Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Criminal Justice


Jon M. Shane

Subject Categories

Criminology | Criminology and Criminal Justice | Public Administration


diffusion; innovation; institutional theory; police organizations; social network analysis; text network analysis


This study seeks to identify network structures capable of predicting innovation uptake among law enforcement organizations. Utilizing a mixed-methods approach, diffusion is studied through the lens of a single innovation, state law enforcement accreditation. Quantitative data culled from a variety of social artifacts in two New England states are used as a basis for the study. Relational data extracted from meetings held by a private police chief's association over an 11 year period were used to construct an affiliation matrix. Social network analysis demonstrates that actors with high levels of centrality are more likely to self-select state accreditation enrollment than their less embedded counterparts. However, network position had no significant effect on whether or not the innovation was adopted successfully. Policy documents obtained from 22 law enforcement organizations that had recently enrolled in a state accreditation program were subjected to text network analysis in order to measure organizational responses to innovation uptake. Patterns of organizational language, including pronounced structural shifts by agencies that adopted accreditation, are indicative of mimetic and normative isomorphism. Study findings and their attendant implications are approached through an institutional theory perspective.