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Chameleon or dinosaur? A study of police management culture.

Olisa, Victor Paul (2005) Chameleon or dinosaur? A study of police management culture. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Most of the literature on police culture has concentrated on the culture of lower rank uniformed officers, often referred to as 'cop culture'. This thesis addresses the issue of whether there is a distinctive 'management culture' in the higher levels of police forces. Quite clearly, the concept of management culture generally in organisations and specifically in the police service is a recognised and accepted one. However, the relationship between cop culture and management culture is an uncertain one. The thesis is based on interviews with 51 superintending rank officers from eleven Forces. This data is used to analyse the content and dynamics of senior police management culture. Over the last three decades the police service has implemented a number of changes in its structure and management style. Some of these have seen operationally self-sufficient basic command units headed by superintendents replace divisional units headed by chief superintendents. With the removal of the chief superintendent rank, superintendents are now in a hierarchical position that requires them to make policy decisions and control how they would be implemented. The literature on rank-and-file police is voluminous. Research on chief officers, though less frequent, is increasing. Hitherto, however, there has been no research on this increasingly powerful and influential group of senior managers, although the police reforms of the last decade (and those in the pipeline) make superintendents pivotal in the policy-making process. Contemporary changes in police organisational structure has placed this group of officers in leadership positions, with the opportunity to change both the culture of the organisation as well as within their own peer group. They are crucial if the government is to bring about its promised reform and improvement in policing services. This study provides the first systematic information about the characteristics and culture of this increasingly significant managerial tier of the police organisation. It concludes that superintendents are a particularly adaptable and pragmatic group, adjusting to necessary changes as smoothly as possible - chameleons rather than dinosaurs.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sociology, Criminology and Penology
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses

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