Burns (1978) states that leaders must instil an awareness of needs and values in subordinates, encouraging them to develop (Greenleaf, 1977) and should take a great interest in them. Mills (2003) also states that the personal characteristics and behaviour of leaders are essential elements of ethical leadership as they send a clear message to subordinates about what is and what is not ethical. It is interesting to note that in the 5th edition of Wilson’s eponymous ‘Police Administration’, Fyfe et al., (1997) also refer to personal character, personality and value systems, but in this case they refer to the impact on the leader-centred behaviour being democratic or autocratic. This links the Tannenbaum and Schmidt leadership continuum that applied to Peel, to the ethical leadership espoused and demonstrated by Vollmer and Wilson. The common denominator being the values and persona of the individuals in question.

Huberts et al (2007) state that three of the most often cited qualities of ethical leadership are role modelling thereby setting a good example for employees; strictness of managers in applying clear norms and sanctioning misbehaviour of employees; and openness of managers to discuss integrity problems and dilemmas. According to Trevino et al., (2000) these three aspects are necessary to develop a reputation for ethical leadership and together they constitute the “pillar” of the moral manager.

In effect, Vollmer accomplished this through his vision of policing. This has been referred to as a ‘trumpet call’ to remind American citizens of the moral vision that made America great and of their responsibility to maintain that vision (Kelling and Moore, 2005). Vollmer placed great emphasis on professional integrity and ethics seeking his police officers to be ‘above suspicion and totally incorruptible’ in the performance of their professional duties. To Vollmer, this meant truthfulness to police superiors and on the witness stand. It also meant no brutality or resorting to illegal methods whilst on duty and off duty (MacNamara, 1977; Bopp, 1977). The clarity of this links to the imperative of police leaders to make clear their vision as posited earlier by Blair (2003).

In leadership terms, Vollmer’s vision and Wilson’s continued ethical stand and leading by example was crucial. Adair (2002) supports the view posited by Huberts et al., (2007) stating that leading by example is a universal principle or theme of leadership and is especially important where people face hardship or danger. Subordinates expect their leaders to run the same risks and shoulder the same burdens, or at least show a willingness to do so. This is supported by Northouse (2007) who states that ethics is central to leadership and leaders help to establish and reinforce organisational values, Vollmer’s vision is a clear example of this. Northouse explains that ethics are central to leadership because of the nature of its process of influence, the need to engage followers in accomplishing mutual goals and the impact on organisational values.

In ‘Police Administration’ (1950), Wilson highlights unquestioned personal integrity as one of the key qualities of a leader. A further example of Wilson’s ethical leadership, and the importance of the impact on subordinates involved Wilson asking his staff to take a pay cut of $5 per month to pay for a new two-way radio system. For his part, Wilson took a salary from $4,800 to $3,956 (Bopp, 1977). The importance of this is that Wilson led by example, showing (Greenleaf, 1977; Mills, 2003; Adair, 2002) that he was willing to take a reduction in pay commensurate to that of his subordinates.

In terms of being committed to common goals, Haberfeld (2006) states that a sense of the common good should be interpreted by leaders and should include public interests as well as the interest of the leader and followers. This is supported by Mills (2003) who states that ethical decision making within an organisation is a manifestation of ethical conduct, which is dependent upon ethical awareness. Both Vollmer and Wilson displayed their own ethical awareness and its importance on policing and attempted to ensure that ethics and integrity were component elements of police training. Greenleaf (1977) and Burns (1978) both state that in relation to ethical leadership, nurturing and development are crucial components. Both Vollmer and Wilson undertook major changes within the police forces that they led. Both placed a great emphasis on nurturing, training and development and both sought to create links between the police service and academia. MacNamara (1977) states that Vollmer’s prototype police officer would be :-

“At home with a microscope or polygraph, courageous, physically capable of handling street disorders, trained in fingerprinting and photography, adept at first aid, a marksman of military bearing and skills, yet so certain of his manhood as to be able to deal humanely, and sympathetically with lost children, beaten wives and bereaved parents” (MacNamara 1977:180)

Both men were committed to learning. In order to achieve his model, Vollmer sought to recruit college-educated police officers (Carte and Carte, 1977). Wilson on the other hand recognised that many of the municipal police chiefs of Kansas could not afford experts in policing to train their officers. Wilson persuaded the League of Municipalities to create a dedicated police training school, of which he later became the head and responsible for the development of the training programme.

The relevance of this is identified by Schein[12] (2002). During an interview with the Harvard Business Review, Schein refers to coercive persuasion, a method of indoctrinating people with corporate messages, taking them to training camps and surrounding them with messages that organisations want to get across. Schein states that learning is fundamentally coercive thereby enabling Vollmer, through his insistence that recruit training encompasses police integrity, to reinforce this value in a closed training environment.

However, Wilson’s biggest challenge possibly came when he was appointed as the Superintendent in charge of the Chicago Police Department. Due to the high levels of corruption within the Chicago Police, Mayor Daley was desperate for a police chief who was an ethical leader and displayed high levels of integrity. Bopp (1997) states that the Municipal Officers bent the rules pertaining to the appointment of a police chief[13] and allowed Wilson to dictate his terms and conditions of employment that goes some way to evidence the desire of the Mayor to employ Wilson. Fyfe et al., (1997) argue against the philanthropic nature of Wilson’s appointment, stating that Daley ‘hoodwinked’ Wilson into taking the job believing that his academic studies would keep him from day to day management of the police, thereby allowing Daley to continue his political machinations.

If this was the case, Daley made an error of judgement on a grand scale. The primary requirement from the Mayor was a police chief who was incorruptible and also demonstrated integrity, with a high-level of professional skill and administrative experience requirements that reflected those requested in the letter to Vollmer in relation to the Chiefs job in Wichita. Wilson’s ethical leadership qualities were to be tried and tested many times during his time in charge of Chicago.

In support of Huberts et al., (2007) position in relation to applying clear norms and sanctioning misbehaviour, Wilson applied his ethical leadership style to identify those who he thought were corrupt, and relieved them of their duties while he developed those who he thought trustworthy and had integrity. In doing so, Wilson had to face challenges from groups of police officers, unions and other groups, but his agreement with Mayor Daley ensured that the City did not interfere and Wilson had almost carte blanche to mould Chicago Police in a way that reflected his thoughts on police administration.

Neyroud and Beckley (2001) state that ethics are about how police officers and police leaders make the right judgements and do the right things for the right reasons. In order to ensure this, and in a reflection of the Metropolitan Police’ General Instructions from 1829, Wilson developed written guidance for his officers, sometimes in relation to specific events, such as how to deal with traffic offences. Wilson also developed a Law Enforcement Code of Ethics that established his requirements for his police officers. Producing a ‘code of ethics’[14] is something that even today the UK police have not accomplished (Neyroud, 2008).

Fogelson (1977) states that a twentieth century drive towards police professionalism can be typified by Vollmer’s vision of a police service as a highly trained core of officers independent of politics and acting with impartiality and integrity. The result of Wilson’s ethical leadership, according to Bopp (1997), was that his personal integrity was highly prized. He instilled community confidence in his attention to duty and in his honesty. People supported Wilson in his many challenges because he was able to convince them that his values would uphold the development of a police service that had integrity. As with Peel, Rowan and Mayne, Vollmer and Wilson made an invaluable contribution to police reform.

In conclusion, the title of this essay posits that modern leadership models can be used to explain the development of policing in England and America within specific time periods. The evidence contained within this essay demonstrates that this is the case. Despite more than 100 years difference between Peel, Rowan and Mayne, there are remarkable similarities in their use of leadership. Both groups of men were supportive of reform and developed clear visions of the police service that they wished to create and both groups of men used their leadership styles to overcome overt challenges to their vision.

In support of Fiedler’s Contingency Theory, Northouse (2007) states that this theory is advantageous as it does not require people to be effective in all situations. Peel’s leadership style, in compliance with this theory, varied according to the context and situation. When the favourability of the situation varied, Peel appears to have varied his style from being task oriented to relationship oriented. This resulted in Peel delegating the continued development of the police service to his Commissioners.

In terms of the Functional Leadership model, Peel displayed many of the features of this model throughout the time that his Bill was passing through parliament to the time that he was no longer Home Secretary. His leadership ensured that his vision was addressed through a series of tasks and developing a relationship with his Commissioners that was built on trust. Rowan and Mayne accepted their role within their partnership and despite the challenges that they faced, they remained stoic and determined to support their staff against injustices and ensured the best possible conditions of service for their staff.

That dedication to accomplishing a vision was also reminiscent of the ethical leadership style of Vollmer and Wilson.

As well as being reformers, Vollmer and Wilson were innovators. They recognised that a police service that was acceptable to citizens would have to adhere to ethical principles. Both men established their own set of values and ethics and lived by those values as role models. As a mentor, Vollmer had no hesitation in recommending Wilson for challenging policing roles. Wilson rose to the challenges and despite great pressure his ethical stance did not waiver.

Throughout their careers, Vollmer and Wilson moulded policing and influenced it to the point that Carte and Carte (1977) refer to them as the two most influential persons in relation policing in USA. Mills (2003) strongly suggests that police agencies face difficulties when involved in ethical matters and that police leaders should observe best practices, seek expert guidance, and look at previous experience and training related to ethical issues in the context of decision making. That expert guidance is available through the research and study of the examples set by Vollmer and Wilson.


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[1] Gordon riots took place over several days in London and were suppressed by use of the military
[2] Stead’s comments are made in a lecture entitled ‘The Nature of Police Command’ at the 13th Frank Newsham, Memorial Lecture in 1980. They were subsequently published in Police Journal (1980)
[3] Queen Caroline’s trial related to her right to the throne following the death of her husband King George III on 29th June 1820
[4] Parl.Deb., N.S., Vol.XXI (15.4.1829) cols 872-7
[5] The letter to Lord Rosslyn, who was the Lord privy Seal, was dated 7th July 1829. British Museum Peel Papers, 40399, f, 280
[6] The letter to William Gregory, who was the Parliamentary under-secretary for Northern Ireland is dated 29th may 1829
[7] The letter to Wellington is dated 5th November 1829. Wellington, Supplementary despatches, vol VI,. P 287
[8] Police Recruitment Order, MEPO 2/28 No. 547 1829
[9] Peel was Home Secretary between 1822 – 1827 and 1828 - 1830
[10] Reports from the Select Committee on the Petition of Frederick Young and Others, 1833, Minutes of Evidence, Qn,1841
[11] Letter from O.W. Wilson to A. Vollmer 13th March 1938
[12] HBR Interview of Edgar H. Schein by Diane Coutu entitled The Anxiety of Learning (2002)
[13] Wilson could not be appointed as Commissioner as he was not a resident of Chicago, so the role/rank of Superintendent of Police was created
[14]There are a number of ethical statements e.g. ACPO Statement of Common Purpose and Values and Police Code of Conduct, however, the latter is more of a discipline code than a statement of ethics.


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...Title: Effective Leadership Introduction: Leadership is "the conduct of an individual when he is guiding the activities of a group towards a collective goal". A leader is described as someone who sets supervision in an effort and influences people to pursue that direction. How they establish that direction and influence individuals depends on a variety of factors. Before I get started, let me characterize leadership according to all the books and academic journals I have read. Leadership is a course of action by which a person inspires others to accomplish a purpose and manages the organization in a way that makes it more systematic, coherent and run like an excellent tuned engine. Leaders carry out this practice by applying their leadership characteristics, such as vision, attitude, values, ethics, character, intelligence and skills. “Effective leaders rely more on personal power than on position power,” albeit your position in an organization as a manager, administrator, lead, etc. gives you the power by virtue of the position to accomplish specific tasks and objectives in the organization, this authority does not make you a merely makes you the person in charge by the position. Leadership varies in that it makes the followers want to accomplish high goals, rather than merely bossing or dictating people around. Leadership is said to be a whole lot and nothing. It is everything because it can be established at all levels in organizations, not just at the......

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...Evaluation of Leadership in private sector organizations in Aruba Faculty of Hospitality & Tourism Management Leadership and Management Midterm Report Abstract This paper brings forward the key aspects of the Aruban Entrepreneur. These would be discussed and related to different theories. To obtain these aspects of entrepreneurial activity two local entrepreneurs were interviewed and their philosophies were put into this paper. Beside the key aspects this paper would also discuss entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship, the relationship between entrepreneurship and economic growth and the common traits and skills of the Aruban entrepreneur. Abstract Content Introduction to the organization Current leadership Scientific analysis and diagnosis of leadership Areas of improvements Recommendations Critical reflections Resources Introduction As part of the Master’s program at the University of Aruba, in the Faculty of Hospitality & Tourism Management Studies, in the course “Leadership & Management”, it is required to submit a paper on the “Evaluation of leadership in private organizations in Aruba”. More specifically, this paper will have an in depth look at the leadership styles within the Aruban businesses and analyze and explained the findings/ observations based on leadership theories. More particular, we will try to uncover the different leadership models that can be applied in order to improve effectiveness and efficiency, overall......

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...ADEOYE MATRIC NUMBER: PG/SMS/014/14495 COURSE CODE: BUS 838 COURSE TITLE: MANAGEMENT THEORY. TOPIC: LEADERSHIP DATE: AUGUST, 2015 An Assignment Submitted To Prof. J.O. Adetayo OUTLINE: A. Introduction B. The Concept of Leadership C. Conclusion D. References INTRODUCTION There is nothing elusive about leadership. Although great leaders may be rare as great runners great partners or great actors, everyone has leadership potential just as everyone has some ability at running painting and acting. (The management bible leadership is about knowing what the next step is (John Adair). Ref: Neil Flamaga & Jaruis Finger (2004): The management bible cape town Zebra Press. Leadership is not an exclusive club for those who are born with it. Employees generally follows their leaders. They are therefore much likely to comply with laws and guidelines when leaders show high commitment to compliance. Leaders must set a good example and clearly communicate their expectations. Compliance with regulations much more likely when leaders develop and carry out programs that emphasize the goals of regulation such as diversity and safety. Various programme should be carefully developed and communicated to increase employees knowledge and motivation (Stewart & Brown, 2009). The Black ants filled out aimlessly without a leader. (French Proverb) a lot leadership has a lot to should in the direction of the human efforts towards organisational goal achievement.......

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...Management Servant Leadership: A Review and Synthesis Dirk van Dierendonck Journal of Management 2011 37: 1228 originally published online 2 September 2010 DOI: 10.1177/0149206310380462 The online version of this article can be found at: Published by: On behalf of: Southern Management Association Additional services and information for Journal of Management can be found at: Email Alerts: Subscriptions: Reprints: Permissions: Citations: Downloaded from at The Hebrew University Library Authority on June 29, 2011 Journal of Management Vol. 37 No. 4, July 2011 1228-1261 DOI: 10.1177/0149206310380462 © The Author(s) 2011 Reprints and permission: http://www. Servant Leadership: A Review and Synthesis Dirk van Dierendonck Erasmus University Servant leadership is positioned as a new field of research for leadership scholars. This review deals with the historical background of servant leadership, its key characteristics, the available measurement tools, and the results of relevant studies that have been conducted so far. An overall conceptual model of servant leadership is presented. It is argued......

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