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Police management roles as determinants of knowledge sharing attitude in criminal investigations

Morten Emil Berg (Norwegian School of Management, Oslo, Norway)
Geoff Dean (School of Justice Studies, Faculty of Law, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia)
Petter Gottschalk (Norwegian School of Management, Oslo, Norway)
Jan Terje Karlsen (Norwegian School of Management, Oslo, Norway)

International Journal of Public Sector Management

ISSN: 0951-3558

Article publication date: 4 April 2008




The paper aims to argue that leadership by police managers is needed to stimulate and encourage knowledge sharing in police investigations, and to report an empirical study of what management roles are most important in investigations.


A research model was designed based on six management roles and a set of hypothesized relationships. A survey measuring management roles and knowledge sharing attitude was conducted in Norway. Respondents were senior investigation officers.


Only one management role was found to be a significant determinant of knowledge sharing in police investigations based on the sample used in this survey research within the Norwegian police force: the spokesman role was the only significant role. As a spokesman, the senior investigation officer extends organizational contacts to promote acceptance of the unit and the unit's work within the organization of which they are a part.

Research limitations/implications

The low response rate of 20 percent may make it difficult to draw strong conclusions. Unfortunately, the authors have no information about what kinds of non‐response bias might be present (significant variation between the sample and the population). Future research should be more consistent in identifying the population.

Practical implications

While police investigations (of organized crime, trafficking, narcotics, economic crimes, homicide, etc.) need a stimulating internal structure for knowledge sharing, investigations depend on knowledge sharing with relevant persons and departments outside the unit as well to succeed.


Rather than stressing the importance of leadership in general to stimulate knowledge management, this paper is original as it applies a set of management roles to empirically study where leadership makes a difference for knowledge sharing attitudes.



Emil Berg, M., Dean, G., Gottschalk, P. and Terje Karlsen, J. (2008), "Police management roles as determinants of knowledge sharing attitude in criminal investigations", International Journal of Public Sector Management, Vol. 21 No. 3, pp. 271-284.



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Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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