in the context of career planning Image by : NetalloyUsed under a Creative Commons licence
What is Organisational culture? Values and norms shared by people or groups in an organisation that affect the way in which individuals interact with each other within and outside of the organisation. ‘Organisational cultures are complex and multi dimensional thus ‘Members of organisations may have goals that are contradictory to senior management’. (Thompson 2003 p8) Image by : Netalloy Used under a Creative Commons licence
From an academic point of view understandingorganisational culture helps us appreciate: why organisations might have particular goals, why organisations employ particular working practices, why organisations are sometimes not particularly effective or efficient, how different organisations might work together, or not! Image by : warszawianka Used under a Creative Commons licence
From a personal point of view, understanding organisational cultures and issues related to this can: Help you show a greater understanding of an organisation in a job application or interview. Help you to understand what the organisation might be looking for in its workforce. Help you to reflect on whether you would feel comfortable working within such an organisation. Image by : feraliminal Used under a Creative Commons licence
Former students experience ‘The reason why I resigned after two months after finishing training was that it was a completely let down. Equality and human rights were non-existent and I often found myself on the receiving end of sexually harassing comments and sexism. The attitude from other team members completely eroded the confidence that I gained whilst at university. I was the youngest in the office and the only one with a degree and found myself completely isolated and disjointed from the team. I got absolute no support or encouragement; but criticism was plenty. I am completely gutted with my short experience within the police and feel embarrassed that I have given up such a good job’. Image by : Liftarn Used under a Creative Commons licence
Link between expectations and a ‘successful’ career: Success may be measured not just by status and earnings. Other factors might include: personal influence, being recognised for one’s achievement, a sense of accomplishment or achievement, enjoyment, working with integrity achieving an acceptable work/life balance (Sturges 1999 cited in Arnold et al 2005) Image by : Merlin 2525 Used under a Creative Commons licence
Point 1: It is important for you to reflect on what you think is important to you in respect of career success as it might help you to choose an appropriate career that will satisfy you. Image by : zeimusu Used under a Creative Commons licence
Image by : Overview of current inky2010 Used under a Creative trends in careers: Commons licence No jobs for life Kandola et al (2003) Job situation is affected by the economy, global markets, new technology and government legislation. You are likely to have to re-train at sometime in your life. Employers expect new graduates to take on more responsibility and ‘add value’ from the start. (ibid) Employers seek graduates who ‘want to be challenged right from day one’ (Schlumberger Organisation cited in Kandola et al (2003). Point 2: Employers are looking for ‘work savvy’. This is why experience of being in the ‘work place’ is an essential attribute for graduates along side their degrees.
Some features of the current employment sceneinclude: Increasing workload for individuals Organisational changes More global competition More team-based work More short-term contracts Frequent changes in skills required More part time work Changing workforces More self employment Working from home Increased pressure on pension schemes.Arnold et al (2005) Image by : Onsemeliot Used under a Creative Commons licence
Implications for you: Greater need to look ahead and update skills in order to remain employable. Greater need to make an effort to build up and maintain a network of contacts. Image by : 1Percent Revolution Used under a Creative Commons licence Greater need to initiate, cope with and accept change. Greater need to handle uncertainty Greater need for individuals to be flexible in terms of the work that you are prepared to do. Point 3: Understanding and being positive about the employment scene will help you to be realistic about your employment aspirations and will enable you to use the situation to your best advantage.
Career Anchors? Image by :(Schein 1993) bogdanko Used under a Creative Commons licence An area of your self concept that you would not give up: Managerial competence: responsibility, leadership and income. Technical/Functional competence: specialist skills, knowledge and expertise. Identity is built around work Security: Need for a reliable and predictable environment. Autonomy and independence: Freedom from restrictions, Entrepreneurial creativity: Want to run own business etc. Pure challenge: Wants to win against strong competition. Service/Dedication: need for work that expresses social, political, religious or other values, Lifestyle integration: Life balance between work, family, leisure and other activities is maintained.
What is your career anchor? Point 4: You could think about what is your main ‘career anchor’ in order to consider what you can and cannot compromise on in terms of your career. Image by : anonymous Used under a Creative Commons licence
Professionalism: Many of the types of work that you might look at would be broadly described as a Professional Job: This is not a neutral description but the term is value laden McCulloch and Tett (1999). Professions are controlling and legitimising structures operating in the interests of Image by : anonymous Used under a Creative members of the particular professional Commons licence group: ‘The Professional has knowledge which other people do not have’ (Holdsworth cited in McCulloch and Tett 1999 p38). This is quite empowering if you are ‘one of the group’, and conversely can be exclusionary for those who are not ‘in the know’.
Jargon-speak! MAPP’s, CARAT’s, YOT’s NOM’s SATs. SOCO, ARV, RTA. Image by : IC1. DLA, IC, merzok Used under a Point 5: Professional jobs often have a Creative Commons professional language, have particular licence procedures and are affected by governmental policy and legislation. It helps to know something about this so that you can give the impression that you are the type of graduate who will ‘hit the ground running’ if they employ you.
Managerialism: Since the 1980’s Corporatism, with its emphasis on management, performance and cost effectiveness has affected the employment scene. Corporatism means the process of putting together different organisations with the aim of identifying and dealing with a Image by : tavin common goal. Used under a Kirton 2005 identifies that whilst for critics, corporatism is Creative Commons seen as a repressive force using state power to increase licence surveillance and control over those who deliver and receive services, for those who support this, it would seem to offer the potential for ‘joined up’ responses, so that agencies can work together towards a common goal. Point 6: Its worth knowing something about the types of performance indicators agencies have to adhere to and what outcomes they are trying to achieve.
Inter-agency Partnerships: According to Newman (cited in Wood and Kemshall 2008) Partnerships as a mode of governance began to gain ground throughout the 80’s and 90’s building on a historical tradition of attempts to create ‘joined up’ government. This was due to the increased fragmentation and complexity of the public sector. Neo-liberalism encourages rolling back state control and bringing in market forces to underpin public services See new models of partnership ranging from public/private partnerships across central and local public service delivery to local community based partnerships often led by the voluntary sector.
Lateral thinking: Lots of partnerships can equate to lots of different ways of getting the job that you want. Look at other agencies if the one that you are interested in is not recruiting Remember that the voluntary or private sectors are a good place to look apart from the public sector. Look at multi-agency teams to find out about different agencies and organisations that may be involved in dealing with a particular problem or common goal that interests you. Image by : anonymous Used under a Creative Commons licence
Pluralisation of ‘policing’(Crawford 2008)MI5 and MI6; Ministry of Defence Police;Civil Nuclear Constabulary British Transport PolicePort/Docks Police Serious Fraud OfficeCustoms and Border Police Benefit FraudHealth and Safety Executive Environment AgencyStreet Wardens Anti-soc Behaviour teamsHousing Officers Community Safety PartnersTraffic Wardens Ofcom; Ofwat, OfgemAudit Commission.
Point 7: Show lateral thinking: see the existence of multi agency partnerships as an opportunity to be able to get into areas that you are interested in, by different routes. Image by : ryanlerch Used under a Creative Commons licence
Problems: Wikipedia commons This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution- Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. Collaboration is sometimes difficult because differences between cultures may arise: ‘much collaboration is ‘phantom’ because different workers and different organisations continue to work in parallel rather than by changing practices’ (Milburn cited in McCulloch and Tett 1999 p41) Point 8: you might like to think how some of the skills that we encourage in the course such as qualitative research methodologies and also group work, might prepare you for the difficulties of working in inter- agency partnerships in the ‘real world’.
Getting to grips with work culture. Considerable documentation on the issue of police culture: Skolnick; Westmarland, Reiner etc. But other organisations have cultures too. Many corporate disasters, miscarriages of justice and other problems have occurred due to problematic cultures within organisations, but organisational cultures are often complex, don’t necessarily have 100% acceptance from workers and can sometimes be positive. Chan (1996) challenges the idea that the police are passive by-standers in the culture. Foster (2004) talks about there being multiple cultures in the police, which is the case in other organisations too.
Culture as a coping mechanism According to Reiner (2000) whilst for police culture, things like machismo, intolerance, prejudice and conservatism are known as important aspects of the culture, he also identifies that Police culture helps officers cope with the tensions By Chris Brown and pressures facing This file is licensed under the Creative Commons them. Attribution 2.0 Generic license.
Image by : workerPressured jobs? Used under a Creative Commons licence It was very daunting at first. It was a big step coming to work in a prison … A very big step. I remember the first morning here … I was that nervous I couldn’t stop shaking. Obviously I was scared stiff, like. …it suddenly hit me how outnumbered we were, and they [the prisoners] were shouting ‘Rookies! Rookies!’ I was terrified then. You had to keep your hands in your pockets so that they couldn’t see your hands shaking. I was that frightened! (Prison Officer in Crawley 2004 p 92).
Official and un-official cultures: Whilst equality is officially promoted in all professions, this might not be the case in reality as can be seen in this comment from Crawley’s research: As soon as they knew there was women on the course some of the blokes said ‘Oh no, fucking splits! I hope I haven’t got one on my team’. They were looking for mistakes all the time. If the women fell over running up the stairs with their shields, they’d get called a stupid bitch, but if a bloke fell over they just laughed. (cited in Crawley 2004 p91) Image by : omerta Used under a Creative Commons licence
You and your work…About the Police: “you drive along and you see things or read things differently to your wife or friends and invariably matchboxes and cheques are covered with car numbers and this sort of thing. You go to the football, and you tend to be more aware, to keep your eye on the yobs, or you notice odd things…”(Reiner 1978) Image by : Molumen Used under a Creative Commons licence
Work influences: Like police officers, prison officers are specifically trained to be suspicious; … the ability to ‘read’ people and situations is crucial for the maintenance of order and indeed for his or her own safety …Summing up the advice of the trainers, a female officer commented that ‘at training college, you’re taught never to trust the bastards!’ … the development of a suspicious ‘mindset’ has certain knock-on effects for officers’ relationships outside as well as inside the prison. …‘You get to think that everybody is out to do you harm if they get the chance … You get to think, well, they’re all scroats. That’s it. End of story’ (senior officer, Lancaster Farms). (Crawley 2004 p86). Image by : worker Used under a Creative Commons licence
Conclusion: Point 9: Understanding organisational culture and being able to reflect on what is important to you in a job, and also how you might cope with organisational cultures may help to make you more informed in your choice of career.