Maguire, E.R. and King, W.R. (2007). “The Changing Landscape of American Police Organizations.” Pp. 337-371 in Policing 2020: Exploring the Future of Crime, Communities, and Policing, edited by J.A. Schafer. Washington, DC: Federal Bureau of Investigation.


This chapter presents a small but growing body of research evidence demonstrating that the American policing industry is slowly beginning to experience three fundamental and related changes: the overall number of police agencies is shrinking, and the remaining agencies are becoming both larger and more structurally complex. These changes in the landscape of police organizations are likely to produce significant differences in how communities are policed. We then draw insights from organization theory to explain the social forces that may or may not be encouraging such changes. In particular, we explore how three organizational theories –contingency theory, institutional theory, and population ecology theory– can help us understand the future of the American policing industry.

Year: 2007
Language: English
Type: Book chapter
Topic: Policing, Organization theory
Methodologies: Other