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Authors: Esther Scott
Published by: Harvard Kennedy School
Published in: 1991

Abstract

The sudden and dramatic relaxation of South Africa''s infamous apartheid race codes leaves one institution accustomed to enforcing the old laws in an exceptionally difficult position. The nation''s elite national police force, feared and despised by blacks as the enforcers of apartheid, must find a way to become a keeper of the new laws and order. To do so, police officials must try to find a way to win the trust of a distrustful population. Part of that task entails racial integration of the police force itself and bringing black police officers into positions of influence. This case highlights, in an exceptionally dramatic way, the ways in which the missions of public agencies can change in relationship to the political climate. It calls for imagination in coping with a crucial problem of managing organizational change.
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Abstract

The sudden and dramatic relaxation of South Africa''s infamous apartheid race codes leaves one institution accustomed to enforcing the old laws in an exceptionally difficult position. The nation''s elite national police force, feared and despised by blacks as the enforcers of apartheid, must find a way to become a keeper of the new laws and order. To do so, police officials must try to find a way to win the trust of a distrustful population. Part of that task entails racial integration of the police force itself and bringing black police officers into positions of influence. This case highlights, in an exceptionally dramatic way, the ways in which the missions of public agencies can change in relationship to the political climate. It calls for imagination in coping with a crucial problem of managing organizational change.

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