Effective Use of Policing Systems: A Two-Stage Study of the Shakedown Period of System Implementation

Kar Yan Tam, Yue Katherine Feng, Michael C. Lai

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


With the rising demand for national security and the expanding role of police forces, police agencies have invested heavily in information technologies to support their expanded mandates. However, the link between investment in information technology and police performance remains unclear. In this article, we examine the effective use of a police system in the context of system implementation. We develop and test an effective use model based on representation theory and adapt it to the specific occupation culture of law enforcement agencies. The model discerns effective use into three dimensions based on different interactions among user, task, and system, with each dimension exerting an impact on performance. To contextualize the model and enrich its relevance, two salient occupation traits of police - autonomy and loyalty to peers - are operationalized and incorporated as a dimension of effective use. The model is tested using data collected before and after the rollout of a police command and control system in a major city in Asia. The empirical findings are consistent with the theoretical predictions. This article contributes to the ongoing discussion of effective use in general and provides insights into law enforcement systems, which have major societal impacts but have received little attention from researchers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8844101
Pages (from-to)1839-1854
Number of pages16
JournalIEEE Transactions on Engineering Management
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • Effective use
  • police occupation
  • policing systems
  • representation theory
  • shakedown period

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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