Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Rank Matters: Police Leadership and the Authority of Rank
Authors: Davis, C
First Published: 9-Dec-2018
Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Citation: Policing and Society
Abstract: Dominant discourse conceptualises leadership in the police as a rank-neutral activity. Despite the growing body of academic work in police leadership studies, critical analysis of the influence of rank is largely overlooked. The power and authority of rank have assumed a taken-for-granted and unquestioned status. The authority of rank, however, provides police officers with a powerful framework to understand leadership in the police. Drawing on the findings from 38 semi-structured interviews with police officers in a UK constabulary, this paper problematises conventional understanding of police leadership and theorises the use of rank through the creation of an analytical model, the Situated Authority Model of Leadership. The Model acts as framework for policing scholars and practitioners to critically consider the nuanced relationship between context and authority in police leadership. At a time when police organisations across the globe increasingly seek to adopt collaborative leadership practices, this paper contributes to the evidence base that challenges the development of alternative approaches to leadership and demonstrates that an appreciation of rank in the experience and practice of leadership is fundamental to the leadership reform in the police.
DOI Link: 10.1080/10439463.2018.1555250
ISSN: 1043-9463
eISSN: 1477-2728
Embargo on file until: 9-Jun-2020
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © 2018, Taylor & Francis. Deposited with reference to the publisher’s open access archiving policy. (
Description: The file associated with this record is under embargo until 18 months after publication, in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy. The full text may be available through the publisher links provided above.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Criminology

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
Davis+(2018)+Rank+Matters_Police+Leadership+and+the+Authority+of+Rank+(Accepted+Version).pdfPost-review (final submitted author manuscript)357.32 kBAdobe PDFView/Open

Items in LRA are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.