Embedded Ethics: Discourse and Power in the New South Wales Police Service

R. Gordon*, S.R. Clegg, M. Kornberger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In this paper we report an ethnographic research study conducted in one of the world's largest police organizations, the new south wales police service. Our research question was, `how do forms of power shape organizational members' ethical practices?' we look at existing theories that propose the deployment of two interrelated arguments: that ethics are embedded in organizational practices and discourse at a micro-level of everyday organizational life, which is contrasted with a focus on the macro-organizational, institutional forces that are seen to have an impact on ethics. Resisting this distinction between the `micro' and the `macro', we build on these two bodies of knowledge to explain ethical change as deeply embedded in power relations that traverse the scale of social action.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-99
JournalOrganization Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009


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