Motivational change among police constables : a case study in the Metropolitan police.
This thesis presents new data on the work motivation of
Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) constables. It offers data from two
surveys: a snap-shot of the attitudes and behaviours of constables with
seven years' service; and a survey of new recruits over their first fifteen
months of service.
It is perhaps the most comprehensive study undertaken of
motivation to work hard and remain in a UK police force and includes
a critical review of the motivation literature with specific reference to
its relevance to the job of police constable.
A provisional model is proposed to explain variance in the
dependent variables - motivation to work hard (effort) and motivation
to remain in the organisation (intention to stay/leave). New construct
variables operationalise effort, reality shock, career frustration,
organisational citizenship behaviour, socialisation and performance.
Pre-existing scales are used for organisational commitment,
management support, intention to leave, self efficacy, higher order
need strength, organisational identification, intrinsic motivation and
The model met with a reasonable level of success: up to 46 per
cent of the variance in intention to leave and up to 26 per cent of the
variance in effort were explained. The effect of the model in explaining
the outcomes of two organisational changes on the work motivation of
experienced constables is also examined. Following the data analysis,
a revised model is proposed.
Motivation theories were shown to have validity and contribute
to our understanding of work motivation. Variables explaining the
work motivation of MPS constables were found to be similar to those in
empirical research on other workers. However, probationary
constables as a group were shown to have very unrealistic career
expectations. Self-reported levels of effort decreased and levels of
intention to leave increased over the socialisation period.