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Women in Policing: Changing the Organizational Culture by Adopting a Feminist Perspective on Leadership

NCJ Number
Criminal Justice Studies Volume: 22 Issue: 1 Dated: March 2009 Pages: 49-72
Brian F. Kingshott
Date Published
March 2009
24 pages
This study identified some of the elements of a classical view of leadership that might be acceptable within the policing environment and included in leadership decisions.
Findings show that no longer is research focused upon whether women can do the job of policing but rather on how women do the job differently. In the police service much of the power remains with the lower rank therefore everyone in the organization are leaders and managers within the organization. Some of the common elements from which a classical view of leadership may be broadly extrapolated are detailed within this study. The view of leadership identified may be found within organizational structures that are common in business, the armed forces, government, and the police service. In the police service some classical leaders may have a more participative style, however it remain simply a style. A literature review identified that there has been a historical under-representation of women in policing. In addition, the same literature review identified that the police culture has allowed for the oppression of women in terms of opportunities and in social encounters with male peers. Findings show that because the police culture is dominated by macho organizational norms, there is not only resistance but opposition to women in policing because in many instances the police culture is misogynist. The reluctance of male police officers to accept female officers is primarily focused on whether women can be effective in a male-dominated profession. With the advent and adoption of community policing the necessity for officers to have strong interpersonal people-oriented skills has had an effect on the role perceptions of female officers. References