Command, Control, and Charisma: Reflections on Police Bureaucracy

David J. Bordua, Albert J. Reiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper examines several features of American police systems that account for some variation and change in command structures and the personal charisma of the chief. Ways that the bureaucratization of the police have served to commit officers to an occupational organization, to an occupational community, and to norms of subordination and service in such a way that these commitments take precedence over extra-occupational ones are also examined. The significance of status honor and occupational prestige for the American police is discussed in this context.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)68-76
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Sociology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1966


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