Monday, September 5, 2011
ANOTHER VERSION OF THE BROKEN WINDOW THEORY ?
For those not familiar with the "Broken Window" theory, it was introduced in 1982 in an article by social scientists James Q. Wilson and George L. Kelling. Essentially the study apparently showed that if you ignore the little things, the larger issues are allowed to occur without check. It was meant to apply to crime issues in an urban environment, but it would seem to apply to a much broader spectrum of behavior.
Can the same theory be equated to job performance and accountability? Very rarely are government employees held to a standard that might apply to their counterparts in the private sector. Part of that I think is based on the hiring of supervisors and department heads who in many cases, particularly in Hartford, are political cronies who receive their positions based upon political influence rather than any actual legitimate selection process.
The picture above is a perfect example. It happens to be in the rear lot of the Hartford Police Department, but I'm sure most of us have seen the same conditions of trash barrels along Franklin Avenue, Park Street or even many of Hartford's parks. And although the picture above was taken today, several people I asked said the overflowing trash is a regular condition. It apparently is not one that occurred because it was a holiday weekend.
I have to wonder how long someone working at Westfarms Mall or the Travelers Insurance would be employed if their boss pulled into a parking lot and saw something like this?
I know in the great scheme of things, this may seem like a minor issue, but that is what the broken window theory is all about. If no one is held accountable for something like this, they will have no problem escalating their incompetence to the next level knowing the consequences are non-existent.
Isn't it time that we insist that those we pay to actually supervise, start supervising? And this is not a police department issue, the picture just happens to have been taken in their lot.