Dubai is one of the fastest growing major global urban centers. The city has become the region’s top tourists’ destination and business hub. According to Noblet and Rodwell (2008), the growth of the city has been boosted by massive investment made by the government and improved security. The city is highly diversified as people from all over the world immigrate to find better paying jobs or to tap into the local business opportunities. Janssen and Estevez (2013) also report that the city of Dubai is experiencing rapid population growth majorly because of the immigration. As a top tourists’ destination and a business hub, one of the main concerns that the government has to deal with is the issue of security. One of the crucial factors that tourists often consider before planning to visit a given city is the level of security they are guaranteed. As leisure travelers, they want to ensure that they are safe from any criminal acts. The business community also requires a high level of security to achieve success. As Bradford (2014) observes, a firm cannot survive in a lawless country. Such entities need assurance that their premises and products cannot be attacked by criminals. The local police force is finding itself in an increasingly demanding environment where they have to enhance their capacity and efficiency because of the increase in the workload.
Klischewski (2014) explain that the Dubai police department is keen on embracing best practices in this industry. Law enforcement agencies around the world are finding it more relevant to engage the local community through innovative strategies other than using traditional methods where members of the public feared the police. A close interaction and relationship between the police and the local community makes it easy to gather the needed intelligence. The approach is meant to help make a major shift from making arrest after a crime has been committed to preventing crime from occurring. The police can gather intelligence about impending crime in time and then make arrests in a way that protects the public and property. In this paper, the researcher seeks to investigate how the Dubai police can embrace innovation in its daily operations to enhance its service delivery.
Change is one of the inevitable factors that an organization has to face yet many people tend to resist it because of varying reasons. According to Park and Hassan (2018), the fear of the unknown is a major factor that makes many people to avoid change. Some people fear that the new approaches may require new skills that they lack, making their services irrelevant and unnecessary within the organization. Others may feel that their age limits their capacity to understand the emerging technology-based approaches. Patil (2018) explains that limited planning is another major hindrance to organizational change. Despite these hindrances, an entity that does not embrace change cannot achieve success in the current dynamic society. The Dubai police department has registered impressive performance over the recent past as it tries to ensure that people and properties are protected from any form of attack. However, the top leadership of this organization must understand that its long-term success depends on the ability to embrace change. In this section, the researcher will review the existing literature to understand what other scholars have found out in this field.
Changing Approach of Policing
The police department as a government entity is principally responsible for maintaining law and order, as Abdelsalam, Reddick, Gamal, and Al-shaar (2013) observe. The traditional approach that the police used to execute their duties in the past was primarily based on fear. Meixell and Luoma (2015) explain that in many countries around the world, the police had vast power. They used brutality and force to enforce the law. Criminals would be deterred by the sheer imagination of the level of brutality of the police officers. Members of the public made an effort to avoid any encounters with the police because of the fear. However, time are changing and using the concept of fear is no longer effective (Kromidha & Córdoba-Pachón, 2017). In many parts of the world, the police force has been demystified. The fact that members of the public can demand that an action be taken against a police officer who uses excessive force has made people to be comfortable around police officers. They know they have a right to be informed about the reasons why they have to be arrested in case that is necessary. They also know that the police have no right to brutalize them (Pee & Kankanhalli, 2016). The police department is finding itself in an increasingly challenging environment where they have to embrace new strategies to manage new challenges in the society. The following are some of the emerging issues that force the local police to redefine their approach of managing various forces in the society.
The emerging technologies have been helpful in various ways. According to Palmer and Flanagan (2016), massive advancements have been witnessed in the field of telecommunication. New means of communication such as teleconferencing, video-calling, and the use of social media platforms have been revolutionary. However, these advancements have brought new challenges that the police department has to manage to enhance security in the country. Cybercrime is one of these problems. Some technology experts are now using their knowledge to commit crime (Al Mehrzi & Singh, 2016). Cybercrime takes different approaches. Some are using their knowledge to access data of large firms without permission. Once they access the data, they can sell it to third parties or manipulate the date for their personal gains. Commercial banks have been the top victims of cybercrimes. Such criminals use their technological skills to access bank accounts and steal millions of dollars every year (Mousavi, 2015). As Meixell and Luoma (2015) observe, the only difference between an armed back robber and a cyber criminal stealing from financial institutions is the approach. Armed robbers, because of their limited technological skills, are forced to use weapons to steal money. Cybercriminals use technology to achieve the same goal (Bradford, 2014). The police have to find new ways of dealing with such criminals. Using traditional policing methods cannot fight data theft and manipulation that financial institutions in this country suffer.
The aviation industry is another which is significantly affected by cybercrime. A report by Walker and Laplume (2014) shows that the aviation industry in North American is often subject to hundreds of thousands of cyber attacks every year. Most of them are often unsuccessful, but some end up affecting the targeted firms. The problem is experienced in many other countries around the world. The city of Dubai is experiencing the current massive growth because of the ease with which tourists and businesspersons can fly in and out of the country. Leading airline companies such as Emirates Airline are playing a critical role in ensuring that the economy achieves the desired level of success. However, the threat of potential attack by cybercriminals is worrying (Rengifo, Stemen, & Amidon, 2017). It means that the law enforcement agency has to redefine its strategies of dealing with this form of crime. The Dubai police department has to use emerging technologies to fight cybercrime.
According to Meixell and Luoma (2015), one of the factors that make cybercrime unique and difficult to fight is that it goes beyond the national border. A cybercriminal in Russia or China can easily target local firms in the United Arab Emirates and cause a lot of damage to the victim. In the last general election in the United States, Russians were accused of manipulating the voting system remotely from different locations (Danese, Manfè, & Romano, 2018). The accusation shows the magnitude of the problem. It demonstrates that cybercrime does not just affect private institutions. It can compromise the sovereignty of a nation if care is not taken. As such, the Dubai police should not treat the issue as a simple technological problem that can be wished away. The police department must understand that the problem cannot be solved using guns and numerous police officers. It is a problem that has to be addressed away from the brick-and-mortar model that has been in use to an online platform using the latest technologies. Cybercriminals should not be allowed to reign supreme within this country despite their sophisticated knowledge in communication technologies.
Dubai city, and by extension the entire country, is not immune to the regional insecurity and political instability. The Arab spring that affected many regional countries had a serious impact on the countries security (Rerup & Feldman, 2011). Many displaced persons from Syria, Yemen, Iraq, and other neighboring countries have sought refuge in the United Arab Emirates. Their presence in the country exerts pressure on the local police. Some of these asylum seekers are not law-abiding individuals, making it necessary for the police to monitor their activities. It makes it necessary to come with effective ways policing that can assure the locals of their security. When dealing with such a serious problem, Palmer and Flanagan (2016) advise that the local police need close coordination with other regional law enforcement agencies to ensure that important intelligence can be gathered to track down criminals and arrest them before they can subject members of the public to harm.
Sustainable Environmental Practices and Innovation Practices
The concept of sustainability has become increasingly relevant in the modern society. Both private and public entities are trying to find ways to make their operations sustainable. The Dubai police department has a responsibility of embracing this new concept to achieve success in the modern society. As Meixell and Luoma (2015) observe, sustainability is often supported by three main pillars. They include economic, environmental, and social factors as shown in figure 1 below. The environmental pillar is a basic factor that defines the ability of a firm to ensure that its operations are sustainable.
According to a scientists and environmental conservationists, pollution is a major factor that is causing climate change (Bradford, 2014). As such, firms all over the world are expected to ensure that their operations do not pose any threat to the environment. Many governmental institutions in the United Arab Emirates have been adopting various strategies to ensure that their activities do not pose any threat to the environment. According to Walker and Laplume (2014), in countries such as Sweden, patrol police are using bicycles instead of cars and trucks as a way of reducing emission of greenhouse gases. Many offices are also embracing clean energy such as solar and wind power to cut the cost of operations and to protect the environment. Fernandez and Moldogaziev (2012) explain that embracing sustainable environmental practices enhances innovation.
The police department is forced to constantly think of how to ensure that their operations do not affect the environment. In the past, many government departments, especially those that offer services such as the police department, did not believe that their operations have negative impact on the environment. However, these institutions have come to realize that fighting environmental degradation needs a concerted effort from all stakeholders. The little that can be done by the police department can play a significant role in fighting the problem of pollution. Palmer and Flanagan (2016) observe that when a firm is under pressure to improve the level of efficiency of its operations, its employees will embrace innovation as the best solution to deal with the issue. The researcher collected and analyzed data from primary sources to confirm the hypothesis below:
Hypothesis (H1): Sustainable environmental practices influences sustainable innovation practices.
Sustainable People Practices and Innovation Practices
The second pillar of sustainability, as shown in the figure above, is the social factor. Any entity that is keen on achieving success in its operations must ensure that it relates well with people. The society must feel that the organization is keen on taking into consideration social concerns (El-Karim, Elnawawy, & Abdel-Alin, 2017). The police department is meant to serve the people in any given country. However, Mousavi (2015) says that it is very unfortunate that in most of the cases the relationship between members of the society and the police is often strained. Traditionally, the police often use force when making arrest or enforcing a court orders (Bradford, 2014). As such, many people tend to fear the police. The fear was viewed as a necessary evil because it acted as a deterrent to crime. The imagination of police brutality and molestation often make many people to avoid any encounter with the law enforcement agencies. Walker and Laplume (2014) believe that the use of fear to deter crime in the society worked in the past. However, it is no longer an effective tool in the modern society. The police cannot serve the society effectively if it is feared and hated by the people. The ability of police officers to crash criminals activities depend on its effectiveness in gathering necessary intelligence and acting upon them as soon as possible. It means that there should be a cordial relationship between the police and members of the society.
According to Seba, Rowley, and Delbridge (2012), mending the broken relationship between the police and the society may be a complex process. It requires a complete change of tact and focus among the police officers. Innovative strategies are necessary to endear the officers and the entire department to the public. Bradford (2014) argues that one of the ways of improving the relationship is to create new platforms of communication. Members of the public should be reminded that they can contact the police whenever they have an issue that may be relevant in maintaining law and order. They should not only call the police when in distress. Forums may also need to be created to ensure that the police can interact freely with civilians to demystify fear associated with uniformed officers. Above all, the society should have trust in the police force. They should believe that officers are focused on protecting their interests, properties, and lives. They should also know that the ability of the police department to deliver effective results depend on the support they get from the society. It may take awhile to win that trust, especially among individuals who have experienced police brutality. Meixell and Luoma (2015) argue that however challenging the task may be, the top commanders of a police department must ensure that there is a trust between members of the public and the force. Primary data collected from the respondents was analyzed to test the hypothesis below:
Hypothesis (H2): Sustainable people practices influence innovation practices.
Sustainable Organization Management and Innovation Practices
The third pillar of sustainability is the economic success. Mousavi (2015) argues that an organization, whether it is for profit or non-profit making entity, cannot achieve success without economic sustainability. Government entities such as the police department do not operate on the basis of making profit. However, they need direct economic support from the government to support their operations. In every financial year, a given amount is set aside to support the operations of the police department. The management of this department has a responsibility to ensure that resources assigned to the agency are used properly to meet all the needs as envisioned in the budget. Sustainable organizational management involves developing plans that define how different activities will be conducted by different personnel using specific budget. Each of the three departments (the General Department of Operations, the General Department of Artificial Intelligence, and the General Department of Criminal Investigation) has clear jurisdictions in Dubai. As the police department tries to initiate change by introducing new approaches of conducting various activities, it should be clear how the resources should be allocated.
Sustainable practices involve embracing strategies that cut operational costs. The department consumes a lot of energy to fuel police vehicles and to provide power at the offices and residents of the officers. One of the steps that should be taken, as Palmer and Flanagan (2016) suggest, is to reduce the amount of energy used by the department by embracing renewable energy. Instead of using electricity generated through coal-powered generators, the department can embrace the use of solar and wind energy. A study by Gagliardi et al. (2017) shows that the United Arab Emirates receives sufficient sunlight and relatively strong winds throughout the year. It means that production of solar and wind energy can be a success in the country. Using these energy sources may have high initial cost, but they are less costly in long-term. All the offices and residential flats for the offices should be fitted with solar panels to reduce reliance on the electricity from the national grid. The patrol officers should also embrace sustainable practices. Instead of using cars, they can embrace the use of bicycle, which is not only healthy for the officers but also cheap to maintain and environmentally friendly. When these sustainable organizational management practices are embraced, a firm is forced to be innovative. The following hypothesis was developed based on the information based from secondary sources.
Hypothesis (H3): Sustainable organization management practices influences innovation practices.
It is important to define the method used in collecting and analyzing data, as Mousavi (2015) advises. It makes it possible for the readers to determine the reliability of the conclusion made in a given study. Data used in this paper was collected from both primary and secondary sources. Secondary data was obtained from books and journal articles indexed Scopus citation only from 2008 up to date. It was necessary to use recent information to understand current factors that define operations at this company. Primary data was obtained from the sampled participants. This section explains how data was collected from them and then analyzed to confirm or reject the hypotheses set during the review of literature.
Data needed in this study had to be collected from employees working within the Dubai Police Force. They understand challenges that the department is going through and are in the best position to provide information on how to implement innovation in the daily operations of the organization. According to a report by Weisburd, Braga, Groff, and Wooditch (2017) show that the Dubai Police Force employs over 17,500 people, majority of who are police officers. Although it would be desirable to collect data from all of them, the limited time available for the study made it difficult to do so. As such, sampling was necessary to ensure that a manageable number of participants were selected to be part of this investigation. Simple random sampling was used to identify 41 participants. Table 1 below shows the gender, age group, and education level of the respondents identified to take part in the study. It is important to note that all the 41 participants selected to take part in the study turned up. The high response rate is partly attributed to the high discipline levels of the officers and the direct contact that was made with them.
Table 1: Sample Details
|Education Level||High School||5||12.2|
Source (Developed by author)
Data was collected from the respondents with the help of a questionnaire. The instrument was developed before contacting the respondents. Given that this was a quantitative research, it was necessary to collect data in a standard format that makes it easy for it to be coded. The questionnaire was designed to ensure that the needed information was gathered from the participants. The section that focused on the background of the respondent made it possible to provide detailed demographical factors of the respondents. Jackson et al. (2012) argue that highly educated individuals tend to answer questions differently as opposed to those with limited education. The researcher used the instrument to conduct interviews with the sampled respondents. Abdelfatah, Al-Zaffin, and Hijazi (2015) explain that interview is an effective method of collecting data, especially when handling a relatively small number of respondents (less than 50 participants).
In this quantitative research, information was collected using a 7–point likert scale. Data collected from the participants was coded into SPSS (statistical package for social scientists) for the purpose of analysis. In this case, the analysis focused on determining the relationship that exists between different independent variables and the independent variables. A correlation analysis was considered an appropriate approach in determining the relationship. The outcome of the analysis was presented in tables to make it easy for the readers to interpret the information.
When conducting academic research, Palmer and Flanagan (2016) advise that it is critical to observe ethical concerns. One of the ethical requirements is to ensure that necessary permission is granted from the relevant authorities when collecting data from organizations. The Dubai Police Force is one of the disciplined forces in the country and its employees are required by law to engage members of the public when instructed to do so. The researcher had to consult with the commanders in the selected stations to request them to allow their officers to be part of the study. A written request was made and the officers were contacted only after getting the permission. Respondents were reminded that their participation in the study was voluntary. It meant that they could pull out of the study when they felt it necessary to do so. Walker and Laplume (2014) note that it is the responsibility of a researcher to ensure that the identity of the participants is hidden so that they do not get subjected to unfair criticism in case their opinion varies from that of the majority. In this study, the respondents were assigned codes instead of using their actual name. As an academic research, it was equally important to avoid any form of plagiarism. Information collected from secondary sources was properly referenced using American Psychological Association (APA) format.
In this section, the results obtained after running the data through SPSS is presented. Figure 2 below shows a summary of the outcome when measuring the relationship amongst different variables (sustainable environmental practices, sustainable people practices, sustainable organizational management practices, and sustainable innovation practices) using regression analysis.
Table 2: Mean, SD. Reliability Coefficients, Relationships amongst Sustainable Environmental Practices, Sustainable People Practices, Sustainable Organization Management Practices, and Sustainable Innovation Practices (n=41)
|**. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed).|
Wherein, SD = Standard Deviation, SEP = Sustainable Environmental Practices, SPP = Sustainable People Practices, SOMP = Sustainable Organization Management Practices, SIP = Sustainable Innovation Practices
Table 2 above shows that there was a relatively high reliability in the data analyzed. Sustainable environmental practices had a reliability coefficient of 0.854, sustainable people practices had 0.890 and sustainable organizational management practices 0.881. The reliability coefficient of sustainable innovation practices was 0.874. Pistoni, Songini, and Perrone (2016) explain that reliability coefficient of more than 0.5 and closer to 1 shows high degree of reliability. Each of these factors was analyzed to confirm or reject each of the three hypotheses set during literature review and tables above show the outcome.
Table 3: Impact of Sustainable Environmental Practices on Sustainable Innovation Practices (n=41)
|Sustainable Environmental Practices||0.723||0.523||0.723||42.787||0.000|
Table 3 above shows the relationship between sustainable environmental practices and sustainable innovation at this department. The correlation is significant at 0.01. The outcome shows that 52.3% of the respondents feel that there is a significant relationship between sustainable environmental practices and sustainable innovation within the organization. The level of that is significance shown in the table above, which is closer to 0.01, shows that there is a significant relationship between the two variables. Walker and Laplume (2014) explain that when a firm embraces sustainable environmental practices, it is more likely to be innovative. It means that the hypothesis below was confirmed.
Hypothesis (H1): Sustainable environmental practices influences sustainable innovation practices.
Table 4: Impact of Sustainable People Practices on Sustainable Innovation Practices (n=41)
|Sustainable People Practices||0.556||0.309||0.556||17.453||0.000|
Table 4 above shows the relationship between sustainable people practices and sustainable innovation practices. R Square is 0.309, which means that majority of the respondents felt that sustainable people practices may not necessarily influence sustainable practices. As Walker and Laplume (2014) note, a firm that embraces sustainable people practices may be on the path towards sustainable innovation practices, but the two variables do not have direct relationship. It means that an entity can embrace innovative practices without embracing sustainable people practices. It does not mean that an organization that embraces sustainable people practices automatically becomes innovative in its operations. It means that the hypothesis below was rejected.
Hypothesis (H2): Sustainable people practices influences innovation practices.
Table 5: Impact of Sustainable Organization Management Practices on Sustainable Innovation Practices (n=41)
|Sustainable Organization Management Practices||0.784||0.614||0.784||62.011||0.000|
It was also necessary to establish the relationship between sustainable organizational management practices and sustainable innovation practices. Table 5 above shows the relationship. It is evident that 61.4% of the participants believe that there is a significant relationship. According to Lijo and Gopalakrishnan (2015), an organization that embraces effective management with the goal of cutting cost and improving performance may not ignore innovation. The two are closely intertwined. Their argument was confirmed by the analysis of primary data collected from the participants based on their knowledge and experience while working at Dubai Police Force. It means that the hypothesis below was accepted.
Hypothesis (H3): Sustainable organization management practices influences innovation practices.
Discussion and Conclusions
The findings of the study show that Dubai Police Department needs to embrace sustainable innovation practices to enhance its service delivery to the people. The society is currently facing new challenges brought about by new technologies and other environmental factors. It is not possible for the police to fight cybercrime using physical force needed to limit activities of robbers (Short & Toffel, 2010). A new technology-based approach is needed to enable the force to deter crime of varying nature from occurring in the society. It also needs to embrace innovative strategies to ensure that it can gather relevance intelligence to fight crime effectively.
Sustainable Environmental Practices and Innovation Practices
The findings from primary data analysis show that when an organization embraces sustainable environmental practices, it is likely to embrace innovative practices. The two variables are significantly correlated. In the process of trying to protect the environment, Meixell and Luoma (2015) explain that a firm will embrace innovative strategies. The use of solar power, wind power, and other renewable energy sources to protect the environment is innovative in nature. It means that the more the organization embraces sustainable environmental practices, the more it is likely to become innovative. The police department in Dubai should embrace operational strategies that will help protect the environment. Although its operations do not have devastating environmental impact as those of the manufacturing industry, the small gains that it makes can help in reducing emission of greenhouse gases in the country and cutting the cost of its operations. Embracing these sustainable practices also enhances innovation at this organization. The firm will use similar creative approaches to solve challenges it faces in its normal activities of maintaining law and order.
Sustainable People Practices and Innovation Practices
The paper shows that sustainable people practices are important in promoting trust and positive relationship between members of public and the police. The trust should be developed to ensure that the police can get critical intelligence from members of public to fight crime and related activities effectively (Willer, Flynn, & Zak, 2012). Primary data analysis shows that there is no direct significant relationship between sustainable people practices and innovation practices. It means that it is possible for a firm to maintain positive relationship with members of public without embracing innovative strategies to fight crime. As Palmer and Flanagan (2016) say, maintaining a positive relationship with members of public is not enough for the police to fight some of the emerging criminal activities. The police needs to understand the relevance of emerging technologies in gathering relevant intelligence and in facilitating prompt action to fight crime. Although the two variables are not directly related, sustainable people practices are critical in enhancing efficiency of the organization’s operations.
Sustainable Organization Management Practices and Innovation Practices
The study shows that sustainable organization management practices significantly and directly influences innovation practices. When an organization is keen on improving its management practices, it will have to embrace innovation (Weisburd et al., 2017). One such approach is changing file management from brick-and-mortar model to digital data model. By eliminating physical files and replacing them with digital files, the entity will be improving its management practices through innovation. Marshall, McCarthy, McGrath, and Claudy (2015) explain that it is not possible for a firm to improve its management practices without being innovative. In the police department, one of the common management practices is the use of emerging technologies in the field of telecommunication to help share intelligence among various law enforcement agencies. It means that the Dubai police will not only be expected to digitize its data management system but also have platforms where that data can be shared with relevant stakeholders and officers safely to improve the organization’s performance.
Implementing innovation in daily operations of Dubai Police Department is a challenging process. The Dubai Police currently faces new challenges, some of which are brought about by the emerging technologies. Fighting these challenges require innovative practices. As shown in the paper, many police departments in developed countries are embracing creative approach of combating crime. Others are using environmentally friendly approaches to ensure that they deliver on their promise to the society. The local police force will have to follow best practices set by some of these organizations in addressing similar problems. Although the physical presence of police officers is still important in deterring crime and maintaining law and order, having effective means of gathering intelligence and acting upon it enhance success rate of the department’s operations. Information gathered from both primary and secondary data sources also indicate that sustainable environmental practices and sustainable organizational management practices are significantly related to innovative practices. Sustainable people practices may not influence innovation practices directly but it is important in positively influencing the operations of the department.
Implications of the Study
According to Galpin, Whittington, and Bell (2015), findings of a study is meant to help address an issue identified in a given field. In this case, the focus was on how the police department can improve its efficiency in the face of new challenges such as cybercrime and increasing insecurity in the region. Dubai Police Department plays a critical role of maintaining law and order and protecting members of the society in this emirate. The study shows that there is a need for a policy change at this department. The entity must embrace innovative strategies to deal with the new challenges. It must adopt new technology-based approaches to enable it move beyond the use of physical force to deter criminal activities. The findings made in this study strongly suggests that sustainable environmental practices and sustainable organizational management practices are concepts that cannot be ignored by an entity that is keen on embracing innovation in its operations. Sustainable people practices should be embraced to improve the relationship between the police force and members of public, but this variable does not have direct relationship with the dependent variable.
Limitations and Direction for Future Research
This research was quantitative in nature. Data was collected from the respondents using structured questions that limited their answers to specific codes. Implementing sustainable innovation in daily operations of a firm is a broad topic that needs both qualitative and quantitative data analysis. It would be necessary to let the respondents explain why they feel that although embracing sustainable people practices is important for this organization, it does not have a direct influence on sustainable people practices. It was the biggest limitation in the study. Future research should focus on analyzing this issue from a qualitative angle to have a comprehensive understanding of the issue. It is also necessary to investigate the role of various stakeholders, from the ground officers, senior commanders, and other staff members within this department, in promoting innovation as a way of reducing costs and improving efficiency.
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