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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 70320 Find in a Library
Title: Examination of the Subjective Rewards and Disadvantages of Rank in Law Enforcement Agencies
Journal: Pacific Sociological Review  Volume:21  Issue:1  Dated:(January 1978)  Pages:103-116
Author(s): J Miller; L J Fry
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 14
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: In order to determine how the subjective rewards and disadvantages of police work differ by rank, this study compared the job satisfaction and job strain expressed by sergeants to the responses of police from other ranks.
Abstract: In addition, it compared police personnel to other workers, by relating to industrial and military models of work. In the industrial model, sergeants, like foremen, would experience less job satisfaction than the other ranks because they would be subject to pressures from both lower and higher ranks; in the military model, a steady improvement in job rewards accompanies increases in rank. The questionnaire used 24 Likert-type items to measure 5 sources of job strain: lack of job clarity, lack of autonomy, unsatisfactory career progress, job tension, and lack of appropriate emphasis on job skills. Six questions were used to assess satisfaction with work and with the organization. The sample included 31 sergeants and 242 personnel of other ranks from 3 law enforcement organizations in 2 medium-sized Southern California cities. Findings showed that, although the military model offered a slightly better fit to the data, neither model was entirely appropriate. Rank by itself had neither a consistent nor a very strong effect on work satisfaction or job strain. Sergeants were more similar to those of lower rank than they were to those at or above lieutenant's rank. In addition, sergeants with a favorable relationship to their supervisors were, to a limited degree, more favorable in their subjective evaluations of their work than were those with a less favorable relationship. Although most sergeants were reasonably satisfied with their work, over half expressed concern over their inability to try out their own ideas at work and over the feeling that their opinions were disregarded by their superiors. Data are presented in tabular form. Footnotes, 18 references, and an appendix containing the questionnaire are included.
Index Term(s): Comparative analysis; Job pressure; Morale; Personnel rank structure; Police attitudes; Police occupational stress; United States of America; Work attitudes
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