Research on organizational innovation is challenging given its complex nature. Using Wolfe's (1994) review and critique of the vast innovation literature, we identify some of the key conceptual and theoretical issues within three separate research streams: diffusion, organizational innovativeness, and innovation process. In doing so, we suggest that police researchers should pay more attention to defining and conceptualizing innovation; to testing multiple theories explaining the spread of different innovations across police agencies; to analyzing the structural and cultural bases of diffusion; to examining and comparing the effects of individual, organizational, and environmental determinants on different innovations; and to designing systematic longitudinal studies on the entire innovation process. In addition, we examine some trends and issues related to judging innovations. Our purpose is to provide guidance that will contribute to the development of a coherent and generalizable body of research on police innovations, a field that is currently in its infancy.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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