The name of the show was “Dog, The Bounty Hunter” and we viewed episode 6 out of season 5. The team consists of the Chapman family: husband/father Duane “Dog”, his wife Beth, and their children, Leland, Duane Lee, and Lyssa. The team is trying track down and hunt criminals and help them improve their way of living. The family operates in Hawaii, in theUnited States, where they own and run a bail bond business. In this episode of the show, the Chapman family operated in the lesser-affluent areas in Hawaii.
Our group did not really differ on our impressions of the team. The female member of the group spotted the gender difference, which the male members did ont notice. We as a team all agreed that the individuals on the team were equally motivated to achieve the collective goal, although Dog had more empathy with the criminals because he was a former criminal. The team members all agreed that the group’s strengths were communication – or rather, lack of communication because they all knew their pre-assigned role, so the members of the team were not standing around waiting to be told what to do next. All members of the team noticed that the members of the Chapman family contributed equally to the planning of how the capture of the criminals would be carried out, which furthers the observation that the team members are all equally motivated to achieve their goal.
We formed our initial impressions of the group based on the way the family interacts with each other. One of the initial impressions was that Dog is the team leader. Before the group leaves to capture the criminals, they formulate a plan of action, which Dog leads. We also noticed that the team members have a great deal of trust – the team members trust each other to contribute to the task. The team is very close-knit, know what they want and have the common motivation towards achieving their goal. Also, they seem like a very tough group – although we soon noticed that Dog only is that way on the outside and has a very soft core.
Some forms of stereotypes and subliminal prejudice can be seen however we wouldn’t say that there was discrimination present in the show. One of the most noticeable stereotypes was the fact that Duane Chapman (Dog) and his family seemed to be rounding up mostly Latin-Americans. Whether or not that’s due to a large share of people who violated the laws of parole being of Latin-American decent, or if this is an example of stereotyping – or even discrimination – by the director of the show can’t be said on the basis of only one show.
Furthermore there is a slight form of stereotype found in the division of gender. Although it is in no way discriminating, men and women have different roles in the show. Beth and Lysa take over the more “typical” feminine tasks of organizing and planning, while the men play the tough guys.
(from 4) Another prejudice that was implemented in the show was the image of bounty hunters being tough, muscular, tattooed hulks of men, in some way comparable to the image of an American biker (look up: “Orange County Choppers”).
The major strength of this particular group is the fact they’re so close and the group seems to be well-oiled. Every member of the group knows what their own purpose in the group is and every member clearly knows what he may expect and what he can expect from the other members. This is all down to the strong hierarchy in the group and the fact that all the group members are also family members. Everyone has a certain skill in which he or she can excel and everyone trusts each other in being able to do exactly that. This creates an amount of trust between the members, which leads to being able to communicate with each other quickly without questioning everything, and thus the ability to react quickly to changing situations. (Which we reckon is to be of great benefit when trying to apprehend criminals.)
It was quite difficult to find a weakness within the group, because a weakness was not really present. However, the most prevalent weakness we could find was that of gender separation. While the team was trying to track down criminals, they drove in two cars: one for the women and one for the men. Also, the men made the arrests while the women just stood by. This implies that women are not as physically capable of arresting criminals, and that it is considered to be “men’s work”. This does not really evolve into a problem, as tasks have to be divided, it may lead to dissatisfaction for female team members, especially Lysa, though, as she is mostly “left out on the fun”.
a. If your team was called in to improve the performance of the group you observed, what strategies would your team suggest on the basis of your team’s observations? With your team, please brainstorm a list of ideas for solutions for this problem and include the list in your report.
The major advice we would give to the group in question is to stick with the current situation and only polish it on some minor details, for the current strategy and current ways of communication, etc. seem to be working just fine for them. Although their very hierarchical organizational structure will certainly not work for other organizations, it works well for this group and seems to be fitting for the goal they have and for the environment they’re working in.
(from 5b) One minor thing that may need some improvement, is the slightly risky way they try to apprehend the criminals. In some cases they just storm in the area where the criminal lives, what is being noticed by everyone of course who lives in that same area, what could lead to those people alerting the criminal the team tries to arrest. When they’re there, they sometimes seem to be looking for the criminal, not in pairs, but all one by one. It of course increases the chances of finding him, but it also increases the chances of someone being assaulted by the criminal (of whom many seem to be on drugs…).
b. Which strategy do you think would be the best and why? Please describe this strategy in more detail.*
The strategy that is implemented at the moment, the hierarchical strategy, would be most fitting for this group. It is a strategy that makes it possible for a group to react quickly to changing situations, which is necessary when trying to apprehend criminals. The requisites for this strategy to work also seem to be covered, for none of the members are in doubt who leads the pack and there is a great deal of trust in one another.