Date of Award

2017

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Business and Law

First Advisor

Janice Redmond

Second Advisor

Rowena Barrett

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine if there is a significant relationship between secondary employment by Western Australia police officers and organisational commitment. The study also examined whether there was a relationship between secondary employment of Western Australia police officers and, gender, work location, employment hours, rank and tenure. Finally, the study sought to understand why Western Australia police officers undertook secondary employment. A mixed methods approach to research was undertaken with 5756 Western Australia police officers sent a survey adapted from Meyer and Allen’s Three-Component Model (TCM) Employee Commitment Survey (2004). This survey tool is based on earlier studies by Meyer and Allen (1991) which suggest commitment consists of three components which they referred to as, affective commitment (an individual’s desire to remain with the organisation), normative commitment (an individual’s level of obligation to remain with an organisation) and continuance commitment (an individual’s belief that they need to remain with the organisation). The qualitative stage of the study followed which involved content analysis of interviews with 20 Western Australia police officers who indicated they engaged in secondary employment within the last 12 months.

The findings of this study reveal that whilst affective, normative and continuance commitment was greater for Western Australia police officers who did not engage in secondary employment compared to those who did, it was only continuance commitment where this relationship was found to be significant. In addition, the study found there was a significant relationship between secondary employment and gender specifically, male police officers were more likely to engage in secondary employment compared to female police officers. Finally, when the motives for Western Australia police officers to work a second job were examined, it was found that enjoyment of the job exceeded financial reasons as the primary motivating factor.

The results of this study should allay the fears of those within law enforcement who believe secondary employment is detrimental to their organisations. These findings reveal secondary employment can instead benefit law enforcement agencies, both through improving the psychological health of their employees and through the introduction of new skills learnt in these secondary occupations.

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