Team Project – Training Day Case Study

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CMHR405 - Organizational Behaviour and Interpersonal Skills
Instructor: Tom Medcof

Team Project – Training Day Case Study

Date Submitted: Tuesday December 15, 2009

Table of Contents

1.0Introduction4

2.0Motivational Theories4

3.0Sources Of Conflict5

4.0Team Cohesiveness7

5.0Sources And Contingencies Of Power9

6.0Leadership10

7.0Conclusions And Recommendations11

Introduction

The film Training Day follows two officers, Alonzo Harris, a veteran narcotics officer and Jake Hoyt who has a strong desire to join Alonzo’s squad and become an integral part of getting drugs off the streets of the United States. Throughout the film, we see the examples of what drives these officers to make the decisions they do, the conflicts that arise, the roles of leadership that Jake and Alonzo take as well as the levels of cohesiveness that the team travels through. The report below provides a deeper analysis and understanding of these areas, what is working, what isn’t and how to improve the overall LAPD organization moving forward.

Motivational Theories

We see multiple examples throughout the movie Training Day of the Need Based Theories of Motivation. In many examples, we can observe how Jake and Alonzo both contrast and compare as the story is told to viewers. First, according to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, Alonzo’s underlying motivation for everything he carries out in the movie is to satisfy the lower-order need for safety, as he is trying to gather enough money to pay the Russians and save his life. In contrast, Jake is motivated by the higher-order needs of esteem and self-actualization’s Jake values the future recognition he could get by realizing his full potential and becoming a detective in the near future. Conversely, according to Alderfer’s ERG Theory, we observe similar contrasts. Alonzo is again motivated by his need for Existence (as he is motivated to pay the mafia to save his life) and Jake is motivated by his need for Growth, as he has a secure job back in the office doing desk work (which would still satisfy his lower-order needs), yet he prefers to go out on the streets and join the Narcotics Division.

According to McClelland’s Theory of Learned Needs, both Alonzo and Jake have a need for power as they want to influence others and make a difference in life. As McClelland states there is a distinction between socialized power and personalized power, this is where Alonzo and Jake differ. Jake’s need for power, according to this theory, is demonstrated as a “socialized power need”. This is evident as he wishes to use his power to benefit many, whereas Alonzo has a “personalized power need”, which is indisputably used for personal gain[i].

Analyzing these characters motivation though McGregor’s Theory X Theory Y assumptions about people, we can argue that Alonzo is biased towards Theory X. This is clear throughout the movie as he assumes Jake is likely motivated by lower-order needs (e.g. when Alonzo assumes Jake will accept money to keep silent) and constantly attempts to motivate Jake by meeting these needs (physiological, safety, security). In the end, Alonzo catches up and realizes Jake is actually motivated by Theory Y set of assumptions (Jake has great potential for development and is capable of assuming responsibility). Alonzo tries to persuade Jake to take the money now and use the incident at Roger’s house as leverage to be awarded a medal, then serve a bit more time and make detective so he can continue to work and put the bad guys behind bars.

Taking Hezberg’s Motivation Hygiene Theory[ii], Jake’s working conditions lack hygiene factors. That is, the working conditions and policy seemed to be unaligned with his expectations. After the incident at Roger’s house, Jake is taken aback by the amount of corruption within the police force and can’t accept the facts. In this scenario, it is not the...
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