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A Study of the Leadership Behaviors of Law Enforcement Officials

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TITLE: A Study of the Leadership Behaviors of Law Enforcement Officials
RESEARCHER: Andrew Harvey
Graduate School of Education and Psychology
Pepperdine University
Doctoral Dissertation: June 2004

The purpose of this study was to identify and analyze the leadership behaviors of police chiefs in Los Angeles County municipal police agencies.

Seventy-two percent (N=33) out of the 46 police chiefs that maintain their own municipal police force in Los Angeles Country participated. They completed the Leadership Practices Inventory and provided some organizational information. Cronbach’s alpha (internal reliability) in this study was .90 Challenging, .79 Enabling, .91 Encouraging, .91 Inspiring, and .66 Modeling. Factor analysis showed a five-factor solution, verifying the conceptual framework, and explaining 71.5 percent of the variance.

Police chiefs engaged most frequently in Modeling, followed by Enabling, Encouraging, Challenging and Inspiring. There were no significant differences in leadership practices by city population (below 44,000 and above 49,000 people) or the number of sworn officers (low/high).


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