Chinese police officers' perceptions of integrity in the workplace

Liyun Zhang

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis


While police perceptions of integrity have been examined by a substantial amount of research across the world, very little is known about how Chinese police understand and respond to the issue of police integrity in the workplace. Using survey method, this study attempts to answer these questions: (1) How do Chinese police officers perceive the seriousness of incidents of police misconduct in the workplace? Are there differences between their views and the perceived agencies' views? (2) Does a code ofsilence exist among Chinese police in the workplace? If yes, to what extent does the 'code' influence officers' willingness to report misconduct by fellow officers? (3) How likely do police officers think it is that the incidents of police misconduct in the workplace will be detected? (4) How do police officers view the disciplinary consequences that should and would be imposed for incidents of police misconduct? Are there variations between their views on the appropriate and expected disciplinary results? (5) What are the other forms of police misconduct that are perceived to be prevalent in the workplace? (6) For what reasons are police officers not willing to report misconduct occurred in the workplace? (7) What major factors in the organisational context of policing are viewed by police officers as contributing to police misconduct in the workplace? (8) What strategies in the organisational context of policing do police officers think are effective in curtailing police misconduct in the workplace? A police integrity perception survey, which asked both closed and open ended questions based on 16 police misconduct scenarios, was administered to police officers from 16 different provinces in China. The results of the survey showed the majority incidents of misconduct described in the scenarios were seen by the respondents as serious, even though the seriousness differed across the scenarios. Overall, the respondents tended to take a more lenient attitude toward gratuities and excessive use of force than other forms of misconduct. A strong code of silence was detected among the respondents. It was found that the officers appeared to be quite lenient toward both appropriate and expected disciplinary punishment, and they tended to agree that violation of integrity was not very likely to be detected. In the end, the research indicates that in the context of policing in China, certain cultural, organizational, and socioeconomic factors played important roles in shaping police officers' understanding of and reactions to police misconduct, and their perceptions of strategies to curtail police misconduct in the workplace.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Charles Sturt University
  • Corbo Crehan, Anna, Principal Supervisor
  • Bartkowiak, Isabelle, Co-Supervisor
Place of PublicationAustralia
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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