Date of Paper/Work


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Leadership (Ed.D.)

Type of Paper/Work



Susan J. Huber, Ed. D; Bruce H. Kramer, Ph. D; William Carter III, Ed.D.


Law enforcement first-line supervision is the key management element in the daily functioning of American police organizations. This qualitative study examines supervision from the viewpoint of the patrol sergeant supervisor. In this study, supervisors discussed their beliefs on the care of officers, organizational development, politics, community, administration, and their supervisor peer group. Using an inductive model of data collection, this thick-description ethnographic study exposed a Multiple Constituency Model consisting of people and interests requiring the time, favor, and expertise of the first-line supervisor.

Supervisors discussed dilemmas of decision-making, police agency structure, leadership strategies, and peer supervisor and subordinate relationships. The relationships within the Multiple Constituency Model each required negotiations and resolutions with supervisors. Strain in some of the relationships is seen through sub-cultural issues in policing and through the idealized thoughts of supervisors. By understanding these dynamics, law enforcement administrators may be able work with supervisors for better organizational outcomes.


Law enforcement first-line supervision, Care of officers, Organizational Development, Politics, Community, Administration, Supervisor Peer Group, Thick-description Ethnographic Study, Multiple Constituency Model, Police Agency Structure, Leadership

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

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