The challenges of change: Exploring the dynamics of police reform in Scotland

Nicholas R. Fyfe (Lead / Corresponding author)

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    4 Citations (Scopus)
    201 Downloads (Pure)


    Despite a long tradition of pessimism regarding the scope for meaningful change in police practices, recent structural reforms to police organizations in several European countries suggest that significant change in policing is possible. Drawing on recent research into the establishment and consequences of a national police force in Scotland, this article uses instrumental, cultural and myth perspectives taken from organization theory to examine how change happened and with what effects. It highlights how police reform involves a complex interplay between the strategic aims of government, the cultural norms of police organizations and the importance of alignment with wider views about the nature of the public sector. The article concludes by identifying a set of wider lessons from the experience of organizational change in policing.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)196-205
    Number of pages10
    JournalInternational Journal of Police Science and Management
    Issue number4
    Early online date9 Dec 2019
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019


    • Police reform
    • organizational change


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