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Retaining the thin blue line: What shapes workers' intentions not to quit the current work environment

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Author Info

  • Martin Gächter
  • David A. Savage
  • Benno Torgler

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between workplace factors and the intentions of police officers to quit their current department. Design/methodology/approach – Data from a survey of Baltimore officers, designed to examine the relationship between police stress and domestic violence in police families were used. Using multivariate regression analysis, the authors focus on the officers' stated intentions to look for alternative employment, with proxies for social and workplace factors. Findings – Higher levels of cooperation (trust), interactional justice and work-life-balance reduce police officers' intentions to quit. While high levels of physical and psychological strain and trauma are not correlated with intentions to quit. Research limitations/implications – A discernible limitation of this study is the age of the data analyzed and that many changes have occurred in recent times (policing and social). It would be of great interest to repeat this study to gauge the true effect. Practical implications – There are policy implications for retention and recruitment: it may possible to decrease the ethnic and gender gaps, through identifying officers at risk and creating programs to hold existing minorities, recruit more, whilst maintaining a strong, happy and healthy department. Originality/value – This study examines the impact of workplace factors on quitting intention for police officers. It is demonstrated that social capital, fairness and work-life balance are moderators for quitting, adding to the literature on worker retention, as little research has been done using multivariate analysis on quitting intentions.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal International Journal of Social Economics.

Volume (Year): 40 (2013)
Issue (Month): 5 (May)
Pages: 479-503

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Handle: RePEc:eme:ijsepp:v:39:y:2012:i:5:p:479-503

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Web page: http://www.emeraldinsight.com

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Related research

Keywords: Fairness; Job satisfaction; Police; Police officers; Stress; Turnover rates; United States of America; Work-life balance;

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References

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  1. Richard B. Freeman, 1978. "Job Satisfaction as an Economic Variable," NBER Working Papers 0225, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Benno Torgler & Sascha L. Schmidt & Bruno S. Frey, 2006. "The Power of Positional Concerns: A Panel Analysis," CREMA Working Paper Series 2006-19, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  3. Justina A. V. Fischer & Alfonso Sousa-Poza, 2009. "Does job satisfaction improve the health of workers? New evidence using panel data and objective measures of health," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(1), pages 71-89.
  4. Benno Torgler, 2003. "Why do people go to war?," Defence and Peace Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(4), pages 261-280.
  5. Heather Antecol & Deborah Cobb-Clark, 2009. "Racial harassment, job satisfaction, and intentions to remain in the military," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 22(3), pages 713-738, July.
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  11. Andrew Clark & Yannis Georgellis & Peter Sanfey, . "Job Satisfaction, Wage changes and Quits: Evidence from Germany," Economics and Finance Discussion Papers 98-06, Economics and Finance Section, School of Social Sciences, Brunel University.
  12. Fehr, Ernst & Gachter, Simon, 1998. "Reciprocity and economics: The economic implications of Homo Reciprocans1," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-5), pages 845-859, May.
  13. Paldam, Martin, 2000. " Social Capital: One or Many? Definition and Measurement," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(5), pages 629-53, December.
  14. Shields, Michael & Ward-Warmedinger, Melanie, 2001. "Improving Nurse Retention in the National Health Service in England: The Impact of Job Satisfaction on Intentions to Quit," CEPR Discussion Papers 2806, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Swatt, Marc L. & Gibson, Chris L. & Piquero, Nicole Leeper, 2007. "Exploring the utility of general strain theory in explaining problematic alcohol consumption by police officers," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 35(6), pages 596-611, December.
  16. Woolcock, Michael & Narayan, Deepa, 2000. "Social Capital: Implications for Development Theory, Research, and Policy," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 15(2), pages 225-49, August.
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