The impact of a supportive leadership program in a policing organisation from the participants' perspective
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Aim: The aim of this study is to explore the implementation of an organisational level intervention, focussing on Supportive Leadership (SL), in an Australian police organisation from the perspective of supervisors and managers. Design: The impact of the intervention was explored using a qualitative methodology using semi-structured telephone interviews with 44 participants who had attended the Supportive Leadership Workshop, designed to improve awareness of good management practices. Data was subjected to thematic analysis using a social constructivist theoretical orientation. Findings: Findings showed that SL as a concept was generally accepted by a majority of participants and that they had integrated a number of SL strategies into their work practices. The participants also identified the importance of senior personnel role-modelling SL and the negative impact of non-role modelling. Research limitations and implications: The major limitation of the study was the non-random sample of voluntary participants. However, the nature of conducting applied studies in police organisations is inherently difficult due to confidentiality and their paramilitary nature. This study highlights the need for future studies in police leadership and occupational stress that directly explore issues from the perspective of the supervisors and managers. Practical implications: Interventions such as SL need support and role modelling from senior management to enhance their credibility. Original value: This paper reports on an applied intervention that received major support and funding within a police organisation. It is of value to other organizations considering similar interventions because it highlights issues that could be addressed to further enhance the program
Copyright 2009 IOS Press. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal website for access to the definitive, published version.