Research on policing in homeland security has focused on issues associated with information sharing between law enforcement agencies. However, insufficient research exists to determine whether effective sharing occurs within individual agencies. There is a lack of research regarding knowledge management within local law enforcement agencies. This qualitative phenomenological study explored the impact of organizational changes implemented since September 11, 2001 on knowledge sharing of potential terrorist threats within local law enforcement agencies. The phenomenon was explored by obtaining rich, thick descriptions of the experiences of local law enforcement officers. Semi-structured interviews based on phenomenological inquiry were used to collect data from a sample of 13 officers from eight local law enforcement agencies operating in Maricopa County, Arizona. Open-ended interview questions were designed to have participants reconstruct their experiences regarding the communication of potential terrorist threats within their respective agencies. Participants were selected using purposeful sampling based on their experience of the phenomenon and willingness to participate in the study. Data collected were analyzed using the modified van Kaam method. Of the fourteen themes identified in this study, eight have been identified in previous studies related to information sharing and law enforcement agencies: organizational culture within agencies, role of management, issues with personalities, relationships among officers, financial resources, technology, training, and value of shared information. Six themes have not been identified in previous research: credibility of information and sources of information, feedback to officers providing information, liaisons within agencies, over-saturation of information, simplicity of information sharing, and time needed to adjust to organizational changes. Recommendations for future research include additional studies designed to determine the extent to which these findings can be generalized to other agencies, states, and geographical areas. Future research should explore whether the six newly identified themes in this study also impact the communication of potential terrorist threats between different law enforcement agencies. Different theoretical foundations may be applied to the findings of this study to provide additional insight into the fourteen themes identified as well as information sharing within local law enforcement agencies.
|Advisor:||Plybon, Laura E.|
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||DAI-A 74/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Public administration, Criminology, Organizational behavior|
|Keywords:||Homeland Security, Interagency communication, Knowledge sharing, Law enforcement, Phenomenology, Terrorism Liaison Officer|
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