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Article
Publication date: 3 February 2021

Michael D. White, Victor J. Mora, Carlena Orosco and E. C. Hedberg

De-escalation training for police has received widespread attention as a method for reducing unnecessary and excessive use of force. There is virtually no research on…

Abstract

Purpose

De-escalation training for police has received widespread attention as a method for reducing unnecessary and excessive use of force. There is virtually no research on de-escalation, and as a result, there is little understanding about what it is, what it includes and whether it is effective. The current study compares attitudes about the importance and use of de-escalation among officers who were randomly assigned to participate (or not) in de-escalation training.

Design/methodology/approach

The current study draws from a larger randomized controlled trial of de-escalation training in the Tempe, Arizona Police Department (TPD). Approximately 100 officers completed a survey in June–July 2019 and again in June–July 2020. TPD delivered the de-escalation training to half the patrol force in February–March 2020. The authors compare treatment and control officers' attitudes about the importance of specific de-escalation tactics, how often they use those tactics and their sentiments de-escalation training. The authors employ an econometric random-effects model to examine between-group differences post-training while controlling for relevant officer attributes including age, race, sex, prior training and squad-level pretraining attitudes about de-escalation.

Findings

Treatment and control officers reported positive perceptions of de-escalation tactics, frequent use of those tactics and favorable attitudes toward de-escalation before and after the training. After receiving the training, treatment officers placed greater importance on compromise, and reported more frequent use of several important tactics including compromise, knowing when to walk away and maintaining officer safety.

Originality/value

Only a few prior studies have has examined whether de-escalation training changes officer attitudes. The results from the current study represent an initial piece of evidence suggesting de-escalation training may lead to greater use of those tactics by officers during encounters with citizens.

Details

Policing: An International Journal, vol. 44 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 January 1996

William Rick Fry, Brian Betz and Dean G. Pruitt

A simulated price war between two competing gas stations provided the context to assess the effects on de‐escalation of the subject's financial shortage, the competitor's…

Abstract

A simulated price war between two competing gas stations provided the context to assess the effects on de‐escalation of the subject's financial shortage, the competitor's financial shortage, and a message from the competitor conveying a non‐exploitative intent. Subject shortages encouraged gasoline price increases (de‐escalation) and competitor shortages encouraged price decreases (escalation). Subjects who were suffering a financial shortage rated their competitor as less likely to cooperate and more likely to exploit them than those who were not. Results were discussed in terms of a simplification of Pruitt and Kimmel's (1977) goal‐expectation hypothesis. One possible explanation for our results is that subjects make a comparison of relative strength before choosing either to de‐escalate or escalate.

Details

International Journal of Conflict Management, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1044-4068

Article
Publication date: 13 May 2019

Natalie Todak and Michael D. White

The purpose of this paper is to examine perceptions of de-escalation among police officers who were nominated by peers as the most skilled at this strategy.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine perceptions of de-escalation among police officers who were nominated by peers as the most skilled at this strategy.

Design/methodology/approach

A peer nomination process identified eight skilled de-escalators in one department. Interviews were conducted with the officers individually. Additionally, in a focus group, the officers watched and debriefed body-worn camera videos for themes related to de-escalation.

Findings

Officers defined de-escalation as bringing calm to a conflict using the least amount of force possible. They said it could also be used preventatively. They identified de-escalation tactics, characteristics of skilled de-escalators and situations in which de-escalation is less effective.

Originality/value

This study initiates research into a much discussed but rarely researched topic. Future studies should continue to work toward a definition of de-escalation and understand how it can be used in policing to reduce violence, protect life and enhance police legitimacy.

Details

Policing: An International Journal, vol. 42 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 13 November 2020

Craig Bennell, Brittany Blaskovits, Bryce Jenkins, Tori Semple, Ariane-Jade Khanizadeh, Andrew Steven Brown and Natalie Jennifer Jones

A narrative review of existing research literature was conducted to identify practices that are likely to improve the quality of de-escalation and use-of-force training…

Abstract

Purpose

A narrative review of existing research literature was conducted to identify practices that are likely to improve the quality of de-escalation and use-of-force training for police officers.

Design/methodology/approach

Previous reviews of de-escalation and use-of-force training literature were examined to identify promising training practices, and more targeted literature searches of various databases were undertaken to learn more about the potential impact of each practice on a trainee's ability to learn, retain, and transfer their training. Semi-structured interviews with five subject matter experts were also conducted to assess the degree to which they believed the identified practices were relevant to de-escalation and use-of-force training, and would enhance the quality of such training.

Findings

Twenty practices emerged from the literature search. Each was deemed relevant and useful by the subject matter experts. These could be mapped on to four elements of training: (1) commitment to training (e.g. securing organizational support for training), (2) development of training (e.g. aligning training formats with learning objectives), (3) implementation of training (e.g. providing effective corrective feedback) and (4) evaluation and ongoing assessment of training (e.g. using multifaceted evaluation tools to monitor and modify training as necessary).

Originality/value

This review of training practices that may be relevant to de-escalation and use-of-force training is the broadest one conducted to date. The review should prompt more organized attempts to quantify the effectiveness of the training practices (e.g. through meta-analyses), and encourage more focused testing in a police training environment to determine their impact.

Details

Policing: An International Journal, vol. 44 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 February 1996

Onne Janssen and Evert van de Vliert

A hidden issue is whether the more de‐escalatory behavior of cooperatively‐motivated compared to competitively‐motivated conflict parties is the result of less concern for…

1136

Abstract

A hidden issue is whether the more de‐escalatory behavior of cooperatively‐motivated compared to competitively‐motivated conflict parties is the result of less concern for one's own goals, more concern for the other's goals, or both. A scenario study and a simulation experiment among undergraduate students confirmed the hypothesis that the difference in other‐concern is the critical explanator. The stronger other‐concern of cooperatively‐motivated compared to competitively motivated parties fostered more accommodating, more problem solving, more compromising, and less forcing, resulting in more de‐escalation or less escalation.

Details

International Journal of Conflict Management, vol. 7 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1044-4068

Article
Publication date: 9 September 2013

Pamela Inglis and Andrew Clifton

The management of violence and aggression is an important aspect of any service in the NHS and has been rightly tackled as a whole organisational approach. De-escalation

1047

Abstract

Purpose

The management of violence and aggression is an important aspect of any service in the NHS and has been rightly tackled as a whole organisational approach. De-escalation is one such aspect of the organisation approach relating foremost to the safety of people and as such is a central part of relational security, personal safety and the therapeutic relationship.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper explores the evidence and policies around de-escalation.

Findings

The paper recommends that a randomised-controlled trial be designed, comparing different de-escalation techniques to establish an evidence base for this routine practice.

Research limitations/implications

The paper is limited to discussing de-escalation as an approach and the policy that directs it, and does not consider individual theories on aggression and management. It makes recommendations for policy, research and practice.

Practical implications

There is a lack of high-quality evidence around de-escalation policy and principles which staff may believe is evidence-based practice because training is often mandatory. This obviously impacts upon the patient experience and aspects of safety. The paper is valuable to practitioners working in secure environments, or with offenders that may require management of violence and aggression.

Originality/value

There are many policies and guidelines from the government and from professional bodies that seems to have tailored off since 2005 (Muralidharan and Fenton, 2006; UKCC, 2002). Forensic staff are constrained by such guidance which is further complicated by debates concerning care/coercion and forensic environments, some of which is alluded to here.

Details

Journal of Intellectual Disabilities and Offending Behaviour, vol. 4 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-8824

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 7 October 2014

Dean G. Pruitt and Andrzej Nowak

The purpose of this paper is to compare and contrast two formal models of escalation and de-escalation: the attractor landscape model and the S-shaped reaction function…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to compare and contrast two formal models of escalation and de-escalation: the attractor landscape model and the S-shaped reaction function model. Also, the paper aims to enumerate conditions that affect the shape and location of reaction functions and, hence, the stability of less and more escalated states.

Design/methodology/approach

Both models are presented together with geometric proofs of the main assertions of the second model. Overlap and comparative strengths of the models are reviewed. Parts of the social science literature are synthesized in a discussion of the antecedents of stability.

Findings

Though derived from totally different traditions, these models are similar in their basic assumptions and predictions. Each model has value. The attractor landscape model is easier to grasp and contains a concept of resistance to escalation that is not found in the S-shaped reaction function model. The latter model looks at individual parties rather than the dyad as a whole and, thus, offers an explanation for most of the phenomena described by the former model. It also allows identification of many variables that affect the shape and location of reaction functions and, hence, can be viewed as antecedents of escalation and de-escalation.

Research limitations/implications

Seven testable hypotheses are presented in the Conclusions section. Laboratory tasks for testing such hypotheses have yet to be developed and there is only one study employing real-life measures. However, it is clear that once research on these phenomena really begins, new variables will be found that moderate the strength of the effects hypothesized.

Practical implications

The models provide concepts for thinking about how to avoid runaway escalation and promote runaway de-escalation. The variables mentioned in the hypotheses suggest ways to diminish the likelihood of runaway escalation and can also be used for constructing measures of the likelihood of that phenomenon. The theories also imply that when the likelihood of runaway escalation increases, disputants should be doubly careful to avoid initiating escalative behavior.

Originality/value

The article is original in that the S-shaped reaction function model is refined and further developed and the proofs are new. The comparison between the models is also new, as is most of the enumeration of conditions affecting the stability of low and high escalation. The value of the article is to provide concepts and theory for thinking about escalation and de-escalation, and testable hypotheses for studying these phenomena.

Details

International Journal of Conflict Management, vol. 25 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1044-4068

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 8 July 2010

Carlo Salvato, Francesco Chirico and Pramodita Sharma

In this chapter we investigate the role of family-specific factors in facilitating or constraining business exit in family firms. Family business literature seems to have…

Abstract

In this chapter we investigate the role of family-specific factors in facilitating or constraining business exit in family firms. Family business literature seems to have an implicit bias toward continuity and persistence in the founder's business. This is explained by heavy emotional involvement and development of path-dependent core competences over generations. However, several long-lived family firms were able to successfully exit the founder's business. Exit allowed them to free significant strategic resources, which were later reinvested in exploiting novel entrepreneurial opportunities. Our aim is to investigate the process of exit from the founder's business in family firms, to explain both triggers and obstacles to decommitment and de-escalation. We address this issue through the study of the Italian Falck Group's exit from the steel industry in the 1990s, followed by successful startup of a renewable energy business. By carefully triangulating different data sources and different voices within and outside the controlling family, we develop a framework describing family-specific facilitators and inhibitors of business exit, and subsequent startup of a new business. Three types of family-specific factors emerge as relevant in shaping a family firm's likelihood and speed of exit from a failing business: family-related psychological triggers and obstacles to business exit; family-specific components of the structural de-escalation context; family responses to ensuing de-escalation and exit needs. The emerging framework offers a more nuanced interpretation of decommitment activities in family firms, pointing to the differential role family-specific factors may play as facilitators or inhibitors of business exit. We also suggest how these family-specific results may contribute to a deeper understanding of exit in nonfamily firms. Our results also have practical implications for family business entrepreneurial management. Actively managing the different determinants of exit choices that emerged from our study will set the stage for de-escalation from a failing course of action – a dynamic capability all family firms should learn and practice if they intend to transfer their entrepreneurial orientation to next generations.

Details

Entrepreneurship and Family Business
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-097-2

Article
Publication date: 1 December 2020

Alexis Rain Rockwell, Stephen A. Bishopp and Erin A. Orrick

The current study examines the effect of changing a specific use-of-force policy coupled with de-escalation training implementation on patterns of police use of force.

Abstract

Purpose

The current study examines the effect of changing a specific use-of-force policy coupled with de-escalation training implementation on patterns of police use of force.

Design/methodology/approach

An interrupted time-series analysis was used to examine changes in police use-of-force incident records gathered from a large, southwestern US metropolitan police department from 2013 to 2017 based on a TASER policy change and de-escalation training implementation mid-2015.

Findings

Results demonstrate that changes to use-of-force policy regarding one type of force (i.e. use of TASERs) coinciding with de-escalation training influence the prevalence of use-of-force incidents by increasing the reported police use-of-force incidents after the changes were implemented. This finding is somewhat consistent with prior literature but not always in the desired direction.

Practical implications

When police departments make adjustments to use-of-force policies and/or trainings, unintended consequences may occur. Police administrators should measure policy and training outcomes under an evidence-based policing paradigm prior to making those adjustments.

Originality/value

This study is the first to measure the effects of changing use-of-force policy and implementing de-escalation techniques in training on patterns of police use of force and shows that these changes can have a ripple effect across types of force used by police officers.

Details

Policing: An International Journal, vol. 44 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 20 May 2020

Vasudev Das

The purpose of this qualitative case study is to explore strategies for the de-escalation of kleptocracy in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this qualitative case study is to explore strategies for the de-escalation of kleptocracy in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.

Design/methodology/approach

The author used a qualitative case study to facilitate the generation of data from eight research participants in semi-structured open-ended interviews.

Findings

The themes that emerged from analysis of interview transcriptions were high self-control, traditional African oath of office, whistleblowing, stiffer penalties for corrupt officials, education and training, self-regulation and sonic therapeutic intervention.

Research limitations/implications

Interviewees might withhold information regarding their insights on strategies for de-escalating kleptocracy. That was beyond my control.

Practical implications

The study results provided leaders with insightful comprehension of anti-kleptocracy policy in the oil and gas industry. Therefore, leaders would benefit and advance their decision-making process on the development and implementation of an anti-kleptocracy strategy to revamp the financial value of the oil and gas industry in Nigeria.

Social implications

The results of the study have the potential to contribute to positive social change by enlightening government leaders and anti-corruption agencies on strategies to de-escalate kleptocracy in the oil and gas industry.

Originality/value

The study’s uniqueness enabled filling the gap in financial crime literature as well as an added value to the applied management and decision sciences domain.

1 – 10 of 632