The article titled: “Predicting police job satisfaction and turnover intentions: the role of social support and police organizational variables” represents a study that was carried out by Paula Brough and Rachael Frame in the New Zealand police service. The authors are drawn from distinguished higher learning institutions, with Brough being affiliated to Griffith University, Australia. Frame is affiliated to Victoria University of Wellington. The researchers sought to investigate the effect of organizational and individual factors on job satisfaction and employee turnover on New Zealand police service. The study design was a longitudinal survey research. The study population was composed of 400 police officers of both genders.
This article seeks to critically evaluate the study by Brough and Frame (2004) by giving a general overview of the study, description of the research problem, contributions of the study to the literature, and critique of the theoretical framework and research methodology. This will, in turn, help in establishing relevance of the study to management and administration of criminal justice organizations.
Overview of the Study
The focus of the study was on the management practices that are crucial to the retention of operational staff in the criminal justice system. The researchers recognized the significance of sufficient support in enhancing the retention of employees, particularly the females and their decision to investigate how organizational and individual factors interact to influence job satisfaction and employee retention in the police service. The study was conducted in the New Zealand police service and involved 400 officers. The researchers adopted a longitudinal research design in which the participants completed questionnaires about the level of social support they experienced in police service.
The researchers identified a number of factors that affected the police officers’ job satisfaction and their intentions to stay in the service. The major determinant of how the police officers were satisfied in the service and contributed to their retention was support from their seniors. The researchers established that gender, rank or marital status of a person had little influence on job satisfaction or employee retention, while tenure and the number of leaves granted showed variable results. In addition, avenues for career worked detrimentally on extrinsic job satisfaction. It was demonstrated that there was ‘significant correlation between turnover and job satisfaction’.
The study by Brough and Frame (2004) was concerned with investigating the effect of social support and the influence of organizational factors such as, “rank, experiences of sexual harassment and the opportunities for career advancement” on the officers’ retention in service (Brough & Frame 2004, p. 9). To investigate the problem, the researchers formulated different hypotheses relating to social support and organizational variables influencing job satisfaction. The first hypothesis was an assumption that discrimination in career growth opportunity and sexual violations at workplace leads to reduced job satisfaction and higher rates of turnovers.
The researchers also hypothesized that social support was positively associated with job satisfaction and high rates of employee retention, while exposure to sexual discrimination was strongly related to turnover plans. Regarding sexual discrimination, it was further hypothesized that the relationship becomes stable with time. In addition, job satisfaction was hypothesized to reduce turnover rates, a relationship that was suggested to stabilize over time.
The study was longitudinal in design where the participants were supposed to complete two sets of questionnaires that were administered over a four month interval. The participants were selected randomly from different ranks in the New Zealand police service.
The variables under investigation such as social support, job satisfaction and turn over intentions were determined by the use of appropriate scales like, “Caplan, Cobb, French, Van Harrison, and pinneau’s social support scale and the 15 item Warr, Cook, and Wall instrument” (Brough & Frame, 2004, p. 10). The authors depended on ‘correlations and descriptive statistics’ to analyze the data. ‘Means, standard deviations and α-coefficients’ for the different variables were determined and the results presented in form of tables and charts.
Contribution of the Study to Literature
From the study, the researchers demonstrated that leave and harassment in the police service was strongly oriented towards females. These variables were also observed to significantly influence job satisfaction and employee retention (Inciardi, 2010). Social support was also recognized as positively leading to job satisfaction, thus helping in the identification of the source of workplace support as has been proposed by different literatures.
The findings also helped in identifying the indirect association of intrinsic job satisfaction and turnover. The research further demonstrated the importance of intrinsic organization in the criminal justice organization. The research, therefore, generated significant information that can be incorporated into the management of the criminal justice organization to ensure employee retention is increased (Stojkov, Kalinich & Klofas, 2008).
Critique of the Article
The researchers conducted an extensive literature review that was essential in defining the context of the research question while increasing the credibility of the study (Fink, 2000). Since the study aimed to establish individual and organizational variables, the use of a longitudinal design was appropriate as it allowed evaluation of the experiences at an individual level while eliminating recall bias by capturing data from the participants at multiple points (Creswell, 1994). All these served to enhance the validity of the study. However, the low-response rate associated with self-report questionnaires and the small sample size had implications on the generalizability of the study findings (Winter, 2000).
The validity and reliability of the study were generally achieved through adoption of an appropriate study design and the use of standard instruments for collection and analysis of data. This means that the findings can generally be applied in the management of criminal justice organization in order to decrease inter-domain conflicts.
Brough, P., & Frame, R. (2004). Predicting police job satisfaction and turnover intentions: the role of social support and police organizational variables. New Zealand Journal of Psychology, 33(1), 8-16.
Creswell, J. W. (1994). Research design: Qualitative and quantitative approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
Fink, A. N. (2000). The role of the researcher in the qualitative research process. A potential barrier to archiving qualitative data. Qualitative Social Research, 1(3). Web.
Inciardi, J. A. (2010). Criminal justice, 9thed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
Stojkov, S., Kalinich, D., & Klofas, J. (2008). Criminal justice organizations: administration and management, 4th ed. Belmont, CA: Cengage.
Winter, G. (2000). A comparative discussion of the notion of validity in qualitative and quantitative research. The Qualitative Report– 4(3&4). Web.