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Policing opportunities and threats in Europe

Arjan van den Born (Utrecht School of Economics, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands)
Arjen van Witteloostuijn (Antwerp Centre for Evolutionary Demography, University of Antwerp, Belgium; the Department of Organisation and Strategy, Tilburg University, Tilburg, The Netherlands, and Utrecht School of Economics, Utrecht, The Netherlands)
Melody Barlage (Utrecht School of Economics, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands)
Saraï Sapulete (Utrecht School of Economics, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands)
Ad van den Oord (University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium)
Sofie Rogiest (University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium)
Nathalie Vallet (University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium)
Zdenko Reguli (Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic)
Michal Vit (Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic)
Christian Mouhanna (Cesdip‐CNRS, Paris, France)
Damien Cassa (Cesdip‐CNRS, Paris, France)
Henriette Binder (FHPolBB, Oranienburg, Germany)
Vivian Blumenthal (FHPolBB, Oranienburg, Germany)
Jochen Christe‐Zeyse (FHPolBB, Oranienburg, Germany)
Stefanie Giljohann (FHPolBB, Oranienburg, Germany)
Mario Gruschinske (FHPolBB, Oranienburg, Germany)
Hartwig Pautz (FHPolBB, Oranienburg, Germany)
Susanne Stein‐Müller (FHPolBB, Oranienburg, Germany)
Fabio Bisogni (Fondazione FORMIT, Rome, Italy)
Pietro Costanzo (Fondazione FORMIT, Rome, Italy)
Trpe Stojanovski (University St Kliment, Ohridski, Republic of Macedonia)
Stojanka Mirceva (University St Kliment, Ohridski, Republic of Macedonia)
Katerina Krstevska (University St Kliment, Ohridski, Republic of Macedonia)
Rade Rajkovcevski (University St Kliment, Ohridski, Republic of Macedonia)
Mila Stamenova (Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands)
Saskia Bayerl (Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands)
Kate Horton (Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands)
Gabriele Jacobs (Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands)
Theo Jochoms (Police Academy of The Netherlands, Apeldoorn, The Netherlands)
Gert Vogel (Police Academy of The Netherlands, Apeldoorn, The Netherlands)
Daniela Andrei (Babes‐Bolyai University, Cluj, Romania)
Adriana Baban (Babes‐Bolyai University, Cluj, Romania)
Sofia Chirica (Babes‐Bolyai University, Cluj, Romania)
Catalina Otoiu (Babes‐Bolyai University, Cluj, Romania)
Lucia Ratiu (Babes‐Bolyai University, Cluj, Romania)
Claudia Rus (Babes‐Bolyai University, Cluj, Romania)
Mihai Varga (Babes‐Bolyai University, Cluj, Romania)
Gabriel Vonas (Babes‐Bolyai University, Cluj, Romania)
Victoria Alsina (Institute of Public Governance and Management, ESADE, Barcelona, Spain)
Mila Gascó (Institute of Public Governance and Management, ESADE, Barcelona, Spain)
Kerry Allen (IWP, Sheffield University, Sheffield, UK)
Kamal Birdi (IWP, Sheffield University, Sheffield, UK)
Kathryn Betteridge (Durham University, Durham, UK)
Rebecca Casey (Durham University, Durham, UK)
Leslie Graham (Durham University, Durham, UK)
László Pólos (Durham University, Durham, UK)

Journal of Organizational Change Management

ISSN: 0953-4814

Article publication date: 23 August 2013




This paper aims to take stock and to increase understanding of the opportunities and threats for policing in ten European countries in the Political, Economic, Social, Technological and Legal (PESTL) environment.


This study is part of the large EU‐funded COMPOSITE project into organisational change. A PESTL analysis was executed to produce the environmental scan that will serve as a platform for further research into change management within the police. The findings are based on structured interviews with police officers of 17 different police forces and knowledgeable externals in ten European countries. The sampling strategy was optimized for representativeness under the binding capacity constraints defined by the COMPOSITE research budget.


European police forces face a long list of environmental changes that can be grouped in the five PESTL clusters with a common denominator. There is also quite some overlap as to both the importance and nature of the key PESTL trends across the ten countries, suggesting convergence in Europe.


A study of this magnitude has not been seen before in Europe, which brings new insights to the target population of police forces across Europe. Moreover, policing is an interesting field to study from the perspective of organisational change, featuring a high incidence of change in combination with a wide variety of change challenges, such as those related to identity and leadership.



van den Born, A., van Witteloostuijn, A., Barlage, M., Sapulete, S., van den Oord, A., Rogiest, S., Vallet, N., Reguli, Z., Vit, M., Mouhanna, C., Cassa, D., Binder, H., Blumenthal, V., Christe‐Zeyse, J., Giljohann, S., Gruschinske, M., Pautz, H., Stein‐Müller, S., Bisogni, F., Costanzo, P., Stojanovski, T., Mirceva, S., Krstevska, K., Rajkovcevski, R., Stamenova, M., Bayerl, S., Horton, K., Jacobs, G., Jochoms, T., Vogel, G., Andrei, D., Baban, A., Chirica, S., Otoiu, C., Ratiu, L., Rus, C., Varga, M., Vonas, G., Alsina, V., Gascó, M., Allen, K., Birdi, K., Betteridge, K., Casey, R., Graham, L. and Pólos, L. (2013), "Policing opportunities and threats in Europe", Journal of Organizational Change Management, Vol. 26 No. 5, pp. 811-829.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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