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Article
Publication date: 16 May 2016

Matthew J. Hickman, Alex R. Piquero, Zachary A. Powell and Jack Greene

Klockars et al. use scenario methodology to measure perceived seriousness, level of discipline warranted, and willingness to report fellow officers engaged in various…

1631

Abstract

Purpose

Klockars et al. use scenario methodology to measure perceived seriousness, level of discipline warranted, and willingness to report fellow officers engaged in various negative behaviors. These data are used to characterize the occupational culture of integrity in a given agency, relative to other agencies. What remains unclear is whether these agency-level findings mask important meso- and micro-level variation in the data (i.e. at the precinct/district and officer levels) that may contribute to a more complete understanding of an agency’s culture of integrity. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

This study replicates and extends Klockars et al.’s work using data from a survey administered to 499 Philadelphia police officers, with the goal of both validating their methodological approach and exploring the need for multi-level theory in the study of police integrity. In addition to comparing the results from Philadelphia to those obtained by Klockars et al., the authors test for differences across officer demographics, and explore variance in the willingness to report various behaviors at both the officer- and district-levels.

Findings

Results indicate that bivariate relationships between officer-level demographics and willingness to report fellow officers are negated when controlling for theoretically relevant attitudinal variables such as cynicism and, consistent with Klockars et al., perceived seriousness of the underlying behavior. In addition, there is significant district-level variation in the average willingness to report fellow officers, and this variation can be explained by both organizational and environmental variables. On balance, the findings provide support for a multi-level approach to the study of police integrity.

Originality/value

While the Klockars et al. approach addresses macro-level variation in police integrity, this study contributes important findings at the meso- and micro-levels.

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 39 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 May 2016

Sanja Kutnjak Ivković, Irena Cajner Mraović and Krunoslav Borovec

The purpose of this paper is to test the theory of police integrity, particularly its fourth dimension, on a centralized police agency and to assess the degree to which…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to test the theory of police integrity, particularly its fourth dimension, on a centralized police agency and to assess the degree to which levels of police integrity are related to the characteristics of the larger environment.

Design/methodology/approach

In 2008, a stratified representative sample of 945 Croatian police officers from ten police administrations evaluated 11 hypothetical scenarios describing a range of various forms of police misconduct. The questionnaire measures officer views regarding scenario seriousness, appropriate and expected discipline, and willingness to report the misconduct.

Findings

Bivariate analyses show that police officers’ evaluations of seriousness differed across categories of police administrations for more than one-half of the scenarios. Multivariate analyses reveal that, once organizational predictors are entered into the models, community characteristics remain significant predictors of seriousness evaluations for only a few scenarios.

Research limitations/implications

The analytical strategies were limited by the number of police administrations in the country.

Practical implications

The results indicate that levels of police integrity in large, centralized organizations vary across units and that the characteristics of the communities the police are a contributing factor to these differences. At the same time, organizational characteristics carry substantial weight.

Originality/value

Prior studies of police integrity focussed on the organizational aspects (the first three dimensions of the theory); the present paper extends the literature to ascertain the importance of the larger environment and its characteristics for levels of police integrity (the fourth dimension of the police integrity theory).

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 39 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 May 2016

Matthew J. Hickman, Zachary A. Powell, Alex R. Piquero and Jack Greene

Relying on a moral development theoretical framework, the purpose of this paper is to argue that the perceived seriousness of a particular behavior is a reflection of…

1726

Abstract

Purpose

Relying on a moral development theoretical framework, the purpose of this paper is to argue that the perceived seriousness of a particular behavior is a reflection of one’s broader attitudes toward ethical behaviors. Attitudes toward ethical behavior should provide both an elaborated explanation for the relationship between the perceived seriousness of a behavior and the likelihood of reporting a fellow officer for that behavior, as well as an alternative approach to the measurement and assessment of police integrity outcomes.

Design/methodology/approach

Using data from a sample of 499 Philadelphia police officers, the current study uses a modified fifteen item ethics scale first developed by Hyams (1990) and used by others, in order to examine its relation to integrity outcomes. The paper provides a full descriptive and measurement analysis of the scale and then explores its utility in understanding integrity outcomes through a variety of hypothetical scenarios.

Findings

While the perceived seriousness of a behavior is strongly predictive of the likelihood of reporting a fellow officer who engages in that behavior, the findings suggest that seriousness may be a proxy for attitudes toward ethical behaviors.

Originality/value

While Klockars et al.’s approach to the measurement of police integrity has been an important contribution to integrity research, other measures of police integrity such as attitudes toward ethical behavior are also useful as they move us conceptually from assessing attitudes toward ethical behavior to their antecedents – the strength of underlying value premises shaping subsequent attitudes.

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 39 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 September 2001

Muel Kaptein and Piet van Reenen

This article presents a conceptual framework for reviewing the integrity of police organizations, provides a general basis for developing specific activities and gives an…

4093

Abstract

This article presents a conceptual framework for reviewing the integrity of police organizations, provides a general basis for developing specific activities and gives an overview of possible strategies and activities. Integrity management has to safeguard the conditions in the organization that enable police officers to find a responsible balance between three fundamental types of conflicting interests: the entangled hands dilemma; the many hands dilemma; and the dirty hands dilemma. We develop seven organizational qualities that encourage a prudent balance. An integrity audit can help in measuring these qualities. By examining the organization from this perspective, it is possible to work on improving the organization’s integrity.

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 24 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 May 2016

Hyeyoung Lim and John J. Sloan

The purpose of this paper is to partially replicate and extend the work of Klockars et al. and others on police integrity by examining how individual, organizational, and…

1603

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to partially replicate and extend the work of Klockars et al. and others on police integrity by examining how individual, organizational, and ecological factors affect police supervisors’ perceptions of police misconduct and willingness to report fellow officers’ misconduct.

Design/methodology/approach

Surveys containing 17 scenarios developed by Klockars et al. (2000, 2004, 2006) were administered to 553 ranking officers attending training at the Bill Blackwood Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas from June 1, 2009 to March 1, 2010 and employed by municipal police departments, county sheriff’s departments, and constable agencies.

Findings

Results suggest that individual and organizational factors affect supervisor willingness to blow the whistle on underling misconduct, although their effects varied by seriousness of the behavior.

Originality/value

The current project partially replicates and extends prior studies of factors affecting police integrity by surveying supervisors, measuring their willingness to whistle blow, and including variables in statistical models that prior studies have not included.

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 39 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 30 May 2008

Joseph A. Schafer and Thomas J. Martinelli

The purpose of this paper is to examine supervisor perceptions of police integrity situations using the measurement of police integrity instrument. Additional survey…

2128

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine supervisor perceptions of police integrity situations using the measurement of police integrity instrument. Additional survey questions focused on aspects of integrity of particular relevance within the study agency. The latter concerned that agency's on‐going legal arrangement with the federal government to address alleged sub‐standard patterns and practices of officer/agency performance.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 478 sergeants and lieutenants from the study agency completed the survey instrument. This represented 97 percent of those asked to complete the instrument and approximately 60 percent of first‐line supervisors.

Findings

The results paralleled some aspects found in prior research, in particular that respondents cast themselves as having stronger integrity than their peers. Findings also illustrated potential weaknesses in efforts to enhance police integrity in light of federal intervention in the study agency.

Research limitations/implications

The findings represented the first focused effort to replicate the measurement of police integrity instrument among first‐line supervisors. Such personnel were key figures in efforts to modify deficient patterns and practices, making them a prime focus for research consideration.

Practical implications

The skepticisms expressed by some supervisors illustrated issues worthy of consideration in future efforts to enhance integrity in police organizations. First‐line supervisors play key roles in shaping officer conduct, particularly in larger agencies. As such, more consideration needs to be given to the role they play in organizational change efforts.

Originality/value

In addition to informing scholarly understanding through the measurement of police integrity instrument, the findings are of importance in applied efforts to enhance integrity or otherwise modify police organizations.

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 31 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 March 2013

Michael E. Meyer, Jean Steyn and Nirmala Gopal

The purpose of this paper is to explore the contribution of the public component of Klockars’ and Kutnjak‐Ivkovic's organizational theory of police integrity to the…

1353

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the contribution of the public component of Klockars’ and Kutnjak‐Ivkovic's organizational theory of police integrity to the understanding of police integrity.

Design/methodology/approach

The study employs a modified survey derived from “The Measurement of Police Integrity,” instrument developed by Klockars et al. Participants are constituted by a convenience sample of first‐year social studies students at the University of KwaZulu‐Natal (n=186) and 160 South African Police Service (SAPS) non‐commissioned officers throughout Gauteng Province, Republic of South Africa.

Findings

Overall, the data present a mixed picture of integrity in the SAPS. The current study is certainly suggestive that the SAPS faces serious challenges to establishing and sustaining integrity and that based on either absolutist or normative criteria, the organization falls below desired levels of professional integrity. However, there are also indications that a significant proportion of officers will support efforts of the organization to establish and maintain professional standards of integrity.

Practical implications

The findings, focused on non‐commissioned officers, contribute to a growing body of research across all levels of the SAPS. In addition, the research compares results from a non‐police sample, helping to contextualize the concept of integrity as it exists within the SAPS. More immediate implications relate to the potential for the development of a broad‐based integrity plan for the SAPS as a whole.

Originality/value

Previous research employing police only samples has concluded that the SAPS is an integrity‐challenged organization. While the present study agrees that the SAPS faces significant integrity challenges, the use of a comparative non‐policing sample also suggests that the Service is having some success in establishing integrity standards, at least in regard to lower level violations of organizational ethical standards.

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 36 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 16 May 2016

Dennis P. Rosenbaum

6016

Abstract

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 39 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

Article
Publication date: 16 May 2016

Sanja Kutnjak Ivković and Adri Sauerman

Following the theory of police integrity, the purpose of this paper is to explore empirically the contours of police integrity in South Africa using survey of the three…

Abstract

Purpose

Following the theory of police integrity, the purpose of this paper is to explore empirically the contours of police integrity in South Africa using survey of the three South African police agency types.

Design/methodology/approach

During the period from 2010 to 2012, a police integrity survey was used to measure the contours of police integrity among 871 police officers across South Africa, covering all three police agency types. The questionnaire contains descriptions of 11 scenarios, covering different forms of police misconduct, followed by seven questions measuring officer views of scenario seriousness, the appropriate and expected discipline, and willingness to report the misconduct.

Findings

The results show that the respondents from the three police agency types were about equally likely to recognize behaviors as rule-violating and, in most scenarios, evaluated these scenarios to be of the same level of seriousness. The contours of the code of silence were very similar as well. The authors found the largest and most systematic differences in the respondents’ perceptions of disciplinary environment, with the traffic respondents expecting harsher disciplinary environments than either the South African Police Service or metro police respondents.

Research limitations/implications

Similar sample group sizes would have been preferred, although the current sample group proportions are certainly representative of a collective, agency size comparison.

Practical implications

Although the respondents from the three police agency types expressed similar views of misconduct seriousness and their willingness to report, and were as likely to recognize these behaviors as rule-violating, their views depicted markedly different disciplinary environments. These results clearly support the critical importance of consistent enforcement of official rules.

Originality/value

Whereas several integrity studies have explored the country’s national police service, empirical studies on the integrity of the other South African police agency types are non-existent.

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 39 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 30 April 2018

Guangzhen Wu, David A. Makin, Yongtao Li, Francis D. Boateng and Gassan Abess

The purpose of this paper is to examine the contours of police integrity among Chinese police officers. Specifically, this study explores how Chinese police evaluate…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the contours of police integrity among Chinese police officers. Specifically, this study explores how Chinese police evaluate integrity based on official policy governing interactions, discipline governing infractions, views of seriousness, and willingness to inform when others engage in misconduct.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 353 police officers were surveyed representing those attending in-service training program at a Chinese police university in May 2015. Questionnaires containing 11 scenarios describing police misbehaviors were distributed to officers during classes.

Findings

There was a strong correlation between officers’ perceptions of rule-violation, misconduct seriousness, discipline, and willingness to report. Additionally, preliminary results suggest there exists a code of silence among Chinese officers, and that Chinese officers hold a lenient attitude toward the use of excessive force.

Research limitations/implications

This study utilizes a convenient sample, which restricts the generalizability of the results.

Practical implications

The results indicate the existence of code of silence among Chinese officers and their lenient attitude toward the use of excessive force.

Originality/value

Although there has been a growing body of research examining police integrity in both western democracies and transitional societies, China as the largest developing nation in the world and with a unique police system (falls somewhere between the centralized model and the integrated model) is understudied. This study addresses this gap in previous literature by exploring the contours of police integrity among Chinese police officers.

Details

Policing: An International Journal, vol. 41 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

Keywords

1 – 10 of over 4000