Crossing cultural boundaries: reconsidering the cultural characteristics of police officers and ambulance staff

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Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore the organisational cultures of two different parts of the emergency service, the police and the ambulance service.

Design/methodology/approach – Semi-structured interviews with 45 police officers and ambulance staff sought to understand more about the relationships between these two distinctly different professions who work together closely and regularly in often very difficult situations.

Findings – Interviews with police officers and ambulance staff revealed the strong and harmonious working relationship between the two professions and an existence of both shared organisational characteristics and shared cultural characteristics. These cultural characteristics, identified as both explicit and tacit in nature provide the “glue” which not only binds each organisation together but which appears to cement a longer term, tangible link between the police and ambulance services.

Originality/value – This paper reveals a new dimension within cultural analyses of occupational groups by considering the shared cultural characteristics of two groups within the emergency services, police officers and ambulance staff. This potential for cultural boundary crossing is explored in detail.
Original languageEnglish
Article number0
Pages (from-to)158-176
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Emergency Services
Volume4
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12 Oct 2015

Keywords

  • 015_AAM
  • Police culture
  • Situated learning
  • Organisational culture
  • Boundary crossing
  • Paramedic culture

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