Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Committee Chair

Steven Bingham


In the fall of 2014 after the retirement of the longtime director, it became apparent that the conditions within the Animal Control Division of the Gaston County Police Department were far from what had been portrayed for years. Facing the department was an antiquated records system, staff with limited training, a lack of supervision resulting in lengthy response times, and a subculture existing independent of the department’s culture.

Utilizing Morgan’s (2006) storyline to determine what forces were influencing the current and future conditions within the division, I identified that the Cultural Metaphor was the dominant frame. As Morgan (2006, p. 141) pointed out, this metaphor directs attention to the symbolic significance of almost every aspect of organizational life including structures, hierarchies, rules, and routines. Changing the culture of the division was one of the four goals of my project, along with reducing pending call times, improving training, and updating antiquated records systems and processes.

After 2½ years of project intervention, the pending call times went from 32.02 hours to 7.90 hours, an 84% reduction. In training, the division witnessed a 96% increase in training hours per full-time employee. When examining complaints, there was an 85% reduction in citizen complaints as well as a 42% reduction in administrative complaints. Survey data analysis showed t-statistic values that significantly exceeded the critical value, indicating that the observed changes were due in fact to the implemented changes of the project and not just from chance.

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