In this paper, it is argued that the psychological contract (PC) could provide rich insights into the understanding of employee and employer relations within the police and the stress and wellbeing of officers. Eighteen semi-structured interviews were conducted with active, full-time police officers and these were analysed using framework analysis. More than 100 base-units of meaning were identified which were categorised into six main themes namely ‘Motivation’, ‘Mutual obligations’, ‘Stressors’, ‘Negative consequences’, ‘Mediators’ and ‘Positive impact of the job’. From the interviews, it was apparent that some officers are experiencing PC breach and that this was having a negative impact on their wellbeing. These findings are considered and avenues for improving the situation are discussed.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Procedure Ethical approval for the study was obtained from Science, Technology and Mathematics (STEM) Research Ethics Committee at the University and consent for conducting the study was obtained from the police force. Telephone interviews were requested by the officers due to the nature of their work. Interviews were scheduled by the first author, and the participant information sheet and consent forms were emailed to the participants a week before the interview was conducted. Before the interview commenced, consent was obtained for the interview to be audio-recorded. The mean interview length was 52.82 min (range: 49–68 min). After the interview was completed, each participant was sent an email containing a debriefing sheet. Within the sheet, the contact detail of their support services at work was provided so that they could seek help, if required. The interviewees were given 2 weeks post-interview to withdraw from the study. After the 2 weeks passed, the audio files were transcribed verbatim (replacing names with pseudonyms) and deleted from the audio recorder.
Ethical approval for the study was obtained from Science, Technology and Mathematics (STEM) Research Ethics Committee at the University and consent for conducting the study was obtained from the police force.
© 2018, The Author(s).
Copyright 2019 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.
- Police officers
- Psychological contract
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Psychology