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The impact of supervisor–subordinate relationships and a trainee characteristic upon police officer work outcomes

  • Yvonne Brunetto (a1), Stephen Teo (a2), Kate Shacklock (a3), Rod Farr-Wharton (a4) and Art Shriberg (a5)...

This study used two theoretical lenses (positive organizational behaviour and social exchange theory) to examine the influence of an individual attribute – psychological capital (PsyCap), and an organizational factor – leader–member exchange, upon police officers’ perceptions of learning options (teamwork and training) and affective commitment. A cross-sectional design using a survey-based, self-report strategy was used to collect data from 588 frontline police officers in the United States. The findings indicate that leader–member exchange explained almost a fifth of PsyCap and together leader–member exchange and PsyCap accounted for almost a third of police officers’ satisfaction with training. Further, leader–member exchange, PsyCap, training and teamwork collectively explain almost half of affective commitment. One implication of the findings is that if senior management want police officers to be more committed, they have to improve officers’ relationships with their supervisors, upskill them (especially their supervisors) in PsyCap, and improve teamwork opportunities and processes.

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