Who Am I? Who Are We? Exploring the Factors That Contribute to Work-Related Identities in Policing

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Using social identity theory, this study examines the conditions under which police officers become attached (or not) to their organization and to their work, and whether one's sex influences these relationships. Through an analysis of secondary survey data collected from a large Canadian police organization, the study found that fair treatment and psychological safety were significantly related to officers' identification with their organization, and in turn, their work. The findings also demonstrated that when officers perceived their workplace as a masculinity contest, they were less likely to identify with their organization. Additionally, perceptions of a masculinity contest were associated with a greater likelihood that officers reported lower levels of psychological safety, and this effect was more significant for female officers. While women overall were no less likely than men to be attached to their organization or their occupational role, women who perceived their workplace as psychologically less safe reported lower levels of identification. The study also found that race and level within the organization may have a greater effect than sex on work-related identification. Overall, the study makes a significant contribution to the nascent literature on work-related identification and policing, as well as to the body of research on women in policing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)995-1010
Number of pages16
JournalPolicing (Oxford)
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun. 2021


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