Organizational justice and police misconduct

Scott E. Wolfe, Alex R. Piquero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

178 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Although police misconduct has interested policing scholars for many years, extant research has been largely atheoretical and has ignored the role of organizational justice in understanding the behavior. This study uses survey data from a random sample of 483 police officers employed in the Philadelphia Police Department to explore the role of organizational justice in police misconduct. Results indicate that officers who view their agency as fair and just in managerial practices are less likely to adhere to the code of silence or believe that police corruption in pursuit of a noble cause is justified. Furthermore, perceptions of organizational justice are associated with lower levels of engagement in several forms of police misconduct. The results suggest that organizational justice is a promising framework to understand police misconduct and may help guide police administrators in the implementation of effective management strategies to reduce the incidence of the behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)332-353
Number of pages22
JournalCriminal Justice and Behavior
Volume38
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2011
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • code of silence
  • organizational justice
  • organizational theory
  • police corruption
  • police misconduct

Cite this