Beyond the evidence: organizational learning from RCTs in policing

Bedford, Laura and Mazerolle, Lorraine (2014) Beyond the evidence: organizational learning from RCTs in policing. Policing, 8 4: 402-416. doi:10.1093/police/pau050

Author Bedford, Laura
Mazerolle, Lorraine
Title Beyond the evidence: organizational learning from RCTs in policing
Journal name Policing   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1752-4512
Publication date 2014-01-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1093/police/pau050
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 8
Issue 4
Start page 402
End page 416
Total pages 15
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Oxford University Press
Language eng
Abstract Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) in policing potentially play an important role in meeting the policing challenges of the 21st century. The value of RCTs in policing is usually understood as providing hard scientific evidence of ‘what works’. Yet, the transformative potential of RCTs may lie beyond the evidence. In our article, we engage the theory of organizational learning (OL) to explore how RCTs implemented by police can play a powerful role in organizational change. Although we recognize that a wide variety of methods of social science evaluation contribute to organizational change, we focus specifically in this article on RCTs—either as tests of theory or as evaluations of the impact of organizational innovations, policies, programmes, strategies, or tactics. Our article suggests that better understanding the collateral benefits of field experimentation in policing can help to advance the evidence-based policing agenda. Field experimentation processes, we conclude, can increase organizational flexibility and catalyse transformative organizational learning processes. These changes have the potential to reverberate across the organization, well beyond the direct experiences of undertaking an RCT.
Keyword Randomized controlled trial (RCT)
Organizational learning
Policing experiment
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Special Issue: Police Science

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Institute for Social Science Research - Publications
Official 2015 Collection
School of Social Science Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 2 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 2 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Thu, 12 Feb 2015, 21:22:23 EST by Laura Bedford on behalf of School of Social Science