Collaborative Inquiry as a Critical Systemic Approach to Improving Ethics and Governance in the Philippine National Police

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Improving ethics and governance in policing is often considered an institutional function that police agencies do as 'expert' institutions. Participation by other stakeholders may be welcome so long as police are able to control the processes and mechanisms of participation. This paper, based on research done with the Philippine National Police, argues that collaborative inquiry could be an effective critical systemic approach to participation by the wider society in police reform. This could enable both police and non-police stakeholders to work together towards mutual understanding and cooperation as equals towards better policing. This participatory approach is not meant to replace the institutional mechanisms that the police use for their own reform effort, but it is supposed to complement them. The research on which this paper is based was an attempt to design a model for collaborative inquiry at the local municipal level of policing in the Philippines, since the municipality is the lowest operational level for the Philippines' police service. The results of that study suggest that it is possible to establish such a mechanism and make it work, in effect establishing a Close Knit Knowledge Organisation at the lowest level of operational policing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-222
Number of pages14
JournalSystemic Practice and Action Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2012
Externally publishedYes



  • Collaborative inquiry
  • Critical systems
  • Ethics and governance in policing
  • Philippine National Police

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