Week 4 Week 4 Jim Hoerricks Woodbury University OL 500 Dr. Don St. Clair May 26, 2009 1
Week 4 Week 4 Any time two or more people band together to form an enterprise (public or private), politics will be a factor in the group’s success or failure. Discussions of politics, in terms of organizational dynamics, tend to center around corporations and governmental agencies. Aspiring leaders and managers concentrate on navigating the tricky waters of office politics in order to gain some future advantage or promotion. Our book’s authors perform well in revealing how each level up the management ladder brings new challenges and new players. They illustrate how each step must be mastered in order to proceed upward. Other experts, seeking to offer advice on gaining advantages or favors, look at the inner-workings of governments and their agents. Positional power, egos, control, information, and reputation are shown to be powerful tools to achieve personal and/or corporate success. Interestingly, several years ago, a combined group of gang and narcotics experts from federal, state, and local police agencies decided to leverage the power of internal politics to remove criminal street gangs from the blighted neighborhoods in and around America’s major cities. Instead of looking at how politics works to empower and grow, the group looked at how politics can destroy and destabilize an organization from within. Traditional law enforcement efforts have examined the problem of gangs from a 19 th century point of view; a strong central leader brutally carving out turf in an effort to secure more of X for himself – with the occasional rewards for hard working subordinates. From Ness vs. Capone to the NYPD/FBI’s work against the Mafia, law enforcement agents sought to side- line the group’s leader with a long prison sentence and thus send a message to the rest of the criminal underground that they should stop their evil ways and give up their life of crime. 2
Week 4 The 21 st century criminal is much different than criminals of past eras, though their goals remain the same. Today’s criminal has access to far more information and better modes of communication. This new age criminal needs to be approached with new methods and tactics. Just as law enforcement adjusts to the criminals’ new tactics, the criminals evolve and adapt in an attempt to retain their dominance. Phone taps by police have lead criminals to use disposable cell phones. This, in turn, has caused police to apply aspects of the Patriot Act to enable the tapping of a person’s suite of communication devices, not just a single phone line. Additionally, the RICO laws that let law enforcement confiscate a criminal’s property have lead to the rise in rentals of both vehicles and buildings. Very little of what today’s criminal possesses is owned by him, allowing him portray the lifestyle and reputation necessary to maintain control whilst removing the risk of losing it all during a raid by police. By law, the rented property must be returned to the registered owner if seized. The criminal, upon release, simply reestablishes
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