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The road not taken: understanding barriers to the development of police intelligence practice

James, AD, Phythian, M, Wadie, F and Richards, J (2017) The road not taken: understanding barriers to the development of police intelligence practice. The International Journal of Intelligence, Security, and Public Affairs , 19 (2). pp. 77-91. ISSN 2380-0992

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Abstract

To better understand police intelligence practice, we examined practitioners’ views of their work and their relations with the wider law enforcement community. We surveyed intelligence staff (n = 110) and interviewed a random sample of respondents (n = 12). Our analysis suggested that traditionalism and the dominant action-oriented culture limit the organization’s understanding of intelligence practice. Largely, the focus in that context has been on street cops’ propensity to reject reflection in favor of action, but intelligence practitioners need also look to themselves. Too often, the philosophy of “need to know” is prioritized over its antithesis, “dare to share.” Though perceived by practitioners as low-risk and consistent with organizational norms, we argue that inappropriately applied “need to know” is the enemy of efficiency and real accountability, offering low levels of reward and discouraging the kinds of partnership, reciprocity, and multi-directional knowledge transfer that policing needs to be successful in the information age. We reconceptualized an interactivity/isolationism continuum, used in the natural sciences, to help interpret that phenomenon. We argue that isolationism is but one factor in a complex organizational dynamic, but it is a significant one because it can subtly limit the influence and reach of the intelligence milieu in previously unacknowledged ways.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in The International Journal of Intelligence, Security, and Public Affairs on 18/07/17, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/23800992.2017.1336395
Uncontrolled Keywords: knowledge transfer; intelligence practice; organizational culture
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Divisions: School of Law
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Date Deposited: 03 Apr 2018 10:38
Last Modified: 29 Sep 2018 11:04
DOI or Identification number: 10.1080/23800992.2017.1336395
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/8378

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