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Title: The Big Five personality framework and critical incident management policing
Author: Khader, A. Majeed
ISNI:       0000 0001 3597 9608
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2007
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Despite recognition that personality matters in work perfonnance, there is little research examining the relationships between Big Five traits (Costa & McCrae, 1992) and police critical incident management (ClM). To address this, research was undertaken to examine several questions: a) what are the types of critical incidents in policing?, b) which personal qualities are needed for effective police ClM?, c) do ClM police have different personalities from patrol police?, d) what is the relationship between personality domains, facets and police ClM perfonnance?, and e) what is the relationship between coping arid ClM perfonnance? Four groups totalling 189 Singaporean police officers, comprising 'Negotiators' (CNG) (n=34); 'Peacekeepers' (PKG) (n=43); 'Riot Troopers' (RTG) (n=49) and 'SpeCial Tactics' (STG) (n=63) participated in this research. Personality was measured using the NEO-PI-R (Costa & McCrae, 1985) and coping was measured using COPE (Carver, Scheier & Weintraub, 1989). To address (a), a literature review was undertaken that revealed 3 types of critical incidents (CI): 'person-focusr', 'event-focused' and 'major' incidents. The police have strategies to deal with each, but' each has the potential to 'snowball' if not mitigated; and CI managers playa role to prevent this snowballing. To address (b), a job/work analysis was undertaken using the Job Competency Questionnaire (Chong, 1997) surveyed on 242 police officers, and the critical incident technique with 10 police CIM subject matter experts. Using grounded theory and factor analysis, results showed that 'Leadership, Command and Results-Orientation', 'Team Influence, Management and Preparation', 'Personal Mastery and Self Control', 'Problem Solving, Judgement and Decision Making Skills' and 'Other Skills' were important for effective CIM. To address (c), first, each ClM group was compared with a nonnative patrol police group (n=47). Using One-Way ANOVA, it was noted that the patrol group had higher Neuroticism scores than the PKG, STG and CNG. CNG were J;Ilore open than the PKG. When facets were compared, many inter-group differences were noted especially for Neuroticism, Extraversion and Openness facets. Second, since the interest ofthis research was on CIM groups as a whole, CIM groups were amalgamated into a larger data set (n=155) and compared against patrol police. Mean differences were noted for facets but not domains. CIM police were more gregarious, active, behaviourally experimenting, open in their values and compliant compared to patrol police. The patrol police were warm, excitable, open to ideas, altruistic, tender-minded and orderly compared to the CIM police. Question (d) was answered in 3 ways. First, for each individual CIM group, results of correlation analyses showed that better peacekeepers had high Agreeableness and high Conscientiousness; better special tactics officers had high Extraversion, moderate Openness and high Conscientiousness; better negotiators had low Neuroticism; and better riot troopers had high Neuroticism and low Conscientiousness. Second, for a subset ofthe amalgamated data (n=96), results showed that Neuroticism as a domain, and facets Nl (Anxiety), N2 (Anger Hostility). N5 (Impulsiveness), E2 (Gregariousness), 01 (Fantasy) and C3 (Dutifulness) were related to peer ratings of leadership and teamwork. Follow-up regression analyses showed that all Big Five domains regressed on peer ratings of leadership with a value ofR=.25, p<.05, while Nl, N2, N5, E2 and 01 regressed on peer ratings of leadership revealing a Multiple R of R=.34, p<.05. Domains regressed on ( . teamwork were not significant, although facets E2 and C3 yielded a Multiple R ofR=.26, p<.05 on the same criterion. Third, when consistent predictor-criterion relationships (i.e. noted in at least 3 groups) were looked for, results showed that Low NI (Anxiety) and N2 (Anger Hostility); High EI (Warmth), E2 (Gregariousness), and E4 (Activity); High 02 (Aesthetics); High Al (Trust); and High CI (Competence) C2 (Order), C3 (Dutiful), and C4 (Achievement Striving) were consistently related to criteria. No domain was related to criteria. To address (e), correlations between the COPE and CIM performance showed that many COPE scales were related to criteria for each individual CIM group. However, only Positive Reinterpretation and Suppression of Competing Activities were consistently related to criteria (i.e. noted for 3 CIM groups). Many theoretically consistent personalityto- coping relationships were noted. The findings of this research were theoretically consistent with the personality literature, suggesting that the Big Five mattered in CIM policing contexts, and that narrower facets can add incremental value over and above broad personality domains. This thesis concludes with recommendations being made for research, and industrial practice in the area ofpolice critical incident management.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available