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Critical influences on succession management for non-commissioned ranks within Victoria police
thesisposted on 09.02.2017, 03:30 by Owbridge, Lynne Michelle
This thesis examines issues affecting succession management within noncommissioned ranks (NCRs) of policing services. Using Victoria Police (VicPol) as a case study, this research explored the organisation's capacity to build individual and organisational capability through adequate recruitment of new police, professional learning, and retaining talent within NCRs. A grounded theory approach was used to explore VicPol's recruitment, foundation training, transfer, promotion, career development not linked to promotion, and retention of talent for NCRs through a document review, and seeking corporate and individual perspectives on succession management and career development for these ranks. The initial part of the study involved descriptive research describing past and current recruitment and career development models for NCRs to provide context. Exploratory research developed a balanced picture by providing understanding of the underlying processes and influences informing the way VicPol handles succession management and career development opportunities. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected with corporate perspectives sought through a document review and semi-structured interviews with 15 key VicPol managers, whilst individual views were sourced via a workplace survey for which stratified sampling was used, and further interviews with 30 selected survey respondents. Constant comparison was utilised to code and analyse data, eliciting interpretations about how VicPol can build individual and organisational capability through adequate recruitment of new police, professional learning, and retaining talent within NCRs. The data' determined VicPol's recruitment, foundation training, transfer, promotion, and career development not linked to promotion have critical interdependencies, with all inherently linked to retaining talent. The grounded theory developed shows organisational awareness, organisational limitations, work I life balance, and organisational capability are critical influences impacting succession management within NCRs of policing services. Giving consideration to an appropriate mix of knowledge, skills and capabilities, VicPol requires capacity to strategically plan and align its current and future sworn workforce with effective service delivery to ensure long-term sustainability of generalist and specialist roles through succession management within NCRs. This is critical as VicPol becomes challenged by a rapidly shrinking labour market, generational differences in workers, and its ageing workforce projected to result in 30 per cent of police having less than five years' service by 2014 (VicPol, 2012a). VicPol requires a system encapsulating all human resources practices examined in this study, with robust links among them to ensure they are complementary and work collectively towards identifying and retaining talent through succession management rather than operating discretely to each other. Recruitment and an appropriate professional learning model providing continuous professional learning, including lateral and vertical movement, for recruits and NCRs should sit within a far wider set of resourcing and development processes linked to retaining talent. This study of VicPol provides a detailed portrait of the setting in which the research was conducted to give enough information to judge applicability of the findings to other settings. Because most western policing services still subscribe to traditional western police recruitment, foundation training, transfer, and promotion models similar to those used by VicPol, the critical influences on succession management within NCRs are likely to be transferable to other western policing agencies. As the critical influences identified are principally due to VicPol being pyramidal and paramilitary based, there is also potential for transferability on a broader scale incorporating other rank based, para-military organisations.