Indore: 60% of burnout cops prone to turnover intention, says IIMI study

Counterintuitive finding: Higher the crime rate less the chance of quitting

Staff ReporterUpdated: Tuesday, August 30, 2022, 01:15 AM IST
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IIM Indore | Representative Image

Indore (Madhya Pradesh)

About 60 per cent of policemen who suffer from burnout are also prone to developing a positive attitude towards turnover intention, according to a study conducted by IIM Indore.

The study has been selected for publication in the Journal of Criminal Justice.

The study conducted by IIM Indore faculty members Vaijayanthee Ananda, Atipriya Grovera and others found that abusive supervision and political interference positively influenced police turnover intention whereas co-worker trust, perceived organisational support and perceived crime rate negatively contributed to turnover intention.

A sample of 492 policemen was taken from three different states, excluding Madhya Pradesh, for the study.

This study investigated the influence of organisational (abusive supervision, organisational support, and co-worker trust) and community (political interference and perceived crime rate) stressors on police turnover intention via the mediating role of burnout.

The study revealed that abusive supervision significantly contributes to turnover intention.

Police personnel in the middle and lower ranks are subjected to threat and torture by their supervisors. Owing to high power distance, such personnel do not raise their voice against as they fear suspension from their jobs. In such situations, one of the coping strategies employed by the abused police personnel is to quit the job and look for alternative careers.

Among the community stressors, political interference was found to have a significant positive association with turnover intention.

This study is one of the first attempts to link political interference to police turnover intention. Perceived lack of reciprocity urges the police personnel to quit work when they believe no actions are taken to curtail political intrusions.

The organisational stressor, co-worker trust in this study was found to significantly negatively contribute in explaining turnover intention. The results indicate that an environment of trust and openness among co-workers reduces the likelihood of police personnel intending to quit their job.

The study shows that perceived crime rate, ie, subjective evaluation of crime rate in the work jurisdiction, significantly but negatively influenced turnover intention among police personnel. This contradictory and counterintuitive finding indicates that the higher the perceived crime rate in the jurisdiction, lower the intent to give up the job.

Among the organisational stressors, perceived organisational support shows that when employees perceive adequate support from the organisation, they are less likely to think of quitting their job.

The study suggests

---- Police administrators must formally introduce a zero-tolerance policy towards abusive supervision.

---- The police organisation must conduct anonymous surveys to gauge the existence and presence of abusive supervision. Grievance redressal system should be developed.

---- To deal with psychological distress and experience of burnout, setting and providing access to psychological counselling services may provide a short-term, tertiary relief.

---- Every police personnel should get career advancement and an opportunity and exposure to serve in high-crime jurisdictions to enrich their skills in dealing with high-crime cases.

----Police organisation must invest in building personal resources of police personnel to constructively deal with community stressors, such as political interference, that are beyond the control of the organisation.

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