Structural change in large police agencies during the 1990s

Edward R. Maguire, Yeunhee Shin, Jihong Zhao, Kimberly D. Hassell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


According to community policing advocates, police agencies should implement a variety of important organizational changes. These changes are supposed to occur in a number of different substantive domains, including the culture, behavior, and structure of police organizations. This paper examines the evidence for change in just one of these domains: formal organizational structure. Based on concepts derived from organization theory, and using data from six different data sets, the paper explores whether the structures of US police organizations changed during the 1990s. Overall, it finds mixed evidence. Some changes have occurred in the direction encouraged by community policing reformers, some changes have occurred in the opposite direction, and some changes have not occurred at all.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)251-275
Number of pages25
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Organizational change
  • Organizational culture
  • Organizational structure
  • Organizational theory
  • Police
  • USA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Public Administration
  • Law


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