Police chiefs' tasks, time, and contingency theory: An empirical examination



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This study explores variations in the amount of time allocated, by 425 Texas police chiefs, to different workday activities. Prior studies, commonly called time-task studies, have focused mainly on line-level police officers but not police chiefs. Unfortunately, we know relatively little about how local police chiefs allocate their workday tasks, nor the correlates of differences in time use. The data are collected from 425 police chiefs who responded to the Texas Chiefs of Police Panel Project (TCPPP) survey between September of 2013 and July of 2015. The analysis is framed in an organizational view called structural contingency theory. The data are first explored with univariate descriptive statistics and factor analysis. Next, the demographic attributes of chiefs (e.g., age, sex, race, education) are introduced as control variables. Then, measures of each chief’s police agency (e.g., size, task scope), and their community (e.g., population size, racial diversity, poverty) are introduced as predictors of chiefs’ time and task. The findings are framed within this larger organizational perspective.



Policing, Structural contingency theory, Time-task, Police chiefs, Daily work activities