Explaining officer compliance: The importance of procedural justice and trust inside a police organization

Nicole E. Haas*, Maarten Van Craen, Wesley G. Skogan, Diego M. Fleitas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Scopus citations


The extent to which police officers obey instructions and policies is of permanent concern to police leaders and the community. This is especially the case when it comes to preventing police misconduct, such as the use of excessive force. In the current study we examined officer compliance from a procedural justice and social exchange perspective. Using data collected among 536 police officers of the Metropolitana Police in Buenos Aires, we explored to what extent internal procedural justice and trust are related to: (1) officer compliance with supervisors and policies; and (2) officer endorsement of regulations on the use of force. The results indicate that perceptions of fair treatment by supervisors and trust in supervisors are positively associated with (stated) compliance. Our findings suggest that a procedural justice approach may facilitate the implementation of police policies and contribute to preventing police violence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)442-463
Number of pages22
JournalCriminology and Criminal Justice
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 21 2015


  • Compliance
  • police
  • procedural justice
  • social exchange
  • trust
  • use of force

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law


Dive into the research topics of 'Explaining officer compliance: The importance of procedural justice and trust inside a police organization'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this