10 May 2017

The research project that helps the police develop better leadership skills

In order to develop Sweden’s police organisation, the evaluation function at the Police’s National Operations Department, NOA, has carried out several part-studies on the leadership skills of Sweden’s police chiefs since 2012. In the latest study, three key leadership qualities of Swedish police chiefs – stress tolerance, internal drive and entrepreneurship – are measured by analysing the answers given by the police chiefs to the personality test JobMatch Talent.

“The study shows that Swedish police chiefs have all three qualities to a lesser extent than managers in both the public and private sectors. This is despite the fact that these qualities are especially important in a police organisation, not least the ability to cope with stress in different situations,” says Ann-Christine Andersson Arntén, investigator at NOA’s evaluation function and one of the authors of the study.

Through analysing 1756 responses to the certified personality test JobMatch Talent, the study measures and compares to what extent managers in the police, public sector and business industry possess the three leadership qualities. The report is the third in a series of studies from NOA’s evaluation function in collaboration with researchers from the University of Gothenburg and JobMatch Sweden with the purpose of evaluating and developing the Swedish police organisation.

“From previous studies, we know what well-functioning leadership within the police looks like.

The qualities we have studied now govern things such as how well a manager supports their employees and manages stressful situations. Given the specific work situation that our police officers face every day, these are two crucial aspects for how well the organisation within the police works.

With these studies, NOA gains important knowledge about the organisation and leadership of the police force, which provides the right conditions for further development.

We can use the results to better recruit and develop appropriate managers at all levels,” says Dr Ann-Christine Andersson Arntén.

Further studies on leadership within the police force will be presented shortly.

Read more about the background to the project

Read the full study