Knowledge Wars: Professionalisation, Organisational Justice and Competing Knowledge Paradigms in British Policing

WIlliams, Emma and Cockcroft, Tom orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-7249-7285 (2018) Knowledge Wars: Professionalisation, Organisational Justice and Competing Knowledge Paradigms in British Policing. In: Evidenced-Based Policing: An Introduction. Policy Press. ISBN 978-1447339755

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The professionalisation agenda in British policing is being driven by the College of Policing.
Whilst there are a number of definitions of professionalism (Sklansky, 2014), the basic tenets
of a professional organisation are that the employees follow a code of ethics, there is a
commitment to use expert knowledge and that there is an element of self-regulation. Within
the professionalisation agenda for the British police there are a number of strands. These
include the implementation of a police code of ethics, the development of a police education
qualification framework (PEQF) and wide support of police and academic collaborations to
ensure police practice becomes increasingly evidence based. This chapter focuses on the latter
strand of work, evidence based policing (EBP), particularly as there has been extensive debate
in both the academic and policing fields about the extent to which police officers are both
supportive and understanding of this concept and the extent to which they feel involved in EBP
at all stages of the process (Fleming and Wingrove, 2017). In doing so, the chapter will seek to
explore some of the potential issues which arise in respect of EBP by using the theory and
principles of organisational justice. This will be used to explore the changing conceptualisation
of knowledge within police organisations and the link this has with the professionalisation of
policing. We will attempt to do this firstly, by exploring the concept and principles of
organisational justice and applying this to the context of policing, EBP and knowledge work.
Secondly, we will explore what we mean by knowledge in a police context and, thirdly, we
will examine the potential to apply the concept of organisational justice to current views on the
constitution of knowledge and knowledge outputs in the modern policing milieu

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