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Knowledge Sharing in Criminal Investigations: An Empirical Study of Norwegian Police as Value Shop

NCJ Number
Criminal Justice Studies: A Critical Journal of Crime, Law and Society Volume: 19 Issue: 4 Dated: December 2006 Pages: 423-437
Geoff Dean; Cathrine Filstad; Peter Gottschalk
Date Published
December 2006
15 pages
This empirical study of Norwegian police investigation units focused on the potential influence of knowledge-sharing on the outcome of investigations.
The study found that the more knowledge was shared among colleagues in the police force, the better the outcome for an investigation. Knowledge sharing leads to improvements in investigative procedures and the solving of problems in specific investigations. Information and strategies that proved successful in one case must be appropriately transferred to subsequent cases. This is done by having investigators regularly share with one another the knowledge and tactics that have been effective in particular cases. The study found that Norwegian police investigators were not usually encouraged to share their knowledge and experience with colleagues within the same department or across departments. Police managers must provide structure and time in the routines of investigators for sharing knowledge and tactics. Out of approximately 900 questionnaires sent to police investigators throughout Norway, 101 questionnaires were completed and returned (20-percent response rate). The questionnaires contained items that measured dependent variables related to investigative performance. They pertained to understanding the case, identifying investigative alternatives, the use of criteria for success, implementation of the investigative plan, and monitoring of the progress of the investigation. The independent variables related to knowledge-sharing in investigations. These questions inquired about whether investigators were encouraged to share new knowledge, whether experienced officers shared their knowledge and experience with new officers, whether there were routines for knowledge-sharing within and across departments, and whether knowledge-sharing was part of the police culture. 2 tables and 21 references