Research Activities

Practitioner Fellowships

The Police Reform Programme in Scotland

David Stewart Taynuilt Associates Ltd

Personal profile of David Stewart...

    • Partner Universities: Glasgow Caledonian University and University of Dundee
    • Academic Supervisors: Prof Sandra Nutley and Prof Nicholas Fyfe
    • Start Date: 1 January 2014
    • Duration: 9 - 12 months

Research Context and Objectives:

The Police Reform Programme in Scotland has been acknowledged as the largest Public Sector Reform Programme in the UK, comprising the merger of 10 policing organisations into one single entity. This significant change was implemented in an extremely challenging timescale and, while the 1 April 2013 was the merger date and much was done in the run up to that event, work now continues to ensure that the benefits of this reform programme are achieved in the longer term. The objectives of this research will be two-fold;

    • Police Reform Context
      To examine the Police Reform Programme in Scotland in the context of other police reform programmes elsewhere in the UK, Europe and worldwide with a view to:

      • comparing and contrasting different approaches to change management
      • comparing and contrasting relationships between key stakeholders
      • comparing and contrasting timelines, particularly key milestones such as senior appointments, governance structures, 'Day1 operation', 'end states' etc
      • comparing and contrasting structure, identity and ownership of workstreams (eg local policing, ICT, criminal investigation etc)

  • Broader Change Management Context
    To examine the Police Reform Programme in Scotland from the perspective of broader change management theory in both public and private sector and to establish how the requirements of the reform were diagnosed, enacted and explained. This will involve an analysis of:

    • Structure, business process and identity/culture change
    • Leadership and change agency
    • Stakeholder perspectives and power relationships
    • Programme and project management
    • Communication strategies
    • Management of resistance.

Planned Activities :

Activities will include literature reviews in respect of both police-related journals and those from a broader change management perspective with the potential of undertaking structured/semi structured interviews with those involved in police change programmes elsewhere. Reference will be made to previous SIPR research papers relating to the National Police Reform Programme.

Use will be made of the EPIC (European Police Institutes Collaboration) network to access comparative data, perhaps via a questionnaire survey followed up by Skype interviews but also a potential visit to the Netherlands given the strong parallels in terms of the timing and nature of the reforms.

Outputs will include formal reports with the potential to support internal police purposes for Police Scotland, as well as potential academic journals with further potential content suitable for presentation at conferences comprising audiences from either policing or change management.