Skin coloured targets: an examination of the effects of the use of targets in the Police, in ‘Black, Minority and Ethnic’ (BME) candidate selection and recruitment

Stubbs, G. (2016) Skin coloured targets: an examination of the effects of the use of targets in the Police, in ‘Black, Minority and Ethnic’ (BME) candidate selection and recruitment. M.Sc. thesis, Canterbury Christ Church University.


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This research aimed to examine the effects of the use of Targets in the Policing context, for the purposes of selecting and recruiting Black, Minority and Ethnic candidates (BME). From previous evidence within the field of research, the use of targets has been proven to impact negatively upon workplace motivation and create a selection of unintended consequences, yet there was no located research that aimed to understand their use within the recruitment of BME officers within the Police.

The research adopted a qualitative approach to investigation and interviews with 17 frontline officers were carried out. The aim of the interviews was to collect rich data relating to their personal experience of the use of targets, and their subsequent effect in the workplace. The participants were asked two open-ended questions that sought to evaluate their feelings towards the use of targets, and their impact upon the wider workforce.

The research found a selection of common themes that appeared throughout many of the interviews, including disengagement, mistrust of organisational process, the disadvantaging of those meant to benefit from the targets, and a lack of organisational communication. These were persistent, and without delving into underlying sociological causes, they illustrate issues with the perceived effects of management intervention in recruitment and selection.

The key implications for police organisations are in relation to the greater understanding of the processes that they choose to implement. Although numerical targets may be seen to direct activity towards a numerical goal, the real effects on frontline workers can be far more sinister and ultimately, do more harm than good.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology > HV7551-8280.7 Police. Detectives. Constabulary
Divisions: Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences > School of Law, Criminal Justice and Computing
Depositing User: Mr Andrew Hudson
Date Deposited: 02 Nov 2016 11:35
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2018 01:20

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00