The role of management post NPM in the implementation of new policies affecting police officers’ practices

Document Type


Publication details

Brunetto, Y & Farr-Wharton, R 2005, 'The role of management post NPM in the implementation of new policies affecting police officers’ practices', Policing: International Journal of Police Strategies and Management, vol. 28, no. 2, pp. 221-241.

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Peer Reviewed



Purpose- This paper aims to examine the impact of resources, accountability, management practices and organisational culture on the implementation of a policy (in this case, a domestic violence policy/program) within an Australian state police department. The paper argues that successful implementation requires a synergy between the established goals and beliefs, the level of resources and accountability provided to support the implementation process, and a performance-based rather than process-oriented type of management practice.

Design/methodology/approach - A mixed methods approach was used.

Findings - The findings suggest that successful implementation of policies requires that senior and lower managers must be in congruence in relation to the stated goals and objectives of a new policy. This is because the role of senior managers is to determine the goals and resources that accompany a new policy. On the other hand, if first-level managers perceive a lack of synergy between a written policy and the supporting implementation variables (funding), then it is likely that, to the extent that they have power, they will use it to maintain the status quo.

Research limitations/implications - A limitation of the study is that the implementation of only one program was examined and it is hoped that future research is able to further generalise these findings.

Practical implications - The implication of these findings for police management is that the past method of increasing accountability to ensure the successful implementation of an under-resourced policy is unlikely to be successful. This is because of the unwritten cultural messages (about the real agenda of a policy) that flow through the hierarchy when a new policy is not accompanied by adequate resources - especially if the police culture is unsympathetic to the goals of the policy.

Originality/value - This paper adds to the body of knowledge about what factors affect implementation outcomes within a police context.

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