Marks, M. and Fleming, Jenny
As unremarkable as the air they breathe? Reforming police management in South Africa
Current Sociology, 52, (5), . (doi:10.1177/0011392104045370).
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With the transition to democratic governance in South Africa in 1994, the public service was identified as the key sector requiring transformation. This involved refashioning the types of delivery offered to the public and a complete renovation of labour relations practices and institutions within public service organizations. The police were expected to dramatically change their labour relations framework and practices to allow for increased ‘worker’ participation in decision-making processes and enhanced performance management. This article examines attempts at transforming police labour relations in one unit of the South African Police Service. Existing legacies of authoritarianism and police disciplinary customs and a lack of directive leadership from management have seriously limited this attempt at transforming police labour relations. This, in turn, has hampered the unit’s transition towards operating in accordance with the community policing framework that is supposed to guide the practice of the ‘new’ South African Police Service.
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