Organisational culture and best value in the police service of Northern Ireland
This Thesis is concerned with the development of a strategic model for assisting with the implementation of Best Value into policing in Northern Ireland. Best Value is a legislative requirement for public sector organisations that is primarily concerned with improving the efficiency and effectiveness of policing; thereby improving the overall quality of service provided to the community. This study approaches the issue of Best Value implementation from the perspective of organisational culture. It seeks to assess the impact of organisational culture on the implementation of Best Value and to provide senior managers within PSNI with a strategic model to assist with full and effective implementation. The thesis opens with an examination of the history of policing in Northern Ireland and relates the development of the organisational culture of the service to the influence of the lengthy period of conflict and violence known as 'The Troubles' that made up the external environment in which police officers delivered a service to the community. The background and rationale of Best Value are explored, and through a detailed review of literature, the main operating principles of Best Value are identified. It is through the use of the Best Value principles that the current organisational culture of the PSNI was examined through a research strategy that had a balanced approach of qualitative and quantitative methods. The analysis of the data gleaned from the research identified a significant level of negativity towards Best Value. This was such that if strategic measures were not developed to assist with implementation, this would have led to potential improvements in service delivery and benefits for the Northern Ireland community being lost. Having examined the organisational culture of PSNI with regard to Best Value the study concludes that there is a need for a strategy to be used that effectively manages the influences of the organisational culture. The proposed strategy addresses issues that will directly impact the organisational culture, and provides a series of practical Constructs that can be introduced by PSNI. The strategy provides an effective framework to enable effective Best Value implementation.