The Effect on Job Satisfaction Among Urban Police Officers - Dissertation Example

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The purpose of this study is to explore the confluence of perceived job stress, social support and emotional intelligence as it relates to job satisfaction in urban police officers. The primary aim of this study is to inform policy development within police organizations. …
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Download file to see previous pages This research will begin with the statement that historically, police officers work is to protect life, liberty, and property, the role of police officers comes with many challenges such as fighting, deterring and preventing crimes. In the course of fulfilling this role police officers are exposed to various work situations which require different mental and physical abilities to handle their work efficiently and effectively. According to Gibbons and Gibbons, stress is associated with how an individual appraises situations and the coping strategies utilized to address the situation. Malach-Pines and Keinan stated that police officers are exposed to various occupational stressors which impact negatively on the health and the performance of the individual police officer. According to Rollinson, stress can be defined as a reaction to an external occurrence or any physical or mental demand, while Malach-Pines and Keinan, and Waters and Ussery defined stress as an adverse reaction people may have to excessive pressure or other demands placed on them. In this context, occupational stress or workplace stress refers to stress that is experienced as a direct result of their occupation. Previous research conducted by Malach-Pines and Waters and Ussery, indicated that stress results from a negative workplace environment and interactions at work constitute a major problem for police officers. Some stress can be regarded as a positive motivator, known as eustress, but in general stress is regarded as a destructive distress and may even function as a life threatening event. Police work has been classified as one of the professions rated highest in job stress next to air traffic controllers and firefighters (Gulle, Tredoux, & Foster, 1998). By the very nature of the profession, police officers are exposed to a variety of duty-related stressors that differ significantly in quality and quantity from those experienced by the general population. Examples of such stressors include killing someone in the line of duty, having a partner killed in the line of duty, managing or addressing public concerns on a daily basis, shift work and disruption of family time/family rituals, and lack of support by the department and supervisors (Gulle et al, 1998). Police officer stressors can further be categorized into two areas: internal and external work environment. Internal work environments are those areas that are related to organizational structure, climate, and supervisory support which can be an even greater source of stress for police officers than regular calls for service such as: a stolen car, missing person, and theft reports (Cooper, Davidson, & Robinson, 1982; Violanti & Aron, 1994; Kirkcaldy, Cooper, & Ruffalo, 1995). Lack of recognition, lack of resources, lack of promotion, and excessive paperwork are among the top internal stressors faced by police officers (Waters & Ussery, 2007; Stotland & Pendleton, 1989). External work environments include areas such as: weather, health problems, physical and psychological well-being (Bartol & Bartol, 2004: Waters & Ussery, 2007). Emotional intelligence (EI) has become of widespread interest to psychological research in recent years (Mayer & Salovey, 1997). Emotional Intelligence is the ability to process emotional information as it pertains to the perception, assimilation, expression, regulation, and management of emotion (Mayer & Cobb, 2000; Mayer, Salovey, & Caruso, 2000). According to Goleman (1995), EI is referred to as emotional literacy. Mayer and Salovey (1997) posit that emotional intelligence is one of the important factors that determine success in life and psychological well-being. Individuals with EI are therefore, able to relate to others with compassion and empathy, have well-developed social skills, and use this emotional awareness to direct their acts and behaviors. According to Ciarrochi, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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