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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Protecting and Serving Her Way: A Qualitative Inquiry of Female Law Enforcement Leaders' Social Identity and Leader Self-Efficacy
by Clark, Patrina Michelle, Ed.D., The George Washington University, 2018, 348; 10828345
Abstract (Summary)

This qualitative research study (Merriam & Tisdell, 2016) informed by an a priori theoretical framework gathered perspectives of female law enforcement leaders on their experiences leading in hegemonic masculine police cultures (Archbold & Schulz, 2012; Morash & Haarr, 2012; Rabe-Hemp, 2009) to better understand how female law enforcement leaders described the construction of their social identities (Morash & Haarr, 2012; Rabe-Hemp, 2009; Tajfel & Turner, 1979) and the influences on their self-efficacy (Bandura, 1977, 1986, 1997). The two areas of focus for the study within the law enforcement leaders’ experiences included understanding how the women thought of themselves and others as a group and what experiences influenced their confidence to lead. The study was guided by two research questions: How do female law enforcement leaders describe their social identities? and What experiences shape the formation and evolution of self-efficacy of female law enforcement leaders? There were two subquestions: How, if at all, is gender a factor in the female law enforcement leaders’ social identity constructions? and How do the reported experiences described by the female law enforcement leaders inform the four information sources for self-efficacy theorized by Bandura (1977)?

This study provided in-depth descriptive data about the social identity constructions and self-efficacy evolution of 16 female law enforcement leaders. General findings from the study indicated women’s social identities (Tajfel & Turner, 1979) are constructed within and outside of the law enforcement community with a strong identification with groups outside of law enforcement and influenced by gender. Further findings from the study indicated that a myriad of experiences and interactions influence leader self-efficacy (Archbold & Schulz, 2012; Bandura, 1977, 1986, 1997; Rabe-Hemp, 2009; West & Zimmerman, 1987) that are generally aligned with Bandura’s (1977, 1986, 1997) self-efficacy theory, with one noteworthy exception and one emergent influence.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Swayze, Susan
Commitee: Egan, Toby, Marquardt, Michael J.
School: The George Washington University
Department: Human & Organizational Learning
School Location: United States -- District of Columbia
Source: DAI-A 79/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Law enforcement, Womens studies, Organizational behavior
Keywords: Law enforcement, Leadership, Self-efficacy, Social identity, Women's studies
Publication Number: 10828345
ISBN: 978-0-438-16967-8
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