Factors Influencing Job Satisfaction of Women Police Personnel in Punjab.

AuthorRandhawa, Gurpreet


The police are the most important, most common and awesome representative of every sovereign government. They are the gatekeepers of criminal justice system (Slate et al., 2007). The first thought that comes to our mind when we hear the term 'Police' is the idea of a dominant personality who symbolizes the power of the State and criminal justice administration system (Varghese, 2010). They are not just most visible agents of rule of law but also ubiquitous and powerful and intrude on human lives at moments of enormous emotional importance (Bayley, 1971). Police is a service occupation which involves direct contact with the public in need (Afolabi et al., 2010). Therefore, it becomes important to make a balance between behavior of police personnel and the framework of police organization.

There are a number of factors which affect the behavior of police personnel, out of which job satisfaction is a very crucial one (Abdulla, 2009). Job satisfaction is among the most widely researched topics in organizational behavior. Hoppock (1935) observed that job satisfaction is a combination of psychological, physiological and environmental circumstances that cause a person to say "I am satisfied with my job" (Sen, 2008). Kang and Cheong (2013) defined job satisfaction as "the attitudes of an individual and their enjoyment toward many job related factors". Similarly, Newby (1999) stated that "Job satisfaction involves a delineation of those factors that an employee perceives to either foster a positive attitude about work or a negative attitude about work". Job satisfaction has attracted attention of numerous researchers and most of them highlighted that it is the positive feeling which an employee has about his job (Vroom, 1964; Locke, 1969; Smith et al., 1969; Shallal, 2011) or towards work roles which he is presently occupying (Ngozi, 2010) and is experienced when employee fulfills his important needs at workplace (Mansour & Achoui, 2009; Burkule, 2010). Police officers' job satisfaction is important because it is related to their job performance, commitment, police-community relations, productivity, turnover, absenteeism, psychological distress (Kang & Cheong, 2013), improved accountability, strong leadership and other things (Mabila et al., 2014).

Women in Police Profession

Policing is quite different from other professions as it involves death, trauma, violence, grief, danger, time pressure, long hour duties, work-shifts, public apathy, courtroom appearances, working with civilians, lack of consultation and lengthy internal and external investigations on public complaints. Due to these inherent characteristics of this job, policing is considered as male dominated profession. However like other fields, women have started showing their presence in this field too (Sahgal, 2007; Surender, 2010; Sharma, 2012). Although the entry of women in police department has increased the responsibilities of police organization because of the nature of job and work even then women representation in police department is essential for addressing gender related issues on priority basis and ensuring support to women victims of violence as well as protection of their rights (Mahajan, 1982; Sahoo, 2001; Sinha, 2003).

From ancient times, women were viewed as 'the weaker sex' and therefore need to be protected by men from the dangers in the world (Koenig, 1978). It was believed that their characteristics could not fit the description of a police officer. A number of research studies highlighted the common belief among the majority of male officers is that policing is a man's job and women are not physically or emotionally equipped to handle the hardships that are inherent to police work (Oyesoji, 2006; Sahgal, 2007). It was believed that women lack physical strength and courage, were not dedicated careerists, and also their presence was prejudicial to discipline (Oyesoji, 2006). In contrast, studies also stated that women have some special abilities like sympathy, care, helping (Pagon & Lobnikar, 2000), sensitive, understanding, gullible, loyal (Rowney & Cahoon, 1990), compassionate and intelligent (Koenig, 1978), instinctively relating with a person in distress, human responsiveness, good listening (Karunanidhi & Chitra, 2013), empathy and communicativeness that make them more capable than men in handling certain situations such as cases involving females, children and juvenile victims (Natarajan, 2006; Comeau & Klofas, 2010).

The extent of job satisfaction among women employees is an important aspect of their labor market experience, for it may signify the degree to which they have made a successful accommodation to the world of work (Andrisani, 1978). As employment opportunities for women have increased, the attitude of women towards jobs has also changed. Studies found that females reported different expectations on the job than males, which may have contributed to different levels of job satisfaction (Krimmel & Gormley, 2003).

Literature Review

Job satisfaction is a subjective idea which depends on an individual's own perception about his or her job. A number of factors, directly or indirectly, affect an individual's mental and physical status which further determines his or her satisfaction from job. To get the basic knowledge about the research topic, reviews of some of the relevant studies have been mentioned in Table 1. Although a number of studies have examined factors influencing job satisfaction of police forces but there are limited studies that investigated factors linked with women police's job satisfaction and that too in India and especially in Punjab, the sensitive border state of India. Thus the present study is an attempt to bridge this critical gap in research.

Need & Objectives of the Study

Women, in recent years, are making substantial impacts on the employment market, both in terms of overall numbers as well as by appointment to male-dominated organizational roles (Rowney & Cahoon, 1990). Despite the critical contributions made by women, there has been little research aimed at understanding the acute difficulties faced by women, especially when it comes to their jobs as police officers, a traditionally male-dominated profession (Pattanaik & Worley, 2011). Since its inception, policing is a profession where women have to face a number of personal and organizational challenges like unsupportive families, work and family conflict, mandatory move policies, working twice as hard as their male counterparts, problems in dealing with equipments, weapons and uniforms, sexual harassment and gender discrimination (Keverline, 2003). Although all the postings and ranks in Indian police, are common to both men and women, still women remained underrepresented and their growth is stagnant. In particular, examining the factors influencing job satisfaction of women police officers could give us an idea of why the growth in their numbers remains flat (Dantzker & Kubin, 1998). The primary objective of the study is to identify the factors influencing job satisfaction of women police personnel.

Research Methodology

Primary data was gathered with the help of a self-administered and well-structured questionnaire which was drafted after carrying out an extensive review of literature. The questionnaire has been divided into two sections. The first section contained assertions relating to the different facets of job satisfaction. Each assertion was measured on a five point scale ranging from 5 to 1 i.e., 'Extremely Satisfied (ES)' was ranked 5, followed by 'Satisfied (S)' with rank 4, 'Neutral (N)' with rank 3, 'Not Satisfied (NS)' with rank 2 and 'Extremely Not Satisfied (ENS)' with rank 1. The statistical technique of factor analysis was used to analyze the collected data. A pilot survey was done, primarily to check the reliability and validity of the research instrument. The feedback from pilot survey resulted in the deletion of certain items from research instrument, without the loss of content efficacy. The reliability of data was measured with Cronbach's alpha, 0.915. This value is considered to be excellent and fairly acceptable (Malhotra & Dash, 2012). The suitability of data for factor analysis was tested through correlation matrix, anti-image correlations, overall measure of sampling adequacy (KMO= 0.870) and Bartlett's test of sphericity. From these criteria, data was found to be fit for factor analysis. The second section of the questionnaire covered demographic information of the respondents.

Universe of the Study

The universe of the study consisted of women police personnel in Punjab that include all women police working at the ranks of constable, head constable (HC), assistant sub-inspector (ASI), sub-inspector (SI), inspector (IP) and senior superintendent of police (SSP). During the period of study, there were a total of 5210 women working in police in Punjab and, routinely, they perform tasks like patrolling, traffic police, office work, interrogation and accompanying women victims in the court etc.


The sample of the study consisted of respondents working in 5 major districts of Punjab state (namely, Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Patiala and Bathinda). The main reason...

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