Forensic Laboratory Management : Applying Business Principles book cover
1st Edition

Forensic Laboratory Management
Applying Business Principles

ISBN 9781466556713
Published September 26, 2014 by CRC Press
363 Pages - 33 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

New technologies, including DNA and digital databases that can compare known and questioned exemplars, have transformed forensic science and greatly impacted the investigative process. They have also made the work more complicated. Obtaining proper resources to provide quality and timely forensic services is frequently a challenge for forensic managers, who are often promoted from casework duties and must now learn a whole new set of leadership skills.

The interdisciplinary and scientific nature of laboratories requires strong leadership ability to manage complex issues, often in adversarial settings. Forensic Laboratory Management: Applying Business Principles provides laboratory managers with business tools that apply the best science to the best evidence in a manner that increases the efficiency and effectiveness of their management decision making. The authors present a performance model with seven recommendations to implement, illustrating how forensic managers can serve as leaders and strategically improve the operation and management in scientific laboratories.

Topics include:

  • Key business metrics and cost–benefit analyses
  • Ethical lapses: why they occur, possible motives, and how problems can be prevented
  • Forensic training, education, and institutes
  • ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation implementation

The book includes case studies simulating a working laboratory in which readers can apply business tools with actual data reinforcing discussion concepts. Each chapter also includes a brief review of current literature of the best management theories and practice.

A supplemental DVD supplies two mock trial transcripts and associated case files along with PowerPoint® slides from Dr. George Carmody’s workshop on Forensic DNA Statistics and Dr. Doug Lucas’s presentation on ethics.

Table of Contents

Leadership in Forensic Science Laboratories
Origins and Rationale
Description: National Leadership Challenges
Risks, Problems, Barriers: Leadership Challenges in the Lab
Identifying Leadership Challenges: Insight from Forensic Leaders
Behavioral Costing of Human Resources
Lessons Learned and Recommendations: Measures of Efficiency and Effectiveness
Forensic Laboratory Key Business Metrics and Cost–Benefit Analyses
Laboratory Management Performance Model
Law Enforcement Requirements
Cost: Efficiency and Effectiveness
Benchmarks for Best Practices
Basics of Cost–Benefit Analyses
Laboratory Excellence and Ethics: An Essential Association
Douglas Lucas
Why Is Ethical Conduct Important to Forensic Laboratory Management and Staff?
Ethics: What Are They?
Codes of Ethics: What Are They? Who Needs Them?
Examples of Some Ethical Problems
Why Do People Do Such Things?
Some Ethical Challenges and Dilemmas
Forensic Training, Education, and Institutes
Forensic Science Manager Job Requirements
Identifying the Need for Education, Training, and Professional Development
Laboratory Management Performance Model Professional Development Costs
Solution: Academic Institutes for Forensic Science
Advice for Students Considering a Forensic Career
Dedicated Facilities
Two Student Cameos
The Capstone: Testimony
Major Academic and Institute Outcomes
ISO Accreditation Implementation: A Framework to Implement a Quality Service
Harold Peel and Murray Malcolm
Background: International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and Accrediting Bodies
Why Consider Accreditation? Advantages and Some Considerations
ISO/IEC 17025 (2005): Outline and Comment
Section 4
Preparation and Implementation
Writing Policies and Procedures
Scientific Procedure versus Administrative Procedure
Instructions on How to Develop Procedures

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W. Mark Dale is co-principal of Becker–Dale Consulting and most recently the former program manager for Forensic Education and Training at the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Laboratory (USACIL). Previously, Dale was the director of the Northeast Regional Forensics Institute (NERFI) at the University at Albany, State University of New York, providing education primarily in forensics biology. Before his position at NERFI, he was the director (inspector in charge) of the New York State Police Laboratory System, Washington State Laboratory System, and the New York City Police Department Laboratory. Dale has also been the president of the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors (emeritus member), chairman of the New York State Crime Laboratory Advisory Committee, and member of the New York State Commission on Forensic Science. Dale is also an ASCLD/LAB Legacy and International ISO/IEC 17025 trained auditor, ASQ Green Belt Six Sigma certified, and has participated in many ASCLD/LAB Legacy inspections. Dale has coauthored several forensic science management publications with Dr. Wendy Becker.

Wendy S. Becker is assistant to the associate provost and graduate dean and professor of management at Shippensburg University. She teaches in undergraduate, master’s, Ph.D., and executive programs in the United States, Austria, Portugal, Spain, and the United Kingdom. Becker received the 2011 Research Excellence Award from the Academy of Human Resource Development. Her research appears in Organizational Research Methods, Academy of Management Learning and Education, Organizational Dynamics, People and Strategy, Research in Organizational Behavior, Human Resource Development Review, Organization Management Journal, Team Performance Management, and Personnel Psychology, among others. Becker earned her Ph.D. in industrial-organizational psychology from Pennsylvania State University. Previously, she was editor of the Industrial-Organizational Psychologist.


"Dale’s diverse and extensive forensic laboratory, forensic education, and forensic laboratory quality assurance experience provides excellent insight. …comprehensively covers laboratory management issues in the American crime lab. I intend to use it as a required text in my class. The book touches on nearly all of the aspects that I cover in the class, and does so in a clear and organized fashion."
—F.W. Fochtman, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, in Forensic Science Review

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