Co-governance in Police Work
The solving of drug problems faced by the police is very complicated; it requires the cooperation of people with different backgrounds and cultures.
The hierarchic management based on command that has traditionally prevailed in the police is not suitable for leading the employees of public and private sector, from Estonia and abroad, with different cultures and values. It is necessary to have a more complex approach that is based on other notions – trust, partnership and negotiations. The management proceeding from the theory of co-governance includes different actors. In order to use this management method, it is necessary to understand the identity and values of the participants. In a command-based organisation, no special importance is attached to values and identity because tasks are solved according to commands and creativity is not appreciated, but co-governance that is based on equality requires respect towards partners and empowers the actors.
Hierarchy and impersonal bureaucratic structure makes people inactive and unable to respond to the requirements of today’s society. But horizontal and organic structure supports people’s creativity and their capability to react quickly to problems. The success of co-governance is guaranteed by the knowledge that established social identity means belonging to a certain defined group, the members of the group are equal and things are seen from the group perspective. Contrary to that, role identity means acting according to the expectations attached to a specific role.
To empower the actors in a formal or informal democratic organisation, they have to be ensured as great independence as possible and adequate information about the decision process. When the actor becomes a part of the organisation, he or she will also acquire the identity of this organisation. In order to achieve success in forming groups and keeping them functioning, it is not enough to include just any actors. People feel happy and motivated, satisfied and committed when their values match the values of the organisation. Comprehending the values of an individual’s level helps lead the subordinates better. The synergy of established aims and convictions is necessary for the implementation of any policy, and this also applies to co-governance. Such ideas can be applied only if we are convinced that in the environment surrounding us, it is possible to achieve success with this way of thinking.