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Mediation and moderated mediation in the relationship between sanction threats, type of rank and officer attitudes toward misconduct

Yongjae Nam (School of Criminal Justice, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA)

Policing: An International Journal

ISSN: 1363-951X

Article publication date: 17 October 2022

Issue publication date: 17 February 2023

268

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine whether officers' perceptions of the probability of suffering informal sanctions mediate the relationship between formal sanction threats and attitudes toward misconduct. Most importantly, the study examines whether the potential mediating effect of informal sanction threats varies by the type of rank.

Design/methodology/approach

The current study utilizes data collected from a mail survey of 480 police officers over a period of six weeks from 20 police stations across two cities in South Korea.

Findings

Officers' fear of legal sanctions on the attitudes toward misconduct was entirely mediated by the fear of extralegal forms of punishment. However, this mediation effect was held only for the officers in supervisory positions.

Originality/value

Probing a moderated mediation between the type of rank and sanction threats on police integrity advances the literature by moving beyond simply exploring the additive effects of sanction threats and adds clarity to existing concerns about exactly how rank-related cultural differences matter.

Keywords

Citation

Nam, Y. (2023), "Mediation and moderated mediation in the relationship between sanction threats, type of rank and officer attitudes toward misconduct", Policing: An International Journal, Vol. 46 No. 1, pp. 100-115. https://doi.org/10.1108/PIJPSM-07-2022-0098

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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