Institutional isomorphism and the federal consent decree: The case of the Los Angeles Police Department

Jeffry R. Phillips, Allan Jiao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to determine the extent to which constructs of institutional isomorphism apply to Los Angeles Police Department’s (LAPD) performance measurements of the US Department of Justice’s federal consent decree. Design/methodology/approach: A case-study approach was used to gather and analyze the data, including documentary research, personal interviews, and observations. Findings: The findings demonstrate that isomorphic pressures existed in the LAPD’s Audit Division and influenced the development of performance measures for reforms although not in a straightforward or unidimensional manner. Originality/value: Police auditing in the context of the federal consent decree is shown to be a viable approach for institutionalizing police reforms, but further research is necessary on specific performance measurements of police operations and relationship between these measures and police effectiveness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)756-772
Number of pages17
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Law

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