Performance culture meets police culture
: the relationship between political ideologies, police reform and police culture

  • Graham John Hadley

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


This thesis explores successive police reform agendas over the period 1979 – 2012 in terms of the relationship between political ideology, police reform and police occupational culture. The thesis addresses the interplay between ideologically driven police reform and the reception of reform agendas within the central mindset of policing. It examines the significance of political and economic drivers in police reform agendas and literature on police occupational culture, with emphasis upon change and reform and the response within the police. As a means of exploring the relationship between reform and police culture the thesis gathers data through empirical research based upon documentary analysis and semi-structured interviews. Research upon street and management cops (Reuss-Ianni 1983) and the analytical model of cultural knowledge and change outlined by Chan (1997), was used to analyse and present the research findings. The main conclusions concern how ideology in police reform agendas was received by police occupational culture. Utilising the theoretical frameworks of Reuss-Ianni and Chan, the thesis argues that the ideology in police reform agendas is received and assessed through cultural knowledge. This places into context documented features of police occupational culture such as the sense of mission, conservatism, resistance to change and the street – management divide. As a result, this thesis contributes to the understanding of police occupational culture through the prism of reform and the implications for practice, outlining how ideologically driven police reform agendas are received and interpreted through police occupational culture.
Date of AwardOct 2014
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Portsmouth
SupervisorSteve Savage (Supervisor) & Bob Golding (Supervisor)

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