IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Using organizational economics to engage cultural key masters in creating change in forensic science administration to minimize bias and errors




The administration of the forensic science process falls into the hands of supervisors, local administrators, and prosecution attorneys and police agencies. In the current structure, the police and prosecution are the principal and the forensic scientists the agent. I identify changes that must be made in that relationship to eliminate biases and to determine the major obstacles that stand in the way of creating the necessary changes. I focus on the ‘middle managers’ – the supervisors and laboratory directors – as the cultural key masters. I recommend: mechanism design principles to enable laboratories to report to a board of directors, rather than the prosecutor and police; for the development of compensation plans for middle managers to build a culture of learning based on error tolerance rather than error punishment; and for the use of intrinsic and extrinsic motivations to facilitate the identity changes of cultural key masters.

Suggested Citation

  • Cowan, Everard James, 2012. "Using organizational economics to engage cultural key masters in creating change in forensic science administration to minimize bias and errors," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 8(01), pages 93-117, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:jinsec:v:8:y:2012:i:01:p:93-117_00

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: link to article abstract page
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cup:jinsec:v:8:y:2012:i:01:p:93-117_00. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Keith Waters). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.