Predicting police officer reported compliance andwillingness to cooperate with internal affairs units: Application of the relational model of authority
Policing and Society: An International Journal of Research and Policy
Taylor & Francis
School of Arts and Humanities / Sellenger Centre for Research in Law, Justice and Social Change
Internal accountability mechanisms, such as internal affair units, are an important aspect of misconduct and corruption prevention. Key to internal mechanisms is the fostering of compliant behaviour. Drawing on the Relational Model of Authority, this research investigated whether police officer perceptions of procedural justice and legitimacy, relevant to an internal affairs unit, influenced reported compliance and willingness to cooperate with the unit. An online survey was completed by 1195 police officers. Structural equation modelling revealed an indirect effect of perceived procedural justice on reported willingness to cooperate with the internal affairs unit via the subscales of legitimacy; perceived obligation to obey and perceived trust. The findings of this research provide important insight into theoretical understandings of compliance with authority in a policing context and will be of value to agencies seeking to improve compliance and cooperation with internal affair units.