An Evaluation of Factors Influencing Perception of Job Satisfaction among Police Officers in Kenya

Collins Reuben Gaunya, Evans Makori Oruta, Maurine K. Lidava


Many observers believe that men and women bring to policing differences in attitude, values and perceptions that influence the way they do their work. Female police officers have been assumed to have greater commitment to public service, more calming and reassuring demeanours, and less violent encounters with citizens (Bell 1982), and others have recently argued that the inclusion of women in policing is particularly relevant to the current emphasis on community policing and the Nyumba Kumi initiatives in Kenya. More directly, Wilson (1991) asserts that not only should there be more women police, but that there also should be room for women's perspectives on what policing ought to be (which assumes that such perspectives already exist among women, if not yet among women police officer). Studies have shown that differing socialization experiences of males and females incline men and women to adopt differing perspectives on justice for men, predominantly a morality of justice, and for women, predominantly a morality of care. For many, this perspective has become a starting point for much of the debate on criminal justice administration including policing (Jack & Jack 1989; Menkel-Meadow & Diamond 1991; Wilson 1991). Extrapolations from this theory have led to the assumption that men and women differ in their conception of the police role, with men concentrating on law enforcement and women likely to perceive the role more broadly as service and community oriented. It has also been suggested that men may be more at ease than women with the rules, hierarchy and discipline of police organizations (Worden, 1993). There is little empirical work in the literature confirming the suggested differences between male and female officers' perceptions, attitudes or behaviours, but this recent study in Western Kenya supports the beliefs about differences between male and female police officers that observers such as Bell (1982) espouse.

Keywords: Perceptions, Job Satisfaction, Police Officers

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