Development And Organisations And Shaping Modern Society Criminology Essay

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The aim of this paper is to discuss and explain how industrialisation and the development of modern organizations made the preoccupation with managing security and risk inevitable. The paper will define security and risk and explore the implications of their changing understanding. It will discuss industrialisation and the causes that shape modern society. It will continue by examining the roles played by public and private policing in modern organizations. The paper will then give an overview of these organizations and show the attempts by early and modern management theorists to regulate these organizations. The conclusion will reiterate the main points in this paper and show that the preoccupation with managing security and risk is inevitable.

According to Manunta (1999: 57), 'It is obvious that, in the absence of agreed definitions, the concept of security means different things to different people in different contexts'. The Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary defines security as 'the activities involved in protecting a country, building or person against attack, danger, etc.' However, this definition does not explain security in its broader context and is silent in defining what is the danger. The meaning of security is still a point of debate for academics. Garcia (2006:510 as cited in Department of Criminology, 2010) defines security as measures taken to protect people and property from deliberate human attacks, such as sabotage or theft. Manunta & Manunta (2006:631 as cited in Department of Criminology, 2010) emphasise the importance of considering the psychological, as well as physical aspects of security. 'The private sector approach to security is primarily related to management and loss prevention. Companies and regulatory bodies publish practice guidelines and core values, but these focus mainly on their relationship with their customers and instructions about how to carry out particular functions. They do not explore or explain what is meant by security' (Department of Criminology, 2010). The difficulty in measuring security becomes obvious as we examine the various definitions. As people have different ideas of the meaning of security if makes the demand for a measurement very difficult, if not impossible to measure (Department of Criminology, 2010). 'The concept of security appears at times deliberately ambiguous, and those who use it are not always inspired by the best of intentions. As well as being a protective umbrella for dictators, extremists, bullies, criminals and terrorists, security has in too many circumstances been a pretext for reducing sovereignty, freedom of action and civil liberties' (Manunta, 1999: 64). Examples of the latter can be seen in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 9/11, the Madrid train bombing and the London bombings (Fischer, Halibozek and Green, 2008). The increasing role of the state in providing security now rest heavily on the shoulders of the public and private police.

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On the other hand, the Compact Oxford Dictionary defines risk as 'a situation involving exposure to danger' or 'the possibility that something unpleasant will happen'. The subject of risk attracted greater attention in the late 20th and early 21st Century. Governments, businesses and academics view with interest the global threats of terrorism, the increase in more complex and dangerous technologies and a growing feeling of misgiving about the future (Department of Criminology, 2010). The words uttered by Vaughan (1997 as cited in Borodzicz, 2005: 1) aptly portray the reality of risk. He said 'the entire history of the human species is a chronology of exposure to misfortune and adversity and of efforts to deal with these risks'. The Royal Society in Britain, through its 1983 report 'Risk Assessment' made a distinction between objective and subjective risk. However, in 1992 the Society's report noted that their previous view was challenged and therefore, no longer accepted. It was subsequently argued that risk was a 'cultural Construction' (Department of Criminology, 2010). The Institute of Risk management later described risk in the following terms. 'The process which aims to help organisations understand, evaluate and take action on all their risks to increasing the likelihood of their success and reducing the likelihood of failure' (Department of Criminology, 2010: 5). The idea of risk would be incomplete without the influence on the study by Ulrich Beck. He argued that modern science and technology created what he called a risk society. This, he said, caused a significant political shift in society in which the search for security replaced wealth creation and distribution as society's main concerns. He linked wealth distribution to social class, with those at the bottom receiving less and those at the top receiving more. Beck suggested that science constructed and identified new kinds of risk, such as nuclear radiation and global warming which, in contrast, affect everyone equally. The nature of a society fundamentally changes because of this focus on risk based on economics and social class (Department of Criminology, 2010). Therefore, risk like security is difficult to define as different groups express their own idea of risk, making objective measurement unreliable.

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Several reasons contributed to shape modern society. Industrialisation began to transform the economy in advancing the world from a reliance on agriculture and the labour of humans and animals to a dependence on manufacturing industries (Department of Criminology, 2010). The Industrial Revolution in the latter part of the18th century, transformed Britain and other communities as modern technologies caused vast increases in productivity within the existing industries (Haralambos 2004). This momentum hastened urbanisation which lured many people to the cities and towns with the hope of getting jobs and increase wages. The result of this influx of wealth seekers was that they found, instead of prosperity, long hours, crippling work and miserly wages. The stability of family life was virtually destroyed in these new communities. Juvenile delinquency, overcrowding, violent crimes, poor sanitation and riots became commonplace. Instead of a better life, the adverse conditions caused the new environment to grow into the slum (Fischer et al., 2008; Haralambos, 2004). McCrie (2006: 32) noted that 'Urban disorder reportedly grew in the early decades of the 18th century reflecting rapid urban growth from growing industrialization.' Other factors that had a direct impact on modern society were Centralization of Power, Democracy and Accountability of institutions and of particular interest to the discussion, Bureaucracy and Rational Organisation (Department of Criminology, 2010).

The Metropolitan Police Act passed in 1829 and pioneered by Sir Robert Peel, marked the modern police development. The preoccupation with managing security and risk was gradual and increased with modernisation. The effectiveness of the old ways of policing depended on communities which were small and stable where people knew one another by name, sight or reputation (Department of Criminology, 2010). However, the 18th century industrialisation broke up several communities. Urbanisation attracted increased numbers of the poor and dispossessed into the city and towns promoting slum areas to provide for housing for factory workers (Department of Criminology, 2010). The opinion the urban poor posed a threat to public order made the ruling classes fear crime. That crime panic that existed during the 1820s still affects society today (Department of Criminology, 2010).

The use of private policing began in the commercial sector, for example, to patrol and guard warehouses and dockyards. The most famous private force was the Thames River Police, formed by dock owners in 1797 to enforce rules about working practices. This force later passed into the hands of the government for funding and control. By the end of the 18th century, various individuals, forces and bodies carried out policing in Britain (Department of Criminology, 2010). (Cunningham et al 1990; Jones and Newburn 1998; De Waard 1999 as cited in Button 2002: 5) noted 'Although there has been limited interest in private policing, research has consistently shown that the private security sector employs more people that the public police in many countries and undertakes a wide range of functions'. Mark Button in his book, Private Policing, offers some ways of thinking about the growth and development of private policing. One of the perspectives argued that 'the large shopping malls and leisure facilities of more recent times are private rather than public property and it is these that have given rise to a demand for and thus ensured the growth of private security' (Department of Criminology, 2010: 8).

Modern organizations are a collection of people who work together and coordinate their actions to achieve a wide variety of goals or needed future results (Department of Criminology, 2010). They have progressed through industrialisation and now struggled to keep abreast of the global trends and threats of terrorism. The fear of crime and misgiving about the future has left their mark on these organisations. Industrialisation and the growth in size of organizations stimulated management theories. Effective management thus became an issue without proper control of these growing organisations. This stirred a need to produce prescriptions for better managerial practices. The result was the attempt through classical approaches to find the 'one best way' or universal approach to create efficient and effective organisations (Department of Criminology, 2010).

Two major proponents of the classical approaches were Max Weber (1864-1920) and Henri Fayol (1841-1925). Their 'research focused on administrative management which is the study of how to create an organisational structure that leads to high efficiency and effectiveness' (Meyer, Ashleigh, George and Jones, 2007:39). Fayol set the stage for management thought development and identified 14 principles. They include Division of labour, Authority and Responsibility, Unity of command, Line of authority, Centralisation, Unity of direction, Equity, Order, Initiative, Discipline, Remuneration, Stability of tenure, Subordination of individual interests and Esprit de corps. These principles created the platform on which recent management theory and research are based. Max Weber's rationality, on the other hand, became the dominant principle governing modern society and embodied in bureaucratic organisations. It describes many modern day institutions and organisations and their legitimate authority. Their structure is hierarchical and its power devolves from the top, down. Regulations and policies guide the duties, rights and behaviour of employees. They are appointed for their particular skills and know what they have to do and why they have to do it. These institutions expect employees to cooperate and coordinate with one another to achieve the organisation's objective (Department of Criminology, 2010).

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Modern writers, however, found that the assumptions of the universal approach were unrealistic and therefore began to move away from the classical approach. Some of the differences pointed out were the degree of specialisation which questioned the extent to which members of the organization had specific and specialised tasks to perform. Did the institution have high levels of multi-skilling and flexibility? How many levels of authority were in the structure? Was it 'tall' or 'flat'? What was the degree of standardisation and formalisation and what extent was centralisation or decentralisation practiced.

Stoner and Freeman (1992) emphasised the importance of the environment and suggested that there are three types of environments. They are the Stable Environment, the Changing Environment, and the Turbulent Environment. Environmental fit suggested that structures are those that match the organizational environment. According to a famous study by Burns and Stalker (1961) firms operating in a predictable and relatively certain environment successfully adopted what they called a 'mechanistic structure'. These mechanistic organizations showed all the hallmarks of bureaucracy (Department of Criminology, 2010). Burns and Stalker (1961 as cited in Covin, and Selvin, 1988: 219 argued that organic structures, characterized by such things as flexibility in administrative relations, informality, and authority vested in situational expertise, facilitate innovation - a vital component of an entrepreneurial style. On the other hand, mechanistic structures, characterized by rigidity in administrative relations, formality, and strict adherence to bureaucratic values and principles, were said to impede innovation. These conclusions were attributed, in part, to the fact that organic structures have much greater information processing capacities than mechanistic structures, and successful innovation requires that organizations have high information-processing capacities.

In conclusion, industrialisation raised the security concerns of the developing world. The gradual growth of modern organizations with the similar development in the public and private police has indeed heightened the need for managing security and risk. The widespread and far-reaching tentacles of terrorism, global threats and fear of crime have promoted the view that there is no foreseeable end to the mayhem and ever increasing levels of crime. The work done by the various theorists to develop management structures have equipped organizations with the tools and leadership necessary to manage organizations in the 21st century. In summary, the ingredients of industrialisation, urban development, modernisation and the emerging trends in providing professional security services have made the preoccupation with managing security and risk inevitable.