Effective policing: management influence and the commitment of senior police personnel

Policing: An International Journal

ISSN: 1363-951X

Article publication date: 8 November 2011



Grothoff, G. (2011), "Effective policing: management influence and the commitment of senior police personnel", Policing: An International Journal, Vol. 34 No. 4. https://doi.org/10.1108/pijpsm.2011.18134daa.005



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Effective policing: management influence and the commitment of senior police personnel

Article Type: Perspectives on policing From: Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, Volume 34, Issue 4

A.R. Parsons, Paula Kautt and Timothy CoupePolicing and Society2011Vol. 21pp. 1-26

Organizational effectiveness and efficiency can determine police officer retention. Prior research has focused on the determinants of low-level police retention, especially the management of these officers. However, senior officer’s retention has been an area of neglected study. In this article, Parsons et al. (2011) focus on senior officers as a neglected area of study to determine job retention influences.

This study measures two concepts, the perceptions of senior officers and organizational commitment. Therefore, the authors employ two methods of data collection, a survey and an open-ended follow up questionnaire. Senior officer perceptions include items related to the decision to remain or stay with a department. In addition, two scales measure organizational commitment, specifically 20 questions addressing organizational commitment and perceived organizational support. Data is from a single Australian police organization.

The quantitative results of the survey highlight two main points. First, increases in benefit rates do not influence senior officers. Specifically, an increased pension does not increase their perception of organizational commitment or support. Second, organizational commitment, relationship with lower officer rank, length of service, and absence of promotion opportunities are not shared among senior officers.

The open-ended survey supports the trend of differences among lower level and senior officers. First, the relationship between senior officers and their subordinates affects organizational commitment. As this relationship deteriorates so does commitment. Second, senior officers show concern for their subordinates. Adding another level of concern, senior officers are not only concerned for themselves, but also for their subordinates. A concern subordinates do not have. Therefore, if senior officers do not receive personal support from staff and the staff becomes a burden organizational commitment and support wanes. Finally, related to senior officer retention, the results show that the reasons for leaving include feelings of insignificance, disillusion with organizational leadership, or those that feel they no longer make a difference. The authors conclude that the differences and more complex issues faced by senior officers’ affects their view of organizational commitment and perceived organizational support inversely from their subordinates.

Garrett GrothoffUniversity of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, USA

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