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

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  • COWAN, EVERARD JAMES

Abstract

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.

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  • 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
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