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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 99260 Find in a Library
Title: Police Research and Police Policy - Some Propositions About the Production and Use of Knowledge (From Police Leadership in America, P 383-396, 1985, William A Geller, ed. - See NCJ-98325)
Author(s): G W Cordner
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 14
Sponsoring Agency: Praeger Publishers
Westport, CT 06881
Sale Source: Praeger Publishers
88 Post Road West
Westport, CT 06881
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper discusses key propositions about research and its application to police policy to show that research-based knowledge is one form of knowledge among many providing input for police policymaking.
Abstract: The propositions on research are from a recent essay on social science and problemsolving (Lindblom and Cohen 1979) and from a recent empirical study of the use of expert forecasting (Ascher 1978). Propositions pertaining to the indirect and often unanticipated consequences of research suggest that the absence of authoritativeness does not necessarily render research useless, that research may produce diversion rather than agreement in thinking about a problem, and that research effects are sometimes delayed and circuitous. One proposition holds that research which describes the present state of affairs often makes a greater contribution to policymaking than more sophisticated, inferential, and theory-testing research. In another proposition, research is depicted as a social act undertaken by fallible people with varying motives for conducting the research. A key concept underlying a number of propositions is that research is used by people playing particular roles in an interactive process. Other propositions note that research is more likely to be accepted in policymaking characterized by goal consensus rather than goal conflict. Overall, the propositions challenge the view that policymaking can or should be based primarily upon what is presumed to be objective research that has essentially provided the answer to the problem being addressed by policymakers. In discussing each proposition, the author provides examples of its meaning for police research use in policymaking. Four notes are provided.
Index Term(s): Police decisionmaking; Police policy development; Police research; Research uses in policymaking
Note: Earlier version presented at the 1981 annual meeting of the American Society of Criminology, Washington, DC.
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