When Do Police Stressors Particularly Predict Organizational Commitment? The Moderating Role of Social Resources

Published date01 December 2020
Date01 December 2020
Subject MatterArticles
When Do Police
Stressors Particularly
Predict Organizational
Commitment? The
Moderating Role
of Social Resources
Jaeyong Choi
, Nathan E. Kruis
and Ilhong Yun
This study uses data from 570 male police officers working in 16 substations in South
Korea to examine the impact of job stressors (e.g., victimization, authoritative orga-
nizational culture, and perceptions of unfair work assignments) on organizational
commitment. Furthermore, we examine the conditioning effect of social resources
on organizational commitment. The results show that organizational characteristics
(e.g., authoritative organizational culture, unfair work assignments, and conflict with
coworkers) influence officers’ organizational commitment more so than victimiza-
tion experiences. The results also show that social resources spill over into the
workplace and condition the effects of organizational culture on predicting organi-
zational commitment. Potential policy implications are discussed.
Department of Security Studies and Criminal Justice, Angelo State University, San Angelo, TX, United
Department of Criminal Justice, Pennsylvania State University—Altoona
Department of Police Administration, Chosun University, Gwangju, South Korea
Corresponding Author:
Ilhong Yun, Department of Police Administration, Chosun University, 309 Pilmun-daero, Dong-gu,
Gwangju 501-759, South Korea.
Email: yun.ilhong@gmail.com
Police Quarterly
2020, Vol. 23(4) 527–546
!The Author(s) 2020
Article reuse guidelines:
DOI: 10.1177/1098611120923153
law enforcement, organizational commitment, social resources, job stressors
Organizational commitment is a hot topic in the organizational psychology
and business literature. Organizational commitment can be defined as “the
relative strength of the individual’s identification with, and involvement in,
a particular organization” (Porter et al., 1974, p. 604). Broadly speaking,
organizational commitment refers to the extent to which employees identify
with and show loyalty to their place of employment. An abundance of research
has found that organizational commitment is associated with a myriad of
positive outcomes in the workforce including lower rates of job turnover
(Jaramillo et al., 2005) and absenteeism (Mowday et al., 1982; Price &
Mueller, 1986) and increased job performance (Mathieu & Zajac, 1990).
In fact, meta-analytical research has found organizational commitment to be
one of the strongest predictors of job satisfaction, performance, and turnover
intentions (Cooper-Hakim & Viswesvaran, 2005). Regarding law enforcement,
organizational commitment can improve the quality of policing by helping
officers conform to departmental procedures and goals through the
encouragement of fewer unethical behaviors (Farmer et al., 2003; Haarr,
1997), by reducing rates of burnout (Lambert et al., 2017), and by helping
officers gain public confidence (Van Maanen, 1975), which is a primary objective
of policing in a democratic society.
Despite these benefits, little attention has thus far been paid to predictors
of organizational commitment in the policing literature (cf. Dick, 2011;
Johnson, 2015; Morris et al., 1999; Qureshi et al., 2017, 2019). Furthermore,
the literature has often failed to consider work stressors unique to the
policing profession such as victimization experience, authoritative
organizational culture, and perceptions of unfair work assignments (Adams &
Buck, 2010; Yun et al., 2015). This empirical study adds to this literature by
assessing the relative influence of police-specific stressors and social resources on
the organizational commitment of South Korean police officers. We drew on
the job demands/resource model that posits that even when there are high
job demands, employees can experience fewer and less severe, physiological,
and psychological outcomes if the organization provides resources to
support employees (Demerouti et al., 2001). To date, only a few studies have
examined the effects of social resources on organizational commitment
(cf., Ellrich, 2016; Morris et al., 1999), and empirical studies of the conditioning
effect of social resources on organizational commitment are scarce. Thus, by
including these measures in the presented analyses, our multivariate
528 Police Quarterly 23(4)

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