Embedded ethics: Discourse and power in the New South Wales Police Service

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Journal Article
Organization Studies, 2009, 30 (1), pp. 73 - 99
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In this paper we report an ethnographic research study conducted in one of the world's largest police organizations, the New South Wales Police Service. Our research question was, 'How do forms of power shape organizational members' ethical practices?' We look at existing theories that propose the deployment of two interrelated arguments: that ethics are embedded in organizational practices and discourse at a micro-level of everyday organizational life, which is contrasted with a focus on the macro-organizational, institutional forces that are seen to have an impact on ethics. Resisting this distinction between the 'micro' and the 'macro', we build on these two bodies of knowledge to explain ethical change as deeply embedded in power relations that traverse the scale of social action. copyright © 2009 SAGE Publications.
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