Date of Award

8-2011

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Claudia L. Edwards

Second Supervisor

John J. Koster

Abstract

This qualitative research examined the leadership styles and professional development practices of a police department, the reflective experiences of police sergeants as they transition from being patrol officers, and the perception of police sergeants of their career development. Specifically, this study sought to answer the following essential questions: (a) What are the self-reported and observed leadership styles and practices of police sergeants at the Echo Bay police department? (b) To what extent do police sergeants practice the tenants of transformational leadership, and (c) How do police departments develop the leadership competencies of their police sergeants. The researcher used four different techniques (a) in-depth interviews, (b) focus groups, (c) direct observations, and (d) a survey as part of the qualitative component of the research and the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire as part of its selection activity. The results using a coding process revealed some major themes that indicated that sergeants used idealized attributes, individualized consideration, inspirational motivation; all features of transformational leadership. The studied police department promoted professional development by offering tuition reimbursement, job enhancement, and job enrichment. The research revealed that the police department had an informal talent management system which included: coaching, mentoring, job rotation, and job expansion. The researcher recommended that further research should include the entire command structure (patrol officer to commissioner) and, most importantly, the institutionalization of a talent management system in which patrol officers are exposed to leadership development early in their careers to help navigate the complex law enforcement landscape of the 21st century.

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