Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Doctor of Philosophy




Huey, Laura


Evidence-based policing (EBP) is based on the use of research for decision-making in police organizations. Despite its noted importance, there is a dearth of research that identifies specific reasons which lead to receptivity to EBP or the lack thereof. Based on a qualitative methodology, the present dissertation addresses this gap in literature by exploring the contextual factors which may be responsible for police resistance or receptivity to the use of evidence. Data were collected from Canadian police organizations through qualitative questions added to a survey (n = 353) as well as in-depth interviews with police leaders across Canada (n = 38).

The present dissertation is based on the institutional theory framework. It draws upon literature in sociology, management and organizational behavior to explain the impact of organizational context on receptivity or resistance to EBP. The results suggest that a history of failed change attempts affects employee confidence in the management’s ability to successfully implement change. Resistance to EBP somewhat overlapped with general resistance to change but pointed towards factors present in the internal and external organizational context. In terms of receptivity to EBP, the external and internal organizational context again emerged as factors enhancing receptivity to EBP.

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