Examining The Relationship Between Work Environments Criminology Essay

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The relationship between work environment and job satisfaction has been studied rather extensively in the Western developed economies for decades since interest in the topic was sparked following the publication of seminal pieces by Maslow (1943) and Herzberg (1968). Herzberg (1968), in particular, through his two-factor theory of motivation, posited that factors such as the employee's work environment and his/her relationships with supervisors were important determinants of job satisfaction. Herzberg's two-factor theory subsequently provided a framework for much of the future research on job satisfaction. What has resulted is a large body of literature examining job satisfaction across various industries including some attention towards governmental organizations in the western developed economies (Mitchell & Larson 1987).

More specifically, questions regarding job satisfaction in law enforcement agencies have received very sparse attention. Out of 1,007 research articles examining job satisfaction published since 1974, Dantzker (1997) identified only 34 which were related to the police. Furthermore, much of this subsection of the literature focuses rather narrowly on the relationship between select demographic characteristics (e.g., gender, race, education, and rank) and officer job satisfaction. Findings in this area of research have often been inconsistent (Zhao, Thurman, He 1999). Regarding gender, female officers have been found to be both significantly less satisfied (Buzawa, 1984; Buzawa et al. 1994; Kakar, 2002) and just as satisfied as their male colleagues (Belknap, Shelley, 1992; Hunt, McCadden 1985). Previous studies have also reported that college educated officers are both more satisfied (Buzawa 1984) and less satisfied (Dantzker, 1992; Lefkowitz, 1974) relative to non-college educated officers. [1] 

As examinations of the determinants of job satisfaction among the police are but a small subsection of inquiries in the job satisfaction literature, studies which extend beyond the relationship between demographic characteristics and job satisfaction comprise an even smaller subsection of the literature. With the exception of a handful of studies (e.g., Dantzker, 1997; Boke, Nalla 2009; Zhao et al. 1999), very little research has concerned itself with the relationship between factors related to the officer's work environment or aspects of the organizational culture (e.g., management support, job challenges, and citizen interaction) and job satisfaction. Furthermore, there is a lack of comparable research examining determinants of officer job satisfaction in an international setting, let alone in countries which have undergone significant democratization in the recent past. In this study we examine to what extent environmental and organizational characteristics have an impact on job satisfaction from a sample of police personnel in Slovenia across different occupational groups.

Context: Slovenia

Slovenia provides an interesting context for the study of police organizational climate and its relationship to officers' perceptions of various attributes of its culture for multiple reasons. First, in recent decades, many of the countries in Eastern Europe have reorganized their states as well as adopted market economies and democratically elected governments. Since 1991 Slovenia, as one of the independent republic of former Yugoslavia, has transitioned into a market economy, adopting democratic principles which have signaled major shifts in institutional cultures - including police organizations (Meško, Klemenčič, (2008). This shift in organizational goals and values carries implications for job outcomes, potentially including officer job satisfaction.

Second, changes were introduced at various levels in the police organization prior to and after Slovenia attained its independence with the intention of bringing the country's police image, goals, and values on par with that of the developed European police forces (Gorenak 1996). These efforts include shifts in organizational philosophy, supervision, job challenges, and innovation in work, all of which could potentially influence police officers' satisfaction with work. As the implementation and institutionalization of Slovenia's reforms took time - it has now been nearly two decades since many of these changes were introduced - now would seem an appropriate time to examine to what extent the impact of environmental and organizational factors on officers resemble findings from research on Western developed economies.

Third, prior research on Slovenian police organizational culture and its relationship to various behavioral outcomes is limited. In a study in the early phases of this new independent democracy Ganster and his colleagues (1996) examined the organizational and interpersonal sources of stress on police officers. They examined supervisors role (e.g., making officers feel at ease; giving more autonomy; clarification of duties and responsibilities; seeking input from officers; and, checks on performance), job control (extent to which officers have autonomy over tasks, decisions, resources, and the physical environment), are directly related to officers' physical and emotional well-being. Another study examined during that time frame examined the relationship between job satisfaction and ethical behavior (Krejèí, Kvapil, and Semrád 1996) and concluded that compared to job frustration, job satisfaction has better explanatory power of determining ethical behavior. Though in recent times a number of studies have been conducted on police organizational culture, no specific work has been done on determinants of job satisfaction of police offices in Slovenia.

Fourth, Slovenian police organization while similar to numerous Eastern European countries, is unlike decentralized political and organizational framework of the U.S. police agencies or even many of the Western European police models. One of the distinctive features of the Slovenian police organization is the inclusion of state border police forces as part of the larger organization. State border officers are uniformed civilian force whose responsibilities include protecting the state border and performing border control with the Republic of Croatia, another former Republic of Yugoslavia. Along with the traditional law enforcement group of officers, investigators (detectives) and state border officers constitute the major divisions of the Slovenian police force. Such diverse groups within one organization offer a unique opportunity to examine impact of organizational and environmental influences on job satisfaction.

Finally, though much as has been written about determinants of police officers' job satisfaction in the U.S. and to a lesser extent in other countries around the globe, no research has exclusively examined police subcultures and their impact on various subgroups within a single organization. Given the varied nature of job descriptions for each of these departments (namely, police officers, investigators, and state border officers) and the extent to which the environmental factors differ (e.g., nature and frequency of interaction with citizens or supervisors, job challenges or opportunity of autonomy and innovation) this research affords the opportunity to examine the determinants of job satisfaction among the three groups within the Slovenian Police Organization. Additionally, this research will also examine, to what extent if the factors that explain job satisfaction are similar among the three groups.

Literature Review

Job satisfaction literature overall is quite vast (Locke 1983) and has been examined through the lens of numerous theoretical frameworks. As Maslow (1943) provided a framework for considering job satisfaction as a function of the fulfillment of personal needs, Herzberg (1968) identified factors such as "achievement, recognition for achievement, the work itself, responsibility, and growth or advancement" as motivational determinants of job satisfaction. Through this perspective, a researcher may look beyond micro-level characteristics of the employees themselves to consider macro-level attributes of the work environment (Boke, Nalla 2009). Job satisfaction - inasmuch as it is affected by the work environment - may then, at least partially be a function of the unique organizational culture which shapes that work environment (Jackofsky, Slocum, 1987). As a concept relevant to the current inquiry, organizational culture refers to a set of shared values or beliefs (Denison 1984), or perhaps a shared set of assumptions among members of an organization concerning how work is to be carried out and the appropriate nature of interactions between employees (Wilkins 1983). These assumptions are taught and enforced primarily through informal rules, practices, and ceremonies (Deal, Kennedy, 1982). The current inquiry, of course, is concerned with the impact of aspects of the police organizational culture on officer job satisfaction. The following section will describe some of these cultural aspects as they provide a useful framework for understanding personal job satisfaction.

Determinants of Job Satisfaction

Though research on job satisfaction of police officers is a recent endeavor (Zao, Thurman and He 1999) most prior research, mostly conducted in the U.S., focused on the relationship between demographic characteristics and job satisfaction. Though some research found no relationship between gender and job satisfaction (Buzawa 1984; Bennett 1997; Dantzker 1997; Dantzker and Kubin,1998; Halsted, Bromley, and Cochran, 2000; Zhao, Thurman, and He, 1999) Dowler (2005) found that African American female officers were dissatisfied due to perceived discrimination. Others have found a negative relationship with pay and benefit for male officers while African American officers are satisfied with job fulfillment (Buzawa, Austin, and Bannon 1994). Research from South Korea suggests that gender is not a significant predictor of job satisfaction (Hwang 2008). However, Kim (2005) noted that female police officers were more satisfied than their male counterparts due to cultural factors. Kim argued that Korea being a male dominated society, female officers have lower expectations than men and those female officers compare themselves to other female officers

Officers' rank has been found to be associated with job satisfaction. High ranked officers are more satisfied with being a police officer compared to patrol officers (Seltzer, Alone, and Howard, 1996) though Zhao et al (1999) found the opposite. Engel and Worden (2003) argued that as officers of higher rank progress, they experience greater stress and responsibilities, which have an adverse effect on job satisfaction. Dantzker (1998) found that rank and age affect officers' job satisfaction positively, but gender is not related to job satisfaction. Dowler (2005) confirmed that African American, female, and high rank officers report less satisfaction after he surveyed 1,104 officers in Baltimore. Demographic variables in officers' job satisfaction are still controversial issues.

In 21st century, police literature on job satisfaction has expanded variables and focused variables in depth. Davey (2001) found that demographic variables such as gender, age, rank, and years of service are not related to officers' job satisfaction, but organizational support affects job satisfaction positively. Krimmel and Gormely (2003) surveyed 175 female officers in New Jersey and indicated that police organizations where fewer than 15% of the employees are female see those individuals experiencing increased levels of tokenism and discrimination, and the feeling of tokenism and discrimination affects female officers' job satisfaction negatively. They also found that aged and more educated female officers report high levels of job satisfaction

Organizational and Environmental Factors

The organizational culture constructed by the police has been the subject of inquiry since the 1950s, following the seminal work of Westley (1970). Primarily through qualitative means, authors have documented the norms, myths, assumptions, and practices which officers use to construct their meaning of police work (Herbert, 1998; Manning, 1997; Muir, 1977; Westley, 1970; Wilson, 1967), though recent quantitative examinations of police culture have also been utilized (Paoline, 2001, 2004; Terrill, Paoline, and Manning 2003). Though more recent work has documented the extent to which police culture is a fragmented phenomenon (Paoline 2004), earlier inquiries sought to identify the core elements which make up a monolithic police organizational culture. These elements were identified as variants of danger and authority (Skolnick 1994), drama and uncertainty (Manning, 1997), secrecy, respect, and violence (Westley 1970), and the ability to use coercion (Bittner 1970; Muir 1977).

More relevant to the current inquiry, police culture creates a unique organizational climate in which officers routinely work. Police cultural norms advocate particular rules governing officer interactions with citizens. Citizens are, in essence, the clientele of the police. The traditional monolithic police culture views officer interactions as occurring in primarily negative circumstances whereas even to help or assist one citizen, the officer must often take coercive action against another (Bittner 1970; Muir 1977). Seminal qualitative inquiries (Muir 1977; Van Maanen 1974; Westley 1970) depicted many officers as prescribing to an us-versus-them outlook, choosing to make citizens recipients of suspicion and mistrust. This is further exasperated by perceived lack of status and criticism of police in general and perceived negative imagery of police in the U.S. (e.g., Herbert 1998), particularly mediated by race (Garcia, Cao 2005) and in other countries as well (Shanahan, 1992).

With the reintroduction of citizens as the major foci of law enforcement's goals and objectives through the popularly used phrases such as community policing, community-oriented policing, and problem-oriented policing, some attention has been focused on citizen-police relations and particularly, officer perceptions of citizens and citizen support on officers and their work (Winfree, Newbold 1999). Research on officer's perceptions of citizens in the U.S. has found gender, education, and unit assignment are related to officer's perceptions of citizen cooperation. Worden (1993) noted that compared to white male officers white female officers have positive views of citizen's cooperation while Paoline and his colleagues (2000) found the higher education to be positively related to perceived positive citizen cooperation. Seniority and unit assignment (community policing) were also found to influence officers' perceived positive view of citizen cooperation (Peak, Glensor 1996; Paoline et al 2000) though Sun (2002) did not find support for unit assignment. Similar support for seniority and unit assignment was found among South Korea police officers (Moon, Zager 2007).

Just as police cultural norms advocate specific rules governing officer-citizen interactions, officers are also thought to hold similar attitudes towards their supervisors, citing uncertainty regarding expectations for performance (Drummond 1976; Paoline 2004), causing officers to often adopt a policy of secrecy and "to cover your ass" in order to stave off supervisory sanctions (Muir 1977; Van Maanen 1974; Westley 1970). There is considerable research that identifies the relationship between certain organizational characteristics in stressful occupations such as policing with job stress and job satisfaction. These characteristics include lack of management and supervisory support, physical danger among others (Anderson, Swenson, Clay 1995; Gaines and Hermier, 1983; Jaramillo, Nixon, Sams 2005; Kaufmann and Beehr, 1985; Toch 2002).

These particular rules of the police organizational culture, which in turn influence an officer's organizational climate, may have an impact on prospects for job satisfaction. Given that in the course of their duties, officers make frequent contacts between both citizens and supervisors, and spend little time performing "real police work," it would be possible to consider policing as an occupation having an innately low yield of job satisfaction. Research has demonstrated, however, that officers vary in their subscription to these concepts in the police organizational culture (e.g., Paoline 2004; Reiner 1978).

Prior Research on Slovenian Police Officers' Job Satisfaction

Very few studies examined the factors that influence Slovenian police officers' job satisfaction. Gorenak (2004) studied the influence police officers relations with the communities and its impact on their job satisfaction. She found in a survey of 600 officers, more experienced officers with skills in interacting with the community had greater job satisfaction. Job satisfaction was measured stimulation of work tasks, satisfaction with interpersonal relations, satisfaction with the means of work, work with people, and overall job satisfaction.

A search of Slovenian language research articles on police organizational culture revealed few studies. Gorišek (2001) noted that the health of the organization is a reflection of job satisfaction measured by indicators such as sick leave, termination of employment, and threat of strikes. Gorenak and Željko (2008) in a recent article on determinants of detectives' job satisfaction summarized Slovenian research on police officers' job satisfaction. Citing Anželj (1995), Krope (2002), Lepoša (2002), and Pergovnik (2002), Gorenak and Željko (2008) that the extent to which the work is interesting, working with people, job security, and positive interpersonal relations at work are all positively related to job satisfaction. Gorenak and Željko (2008) in their own study found that detectives working in the economic crime branch expressed a moderate job satisfaction but were willing to change jobs and leave police work for a better salary.

Officers who view their relationships with citizens and supervisors more positively, and prescribe to the notion that the service of citizens, and not just crime-fighting, should be considered "real police work", may show greater levels of job satisfaction than officers who do not hold such beliefs. Also, it is possible that individual prescriptions to these tenets of police organizational culture vary across officer rank or occupational role. Indeed, much of the previous literature on police organizational culture has been written from the perspective of the patrol officer. An analysis stratified by occupational role (e.g., patrol officers versus investigators; in this instance border police, a unit of the civilian police organization in Slovenia) may find that officers working in different capacities derive job satisfaction from different sources.

THE PRESENT STUDY

As noted, much of the prior research on job satisfaction among the police has focused on individual demographic factors and has not tested the organizational climate and work environment of officers as determinants of job satisfaction. The current inquiry examines how such factors influence job satisfaction across occupational roles in a setting where recent efforts of democratization have attempted to foster changes in the police image and organizational culture. Specifically, in our study we include three police occupational groups in the Slovenian Police Organization. In addition to the traditional law enforcement officers and investigators, which most prior research has addressed, we also include state border officers who are part of the Slovenian civil police organization.

The state border units are special civilian police departments established in areas with internal state borders to prevent cross-border crime and illegal migration. Slovenia shares borders with Austria, Hungary, Italy, and Croatia. There are 163 border crossings which include 64 for international traffic and about 200 million passengers pass through the borders each year in both directions. The primary goal of state border units is to deal with issues of illegal migration and organized crime.

The Slovenian National Police force, which consists of about 9,000 officers, is located within the Ministry of the Interior at three levels, local, general and regional, and is headquartered in Ljubljana. Slovenia is divided into 11 police directorates which control 106 police stations, all of which come under the jurisdiction of the Director General of the Police.

METHODOLOGY AND MEASUREMENT

Survey Construction

In order to examine the impact of aspects of the police organizational climate and occupational role on job satisfaction, the current inquiry utilizes an organizational culture survey instrument informed by the analysis of Zeitz, Russell, and Ritchie (1997). In their analysis, the authors developed an instrument with the intention of capturing aspects of total quality management and organizational culture which would be applicable to both business and non-business organizations. As a result of their analysis, Zeitz and colleagues (1997) suggest capturing management quality and organizational culture through measures of management support, supervision, job challenges, work innovation, and attitudes towards clientele. Following the publication of Zeitz et al. (1997), survey instruments based on their analysis have been utilized in numerous recent studies (e.g., Armstrong-Stassen et al., 2005; Cameron et al., 2004; Carmeli, 2005; Chen et al., 2005; Douglas, Fredendall, 2004; Kayis et al., 2003; Korunka et al., 2003; Lee et al., 2003; Sridhar et al., 2004).

[Table 1 about here]

Data Collection

Data collection was conducted in June 2006 as the survey instrument was administered in 11 Police Directorates across Slovenia. Surveys were administered in two large directorates or cities, with a population range of 86,000 to 255,000; in four mid-sized directorates or cities with populations ranging from 22,000 to 38,000; and, finally in five small-sized directorates or cities with populations ranging from 6,000 to 13,000. Surveys were administered by trained graduate students to officers who attend monthly training sessions in each police directorate. Each directorate conducts up to about six training sessions each month on various topics for all police officers drawn from the specific directorate, thus contributing the randomness of the sample. A total of 1,100 surveys were distributed to officers requesting their voluntary participation. A total of 995 completed surveys were received, yielding a response rate of just over 90 percent.

Empirical Specification

Dependent variable. The goal of the current inquiry is to examine the impact of organizational climate on job satisfaction. As such, the dependent variable in the analysis consists of a two item Likert scale asking officers whether they routinely have new and interesting things to do and if they are ever bored by their tasks. The possible answers for each question ranged from 1 'totally disagree' to 5 'absolutely agree', with higher values universally indicating higher levels of job satisfaction across all items. Item loadings in this scale were .853 for both questions, with a Cronbach's alpha of .63. [2] 

Independent variables. For the current inquiry there are two distinct sets of independent variables. As the majority of previous examinations of the determinants of job satisfaction among the police have considered demographic characteristics, the first set of independent variables captures some of the most frequently examined demographic characteristics of officers. The first of these variables measures the age of the officer, where it is hypothesized that older officers may be less satisfied with their work as compared to younger officers. Another variable captures the officer's gender. As noted, previous inquiries yielded mixed results when examining the impact of officer gender on job satisfaction (e.g., Buzawa, 1984; Kakar, 2002; Hunt & McCadden, 1985). The current inquiry examines what the relationship between the two variables is when aspects of the organizational climate are controlled. The officer's education level is also included in the analysis, where it is possible that college educated officers may be less satisfied than their non-college educated colleagues, but only in certain types of police work. Years of experience is another demographic characteristic included in the analysis, whereas, similar to age, more experienced officers may be less satisfied with their work compared to officers with fewer years of experience doing police work. A variable measuring salary is included to determine if the amount of money each officer earns has a significant impact on how satisfied the officer is with his/her work. The final demographic characteristic captured in the independent variables measures the occupational role of each officer. This variable has three categories; officers in a law enforcement function (of the 389 officers in this category, 22 are supervisors and 30 are considered clerical officers), officers in an investigative function, and officers in a paramilitary/state border function. The multivariate analysis will consider each of these categories separately for the purpose of comparison.

The second set of independent variables measures five dimensions of organizational culture, as informed by Zeitz and colleagues (1997) using their organizational culture index. These dimensions are management support, quality of supervision, job challenges, innovation, and citizen cooperation. As with the job satisfaction dependent variable, these dimensions are captured through multiple item Likert Scales, with values ranging from 1 'totally disagree' to 5 'absolutely agree'. The scales displayed an acceptable degree of reliability, with Cronbach's alpha values ranging from .63 to .87.

FINDINGS

For the purpose of the present analysis, an ordinary least squares regression is utilized to analyze the effect of the demographic variables and organizational and environmental factors on job satisfaction across police occupational roles. As the officers in the sample fell into three occupational roles - law enforcement, investigation, and state border patrol - four sets of regression models (one for each occupational role and one combined model) are included in the analysis. For each occupational role there are two separate regression models - one in which job satisfaction is regressed only on the socio-demographic characteristics of officers and a second where the organizational and environmental factors are included. Presenting the analysis in such a way allows one to examine the situational distribution of job satisfaction using only characteristics of the officers and then by observing how those relationships change when organizational and environmental factors are included (Berk, 2004).

[Table 2 about here]

Combined Model

The first set of models (Models A1 and A2) does not discern between occupational roles and may be interpreted as representing the sample of 995 officers as a whole. Model A1, which considers only the socio-demographic characteristics of the officers, shows that these variables alone do a poor job of explaining variation in job satisfaction in the sample (Adj. R2 = .01). Regarding individual effects, supportive of previous research by Buzawa (1984), college educated officers are more satisfied with their work than their non-college educated colleagues. The impact of education, however, is slight (β = .56, t = 3.45). No other significant relationships exist between individual officer characteristics and job satisfaction.

Once organizational and environmental factors are considered (Model A2), the model explains a significantly larger proportion of the variation in officer job satisfaction (Adj. R2 = .41) as numerous significant relationships emerge. As opposed to the earlier model containing only officer characteristics, the relationship between officer education and job satisfaction is controlled for by the presence of organizational and environmental factors. More specifically, officers who perceive their units and organizations as being more innovative (β = .04, t = 3.43) and citizens as being more cooperative (β = .07, t = 3.69) are significantly more satisfied with their work. Also, officers who see their jobs as being of a more challenging nature are significantly more satisfied than officers who see their jobs as being more simple (β = .34, t = 23.67).

Law Enforcement Model

Models L1 and L2 examine the impact of socio-demographic, organization, and environmental characteristics among only the officers functioning in a law enforcement role (N = 389). Model L1 regresses job satisfaction on the socio-demographic characteristics of officers, and similar to the combined model, these variables explain the very little variation in job satisfaction (Adj. R2 = .00). Unlike the combined model, however, none of the individual officer characteristics are significantly related to job satisfaction.

Model L2 introduces organizational and environmental factors to the analysis. Once these variables are included, a weak relationship emerges between higher salary and job satisfaction (β = .41, t = 2.00), but the effects of the other socio-demographic variables remain largely unchanged. Regarding the organizational and environmental measures, the effects mirror those of the combined model. While management support and supervision do not appear to be significantly related to job satisfaction for law enforcement officers, higher perceptions of innovation (β = .08, t = 3.73), job challenges (β = .34, t = 14.27), and citizen cooperation (β = .08, t = 2.78) are positively related to job satisfaction. Overall, the model accounts for approximately 38 percent of the variation in job satisfaction among law enforcement officers.

Investigators Model

The next set of regression models (I1 and I2) examine the impact of socio-demographic, organizational, and environmental characteristics on job satisfaction, this time among officers operating in an investigative role (N = 319). As with the previous models examining the entire sample and law enforcement officers in particular, socio-demographic characteristics alone (Model I1) do little to explain variation in job satisfaction among investigators (Adj. R2 = .01). A weak but non-significant relationship exists, however, between college education and job satisfaction (t = 1.70, p > .05).

With the inclusion of organizational and environmental characteristics (Model 12), the socio-demographic characteristics of investigators remain non-significant as predictors of job satisfaction. Beyond the attributes of individual investigators, those who perceive their job as being more challenging (β = .33, t = 13.85) and perceive citizens as being more cooperative (β = .08, t = 2.48) are significantly more satisfied with their work. As opposed to law enforcement officers and the trend of the combined model, the job satisfaction of investigators is not significantly related to perceptions of innovation.

State Border Officers Model

The final set of regression models (Models S1 and S2) examines the distribution of job satisfaction among officers functioning in a state border, or paramilitary function (N = 287). When only officer characteristics are considered, a difference between this group of officers, as compared to the previously examined groups, emerges in that there is a significant relationship between higher levels of experience and job satisfaction. For the state border officers, those with 16 or more years of experience are more satisfied than their colleagues with fewer years on the Slovenian police force (β = .80, t = 2.83). Beyond years of experience, however, no other socio-demographic characteristics of officers display a statistically significant relationship with job satisfaction (Adj. R2 = .02).

Model S2 introduces organizational and environmental factors to the analysis. With the inclusion of these variables, the relationship between years of experience and job satisfaction that is apparent in the partial model (Model S1) retains its significance. As with the law enforcement officers in the sample, state border officers who perceive their job as being more challenging (β = .32, t = 10.67) and innovative (β = .07, t = 2.38) were more satisfied with their work. Unlike law enforcement officers, however, cooperation with citizens was not a source of job satisfaction.

DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS

The goal of the current inquiry was to examine the impact of organizational and environmental factors on the job satisfaction of Slovenian police officers across three occupational roles. It is noted that the organizational culture of the police creates something of an unique climate in which officers routinely work, often creating images of a tradition-laden profession, customarily calling on officers to be antagonistic and distrustful of both their management and their clientele. To the extent that officers vary in their prescription to this culture, it was hypothesized that some officers may derive satisfaction from their work based on perceptions of support from their management, quality supervision, cooperation from citizens, innovative practices, and challenging work. It was further hypothesized that the importance of these organizational factors would vary across the occupational roles of the officers in the sample.

What is initially apparent from an overview of the findings is the dearth of significant relationships between the socio-demographic characteristics of officers and subsequent job satisfaction. Indeed, the regression models utilizing only the attributes of individual officers routinely explains a very small amount of variation in job satisfaction. There is also a lack of consistency for the effects of socio-demographic characteristics, including the models where organizational and environmental factors are included, in that higher salary is related to job satisfaction for law enforcement officers, more years of experience for state border officers, and college education for the combined model. The officer's gender was not related to job satisfaction for any occupational role, though this may be due to the skewed nature of the sample whereas only 12 percent (N = 120) of the officers included were female.

Overall, organizational and environmental factors proved to be stronger and more consistent predictors of job satisfaction than socio-demographic characteristics among the officers in the sample. More specifically, officers across all occupational roles who perceive their work to or a more challenging nature are significantly more satisfied than officers who found their work to be simple or repetitive. This finding is supportive of a recent analysis by Boke and Nalla (2009) which found that job challenges were positively related to job satisfaction for officers working in certain departments across Michigan and Ohio, but may also be contrasted with the results of the analysis by Zhao and colleagues (1999) which found that 'skill variety' was not related greater job satisfaction among officers in a department in Washington. Beyond job challenges, law enforcement and state border officers in the sample appear to derive job satisfaction from innovative practices. As innovation was not related to job satisfaction for investigators, this may be because officers in the law enforcement and state border roles have more to gain from creative practices, relative to the routine work of investigators. Another consistent finding emerged for law enforcement officers and investigators in that both groups derived job satisfaction from cooperation with citizens. Given that both groups will routinely interact with citizens as part of their everyday work, it is not surprising that those officers who perceive citizens as being more cooperative, as opposed to seeing citizens as antagonistic and unhelpful, are more satisfied with their work.

Relating the current inquiry to the overall study of the determinants of job satisfaction, one finds support for a conceptual distinction made by Herzberg (1968) decades earlier. Herzberg claimed that job satisfaction and dissatisfaction are two separate concepts, not opposites, in that the opposite of job satisfaction was not dissatisfaction, but rather no job satisfaction. In the analysis above, none of the factors examined had a significant negative impact on job satisfaction; rather, all significant effects were in a positive direction.

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