Helms School of Government
Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice (PhD)
particularism, social ties, police, promotions, assignments, New Jersey
Leadership Studies | Social and Behavioral Sciences
Glasser, John Leo III, "Police Promotions and Assignments: Understanding Law Enforcement Officers’ Experiences with Particularism" (2022). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 3914.
The purpose of this qualitative descriptive study was to have police officers describe how they experience, understand, and navigate within their agency as it relates to their decisions to assign and promote police personnel within the scope of particularism in New Jersey. The conceptual framework guiding this study was the debate between researchers, and industrial-organizational psychologists who have reached opposing viewpoints on whether particularism and similar practices are beneficial or detrimental in the organizational context. Three research questions guided this study: 1) How do police officers describe their experiences with their agency as it relates to their agencies' decisions to promote police officers under the concept of particularism? 2) How do police officers describe their understanding of their agency as it relates to their agencies' decisions to promote police officers under the concept of particularism? 3) How do police officers describe their navigation of their agency as it relates to their agencies' decisions to promote police officers under the concept of particularism? Judgmental sampling was used to recruit 20 current and recently retired police officers in the State of New Jersey for this study. Data was collected through semi-structured interviews and was coded through thematic analysis with assistance from NVivo. Primary (parent) themes of 1) Experience with Particularism 2) Understanding of Particularism 3) Navigation of Particularism were used to code data specific to recurring themes that addressed the research questions. The findings revealed that police officers experience particularism through a variety of unique circumstances and incidents, and that they understand it to be a pervasive and expected, but negative part of their organization. Different ways officers navigate the phenomenon were also discussed and explored. Implications of the study’s findings, limitations, and recommendations for future research are also discussed.