An explorative study of the relationship between police officer morale, behaviours, and the delivery of public value services

Collins, E. (2016) An explorative study of the relationship between police officer morale, behaviours, and the delivery of public value services. M.Sc. thesis, Canterbury Christ Church University.


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Aims: To examine the relationship between the workplace morale drivers of police officers and the delivery of public-facing policing services.

Design and participants: One qualitative study in England involving semi-structured interviews with 10 police officers of federated rank.

Measurements: A preliminary survey asked Participants to choose from a series of known morale drivers, and to state additional drivers not captured. Six broad categories of driver subsequently formed the guiding framework for participant interviews.

Findings: Four types of morale driver were found to be most relevant to rank-and-file police officers: (a) leadership; (b) target/performance culture; (c) supportive networks/role models; and (d) force systems/processes. Police leadership comprising
Superintendents, NPCC ranks and a small number of police-related agencies, was the primary factor. Police morale and legitimacy were found to be associated in the context of public encounters and partnership working.

Conclusion: The research suggests that London-based, federated officers are expected to be uncommonly stoic, tolerant, selfless and morally courageous in a working environment which subjects them to unrealistic expectations and frequent undermining, where functional support systems and authentic role models are difficult to find. It appears that the politicisation of policing, weaknesses in leadership and elements of workplace dysfunction combine to underpin a seemingly widespread disregard for the physical and psychological needs of the workforce. The research suggests a transactional working environment exists where officers are subject to micromanagement tactics that directly conflict with and prevent the official expectation that each police officer, regardless of rank, will lead by good example.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology > HV7551-8280.7 Police. Detectives. Constabulary
Depositing User: Mr Andrew Hudson
Date Deposited: 18 Oct 2016 12:40
Last Modified: 27 May 2018 20:55

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00