The Art of ‘Flexing’: Translating a New Vision of Police Leadership from the Top

Pauline Ramshaw, Mark Simpson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Recent cases of police officer misconduct, corruption, criminality and ineffective leadership have tarnished the reputation of the police service in England and Wales and polarised debate on leadership. The bulk of this discussion tends to gravitate between assessing the merits of transactional and transformational leadership styles, with the latter typically emerging as the superior model that offers the potential to enact reform and cultural change. In line with recent concern over the possible shortfalls of adopting a binary approach to exploring police leadership, this chapter explores the synergy between transformational and transactional leadership styles. It draws from a small-scale qualitative research project to illustrate the importance of effective leadership in a police organisation with a recent history of people-centred scandals. In doing so it highlights the complexities of leadership at the top of a police organisation, and the need for a balanced approach characterised by fluidity of movement between leadership styles if senior police leaders are to achieve meaningful reform and cultural change.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPolice Leadership
Subtitle of host publicationChanging Landscapes
EditorsPauline Ramshaw, Marisa Silvestri, Mark Simpson
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9783030214692
ISBN (Print)9783030214685
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2019


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