Dr Shalev Greene said more needed to be done to understand officers' disillusionment with senior management:
The report raises the question that if officers aren't taking responsibility for reading key documentation, what else are they missing?
And if their training is said to be ineffective, what other skills are they not being taught?
We need to understand what lies at the heart of an apparent lack of faith in senior leaders in relation to management of missing person investigations, and how to ensure guidance and best practice from the Home Office and College of Policing penetrates the organisation and reaches those on the 'shop floor'.
A further 51% admitted they had not read the guidelines on how to handle missing persons cases, according to the findings of a report published by the Centre for the Study of Missing Persons at the University of Portsmouth.
Researchers surveyed 215 police sergeants in a large police force in England. All had been in a senior role for at least five years.
Dr Shalev Greene, one of the authors of the report, said: "Decision-making is all too often subjective and inconsistent. One police sergeant might judge the risk of a set of circumstances as high and another might judge the same circumstances as medium.
"The challenge for policing is to remove such subjective measures, or at least place them within a more objective framework that ensures when the power of hindsight is being applied, the decision still stands up to scrutiny."