Research Articles

Gender as a Moderator of the Relationship Between Job Demand and Quality of Work-Life of Police Personnel in Lagos, Nigeria

Adepeju Ogungbamila*a, Janet Tolulope Olasenia

Abstract

Previous studies have linked quality of work-life with functional job behaviours which may enhance the quality of services rendered by police personnel. However, there is a need to investigate how gender may moderate the connection between job demand and quality of work-life, especially among female police personnel who are often faced with challenges of balancing family and work responsibilities. Against this background, this study tested the level at which gender moderates the relationship between job demand and police personnel’s quality of work-life. Participants were 944 police personnel (429 females; 515 males) whose ages ranged from 24 to 60 years (M = 38.66 years, SD = 8.43). The study hypotheses were tested with 3-step hierarchical multiple regression. The results showed that job demand led to a significant decrease in quality of work-life of police personnel. Gender significantly moderated the relationship between job demand and quality of work-life, in such a way that female police personnel had better quality of work-life than their male counterparts. The findings of this study indicated that gender is an important factor in police personnel’s quality of work-life. In order to improve the quality of work-life of police personnel in Nigeria, police personnel should be exposed to adequate job rewards, which may balance out the adverse effects of job demand. Also, Ministry of Police Affairs in Nigeria should provide support to police personnel especially the males in order to improve their quality of work-life.

Keywords: job demand, gender, quality of work-life, police personnel, Nigeria

Psychological Thought, 2019, Vol. 12(1), https://doi.org/10.5964/psyct.v12i1.264

Received: 2018-04-23. Accepted: 2019-03-12. Published (VoR): 2019-04-30.

Handling Editors: Marius Drugas, University of Oradea, Romania; Stanislava Stoyanova, South-West University "Neofit Rilski", Bulgaria

*Corresponding author at: Department of Pure and Applied Psychology, Faculty of Social and Management Sciences, Adekunle Ajasin University, P.M.B. 001, Akungba-Akoko, Ondo State, Nigeria, 34-234. E-mail: oadepeju@yahoo.com

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Policing is a kind of work that is extremely stressful (Nair & Joseph, 2013; Shane, 2010). In Nigeria, the stress may increase due to the challenging work environment coupled with inadequate resources such as delayed of salaries and allowances, inadequate training, and low promotion prospects (Ojo, 2014). Lagos State, which is the target of this study, is a commercial and extremely busy city with high rate of crime (Ogungbamila & Idemudia, 2016; Ojo, 2014; Olawale, 2018). It is therefore expected that police personnel working in this city may encounter more stress while performing their duties. If these stressful situations are not adequately addressed, it could culminate to poor quality of work-life (Easton, Van Laar, & Marlow-Vardy, 2013).

Quality of work-life (QWL) simply refers to the perception of meaningful and satisfying work by the employees (Serey, 2006). QWL of police personnel is important as it had been submitted by previous researchers (Firdousiya & Jayan, 2013; Ogungbamila, 2016; Ogungbamila & Idemudia, 2016;) that a greater quality of work-life of employees led to increased productivity. Furthermore, QWL is viewed as the quality of relationship that exists between employees and their working condition (Erdem, 2010). Erdem (2010) posited that good quality of work-life would enhance employees’ levels of job satisfaction, well-being, work-family balance, work autonomy and low work stress. However, the submission of Erdem (2010) contradicts what is obtainable in the Nigerian policing system. Nigerian police personnel lack most of the afore - mentioned job characteristics as stated by Erdem (2010), which may lead to poor quality of work-life (Ojo, 2014). Poor quality of work-life may further be aggravated in a situation where there is a high level of job demand (Shane, 2010).

Job demand, which is defined as work pressure, role overload, role conflict and the emotional demands associated with a job or job roles (Bakker, 2015), is one of the major factors that may compromise police personnel’s quality of work-life in Nigeria. The reason for this submission is that past studies (Rani, Garg, & Rastogi, 2012; Tims, Bakker, & Derks, 2015) reported that job demand negatively correlated with quality of work-life. Apart from job demand, quality of work-life of police personnel could also be influenced by gender. Gender is defined as the socially constructed roles, behaviours, and attributes that define a man or woman (World Health Organisation, 2015). Studies have shown that male police personnel had better quality of life than their female counterparts (Nair & Joseph, 2013; Ogungbamila & Idemudia, 2016). However, much has not been done on how gender may moderate the relationship between job demand and police personnel’s quality of work-life, especially in Nigeria. The aim of the present study was to investigate the moderating roles of gender on the relationship between job demand and quality of work-life.

Literature Review [TOP]

The Nigerian Police (NP) formerly known as the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) is a product of the post - colonial era of Nigeria policing system. NP was established in 1930 (Human Right Watch, 2010) and is designated by Section 194 of the 1979 and section 214 (1) of the 1999 Nigerian constitution (Akomolede, 2001) as the national police of Nigeria. The Nigerian Police was formed from the Northern and Southern police forces in 1930 (Human Right Watch, 2010). Its main objectives were to recruit employees and train them on how to curb crimes and maintain order in the society. The Nigerian police, as at 2010, was ranked the ninth largest police force in the world and the largest in Africa with a ratio of 205 officers per 100,000 citizens (Alemika, 1994; Human Right Watch, 2010; Inyang & Brown, 2010).

Job Demand and Quality of Work-Life of Police Personnel [TOP]

Quality of work-life is a relatively new concept that is aimed at explaining how best an employee understands the core facet of his/her work environment with a sole focus of getting a satisfied working condition in order to improve productivity. Past researches (Firdousiya & Jayan, 2013; Ogungbamila, 2016; Ogungbamila & Idemudia, 2016; Owolabi, 2015; Serey, 2006) on how job demand influences quality of work-life have documented the same results. A study by Serey (2006) on how job demand predicts quality of work-life of police personnel reported that higher job demand significantly reduced the quality of work-life of police personnel. Similarly, Lele (2014) carried out a research among police constables in India where he found out that high job demand led to a poor quality of work-life of police personnel. Shane (2010) also reported that organisational stressor which results from job demand, negatively affected police personnel quality of work-life in Michigan and New Jersey. In addition, it was also reported that job demand had negative effects on quality of work-life in a comparative study among Turkey and United State of America police personnel (Kara, Sunger, & Kapti, 2015).

Gender and Quality of Work-Life [TOP]

Quality of work-life of police personnel can be viewed differently depending on one’s gender. Gender defines an individual status as either male or female. It spells out those social, cultural, and physiological roles that are specific to males and females in a social context (Fapohunda, 2014; Odedokun, 2015; Ogungbamila & Fajemirokun, 2016). Results from past studies on the role of gender on police personnel’s quality of work-life have shown that male police personnel had greater quality of work-life in the sense that they experienced less psychological distress and were able to withstand stress than their female counterparts (Nair & Joseph, 2013; Ogungbamila & Idemudia, 2016). Subha and Dhivya affirmed in their 2014 study, involving 200 police personnel in Coimbatore, that women police personnel experienced lesser quality of work life than their men counterparts. He, Zhao, and Archbold (2002) also came up with a similar result based on a study conducted among New England police personnel. According to them, there was a significant gender difference in police personnel quality of work-life, with males reporting better quality of work-life than females. However, research on how gender may moderate the relationships between job demand and quality of work-life of police personnel is very rare especially among police personnel in Nigeria. The present study will, therefore, fill the lacuna in research in this area.

Hypotheses [TOP]

1. Job demand will significantly be related with reduced level of police personnel’s quality of work-life.

2. Gender will significantly moderate the relationship between job demand and quality of work-life of police personnel in such a way that male police personnel would have better quality of work-life than their female counterparts.

Method [TOP]

Research Design [TOP]

The study adopted a cross sectional survey design. The reason for a cross sectional design was that the participants were selected from eight different Police Commands in Lagos State. The independent variable was job demand. Gender served as a moderator while quality of work-life was the dependent variable.

Participants [TOP]

A total number of nine hundred and forty - four police personnel (515 males; 429 females) from 8 different Police Area Commands in Lagos State participated in the study. Their ages ranged between 21 and 53 years (Mage = 38.66 years: SD = 8.43). With regards to the marital status of the participants, 245(26%) were single, 684(72.5%) were married, while 15(1.6%) were divorced.

According to Olawale (2018), the Nigerian Police Force is ranked from the highest position which is Inspector General of police (IG) to the least position which is the Constable. These ranks/positions are divided into three categories; the positions of Inspector General of Police down to Assistant Commissioner of Police constitute the senior position, the intermediary level/position has individuals who are in the positions of Chief Superintendent of Police down to Assistant Superintendent of Police. The junior categories are the officers who are in the position of Inspector of Police down to Constables.

The rank of the participants in this study indicated that 434(46%) were at the junior level, 289(30.6%) ranked at the intermediate level, while 221(23.4%) were at the senior level. In terms of their academic qualification, 440 (46.6%) had Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE), 248(26.3%) had National Diploma (ND), 215(22.8%) obtained First degree or Higher National Diploma certificates, while, 41(4.3%) had Master’s Degree.

Instruments [TOP]

Job Demand [TOP]

Boyar, Carr, Mosley, and Carson’s (2007) Work Demand Scale (WDS) was used to measure the participants’ level of job demand. The scale had 5 items rated on a 5-point scale ranging from (1 = strongly disagree to 5 = strongly agree). Sample items are, “My job requires all of my attention” and “I am given a lot of work to do at work”. Boyar et al., (2007) obtained reliability co-efficient of .83. A reliability coefficient of .85 was obtained in the present study. Participants, who scored up to or higher than the median on work demands scale, had high job demand. Police personnel whose scores were below the median had low level of job demand.

Quality of Work Life [TOP]

Quality of work life was measured using Van Laar, Edward, and Easton’s (2007) Work-Related Quality of Life (WRQoL) scale. WRQoL is a 23-item scale designed to assess how employees are satisfied with their working conditions as well as their general well-being. The scale was predicated on a 5-point scale (strongly disagree = 1; strongly agree = 5). Work-Related Quality of Life has six subscales: job and career satisfaction (6 items), general well-being (6 items), home/work interface (3 items) control at work (3 items), work conditions (3 items), and stress at work (2 items).

Examples of items in the scale are “I am satisfied with the career opportunities available for me at work” (job career satisfaction) “Generally, things work out well for me” (general well-being), “My employer provides adequate facilities and flexibility for me to fit work in and around my family life” (home/work interface), “I am involved in decisions that affect me in my own area of work” (control at work), “The working conditions are satisfactory” (working conditions), and “I often feel under pressure at work” (stress at work). Van Laar et al. (2007) obtained a reliability coefficient of .89 for the overall scale. Among Nigerian samples, Cronbach alpha of .87 was obtained from a study (Owolabi, 2015). The present study had a Cronbach’s alpha of .90 composite score. The total score on WRQoL scale ranged between 23 and 115. Scores that fell at the median and above indicated a high level of quality of work life, while a score below the median indicated a low level of quality of work life.

Ethical Considerations [TOP]

The following research ethics were considered before and during data collection of the study. A written permission to conduct the study was sought from and granted by the Nigerian Police Public Relations Officer who acted on behalf of the Inspector General of Police in Nigeria.

After permission had been granted, an informed consent form (which indicated the purpose of the study, assurance that their responses would not be traced to them and the freedom to stop further participation in the research whenever they were not comfortable with it) were given to and signed by the participants who indicated willingness to participate in the study. The researchers adhered strictly to the principles of research ethics. This was done by informing the participants that the research poses no physical, psychological, or emotional harms.

Procedure [TOP]

Permission to conduct the study was granted by the Nigerian Police Public Relations Officer who acted on behalf of the Inspector General of Police in Nigeria. In selecting the participants, purposive sampling technique was used to select the state (Lagos) that participated in the study. The researchers made use of balloting method to select 8 out of the 13 Police Area Commands in Lagos State. The prospective participants that took part in the study were selected using accidental sampling technique.

The Divisional Police Officer (DPO) was the gate keeper in each of the police stations in the 8 Police Area Commands selected for the study. Based on the approval of the Police Public Relation Officer and Area Commanders, the DPO assigned a police officer to assist in the distribution of the questionnaires. The purpose of the research was explained to the prospective participants. The informed consent forms (which contain information such as how to guarantee the confidentiality and anonymity of the identities of the participants) were given to and signed by the participants who showed willingness to participate in the research. After the informed consent forms were filled, copies of questionnaires which contained all the measures (instruments) were then administered to the participants.

The questionnaires were completed by the police officers during office hours. Though there was no time limit, it took an average of 20 minutes to complete the questionnaire. Out of the total number of 1230 questionnaires that were distributed, 1100 questionnaires were retrieved out of which 944 were duly completed and found usable. This yielded a response rate of 89.4%.

Data Analysis [TOP]

Pearson Product Moment Correlation and Spearman Rank Order correlation were used to analyse the relationships among the study variables. These correlations were conducted in order to know the extent and direction of relationships among the study variables, and also to inform the Hierarchical Multiple regression on the relationships among the variables. Hypotheses 1 and 2 were tested with a 3-step Hierarchical Multiple regression. In step 1 of the model, the demographic variables were entered. In the second step, the predictor (job demand) and moderator (gender) were added to the model. In step 3 of the model, the interaction effect of the moderator variable (gender) and independent variable (job demand) was added to the model.

A dummy coding was done for gender and marital status. Male was coded 0 and female was coded 1. Marital status was coded single = 0 and married =1. Since educational qualification and job rank were on ordinal scale they were ranked. Educational qualification was ranked coded SSSC = 1, NCE/OND = 2, HND/First degree = 3, and postgraduate degree = 4. Job rank was ranked junior level = 1, intermediate level = 2, and senior level = 3 according to the position of police personnel that participated in the study.

A t-test for independent samples was further used to analyze the data in order to provide additional evidence for gender differences in quality of work-life of police personnel. All analysis was done using SPSS 20.0.

Results [TOP]

Test of Relationships Among the Study Variables [TOP]

The correlation coefficients between the studied variables are presented in Table 1.

Table 1

Correlation Matrix Showing the Mean, SD and the Relationship Among the Study Variables

Variable 1 2 3 4 5 6
1. Age 1
2. Marital status .01 1
3. Job rank .02 .54** 1
4. Qualification .01 .09** -.02 1
5. Job Demand -.17** .04 .09** .04 1
6. Quality of work-life .09** .14** .03 -.03 -.07* 1
M 38.66 - - - 17.03 83.08
SD 8.43 - - - 3.67 9.02

Note. N = 944. Marital status was coded single = 0, married = 1. Job rank was coded junior level = 1, intermediate level = 2, senior level = 3. Academic qualification was coded 1 = SSSC, 2 = NCE/OND, 3 = HND/First degree, 4 = postgraduate degree.

*p < .05. **p < .01.

As indicated in Table 1, job demand had a significant negative relationship with quality of work-life life [r (942) = -0.07, p = .032]. This finding implies that quality of work-life of police personnel significantly decreased as their level of job demand increased. This shows that police personnel who reported high level of job demand tended to also report low quality of work-life.

Out of the socio-demographic variables, only age [r (942) = 0.09, p = .006] and marital status [r (942) = 0.14, p < .001] had significant relationship with quality of work-life of police personnel.

Test of Hypotheses 1 and 2 [TOP]

In order to test hypotheses 1 and 2, a 3-step hierarchical multiple regression was performed on the data. Table 2 shows the results.

Table 2

Summary of the 3-Step Hierarchical Multiple Regression Showing Gender as a Moderator Between Job Demand and Quality of Work-Life

Model Β t R R2 R2 F
Step 1 (Socio demographic variables) .17 .03 .03 11.98**
Age 0.26 4.22**
Marital status 0.32 4.57**
Job rank 0.02 0.61
Job tenure -0.09 -1.64
Educational qualification 0.14 1.96
Step 2 (Predictors) .21 .05 .02 13.05**
Age 0.28 4.65**
Marital status -0.34 -5.21**
Job rank 0.01 0.28
Job tenure -0.09 -1.59
Educational qualification 0.04 1.33
Job demand -0.10 -4.25**
Gender 0.09 3.94**
Step 3 (Moderator) .31 .30 .25 21.74**
Age 0.28 4.65*
Marital status -0.34 -5.20*
Job rank 0.01 0.34
Job tenure -0.09 -1.65
Educational qualification 0.04 1.71
Job demand 0.20 6.85*
Gender 0.25 7.36*
Job demand × Gender -0.41 -11.57*

Note. N = 944. Gender was coded male = 0, female = 1. Marital status was coded single = 0, married = 1. Job rank was coded junior level = 1, intermediate level = 2, senior level = 3. Academic qualification was coded 1 = O’ Level, 2 = NCE/OND, 3 = HND/First degree, 4 = postgraduate degree.

*p < .05. **p < .01.

The results in Table 2 show that only two of the demographic variables in step 1 of the model had significant influence on police personnel quality of work-life. Quality of work-life of police personnel increased based on their age (β = .26, p < .01) and marital status (β = .32, p < .01). Table 2 further indicated that there was a significant joint influence of the demographic variables on quality of work-life of police personnel, F(6, 937) = 11.98, p < .001. The R value of .17 shows a positive relationship between the demographic variables and quality of work-life. The R2 value indicated that the demographic variables jointly contributed 3% to police personnel’s quality of work-life. This implies that other variables (not listed in step 1 of the analysis) contributed 97% changes in police personnel’s level of quality of work-life.

Results of Step 2 of the model revealed that job demand significantly predicted police personnel’s quality of work-life such that police personnel who experienced high level of job demand had a low quality of work-life (β = -.10, p < .01). The independent effect of gender was also tested. Results show that gender significantly predicted police personnel’s quality of work-life, such that female police personnel had better quality of work-life than their male counterparts (β = .09, p < .01). The inclusion of job demand and gender in the step 2 of the model changed the R value from .17 to .21. This implies that job demand and gender jointly contributed 5% changes to the quality of work-life of police personnel, R2 = .05; ∆R2 = .02; F(7, 936) = 13.05, p < .001. Results in Table 2, therefore, supported the position of hypothesis one that job demand would be related with reduced level of quality of work-life of police personnel.

To test hypothesis 2, the moderating effects of gender on the relationship between job demand and quality of work-life was examined. To achieve this, the cross-product of job demand and gender was entered in step 3 of the model. It was found that gender significantly moderated the relationship between job demand and quality of work life. Results showed that in spite of job demand, female police personnel had greater quality of work life than their male counterparts, R2 = .30; ∆R2 = .25; F(8, 935) = 21.74, p < .001. The inclusion of the moderating effect of gender in the step 3 of the model changed the R value from .21 to .31. This implies that moderating effect of gender contributed 30% changes to the quality of work-life of police personnel. Though gender moderated the relationship between job demand and quality of work-life, the results in Table 2 did not go in the hypothesized direction. Hypothesis 2 had expected better quality of work-life in male police personnel than female when faced with job demand. Therefore, the result in Table 2 did not provide support for hypothesis 2.

Additional Analysis [TOP]

In order to provide additional evidence for gender differences in quality of work-life of police personnel, a t-test for independent samples was further used to analyze the data. The results are presented in Table 3.

Table 3

Summary of t-Test for Independent Samples Showing Gender Differences in Quality of Work-Life

Group N M SD df t p
Gender 942 4.24 .025
Male 515 81.95 8.68
Female 429 84.43 9.24

The results in Table 3 show that gender exerted a significant influence on quality of work-life of police personnel, t(942) = 4.24, p < .001, such that female (M = 84.43) police personnel had better quality of work-life than their male (M = 81.95) counterparts. The interpretation of the above results is that female police personnel had greater satisfaction with regards to their work environment. Table 3 results negated the position of hypothesis 2, which stated that gender would significantly predict police personnel’s quality of work-life, in such a way that male police personnel would have better quality of work life than their females’ counterparts.

Discussion [TOP]

The study has shown that increases in the level of job demand tended to be related with poor quality of work-life among police personnel, with males been the more affected.

Job demand significantly reduced police personnel quality of work-life. The results of the present study corroborated the findings of the previous studies on the relationship of job demand and quality of work-life of police personnel (e.g. Lele, 2014; Ogungbamila & Idemudia, 2016; Serey, 2006;). The authors found that police personnel who reported high level of job demand reported poor quality of work-life. The huge population with its attendant crime rate and inadequate facilities might have exerted high job demand on the police personnel in Lagos State, Nigeria which might have prevented them from having a worth-while experience on the job. This might explain why job demand was highly related with low quality of work-life of the police personnel who participated in the study.

In the presence of job demand, female police personnel reported better quality of work-life than male police personnel. This was contrary to the position of hypothesis 2, which assumed that male police personnel would have better quality of work-life than their female counterparts. The results of the present study negated the findings of previous studies (He, Zhao, & Archbold, 2002; Nair & Joseph, 2013; Ogungbamila & Idemudia, 2016; Subha & Dhivya, 2014). One possible explanation for the unexpected direction of the results of the present study might be because of concession posting and allocation of duties, which might have taken gender of police personnel into consideration. Female police personnel might have been assigned to less demanding and low-risk job tasks compared with their male counterparts.

Second possible reason might be connected with consideration of gender-specific and socio-cultural norms, which expect females to perform the roles of a mother and wife in spite of their job roles (Ogungbamila & Fajemirokun, 2016). Apart from the stated reasons, female police personnel, especially those that were married, might have benefitted from preferential treatments in posting and assignment of duties. Such preferential treatment might have reduced their contact with risky and tasking aspects of police duties, which could make them report better quality of work-life compared with their male counterpart who might not have such privilege.

Recommendations [TOP]

In order to manage the adverse effects of job demand on the quality of work-life of police personnel in Lagos State, it is recommended that police personnel should be exposed to adequate job rewards (e.g., recognition and awards, annual bonuses, and paid vacation) which may balance out the adverse effects of job demand. These rewards may enhance their level of quality of work-life.

It is also recommended that Nigeria Ministry of Police Affairs should provide adequate support to police officers especially male personnel in order to boost their quality of work-life.

Limitations and Directions for Future Research [TOP]

One of the limitations of this study is that the sample was drawn from Lagos State only. Some studies have implicated that small sample size affects study’s external validity (Green & Glasgow, 2006; Steckler & McLeroy, 2008). Based on this fact, readers should exercise some restraints in generalising the results of this study to the entire population of police personnel in Nigeria. Future studies should, therefore, investigate the variables of the present study among police personnel in other states in Nigeria. Future studies should combine focus group discussion and interview with self-report questionnaires method in order to have fine-grain results.

Funding [TOP]

The authors have no funding to report.

Competing Interests [TOP]

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

Acknowledgments [TOP]

The authors have no support to report.

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About the Authors [TOP]

Adepeju Ogungbamila (PhD) is a lecturer at the Department of Pure and Applied Psychology, Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba - Akoko, Ondo State, Nigeria. Her research focus is on Occupational Health Psychology. She has published scholarly articles in local and international journals. She also belongs to important professional associations, including the prestigious Nigerian Association of Psychologists and Nigerian Association of Industrial/Organisational Psychologists.

Janet Tolulope Olaseni is a lecturer and a Doctoral student at the Department of Pure and Applied Psychology, Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba - Akoko, Ondo State, Nigeria. She has published many articles in reputable journals.

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