Organisational psychosocial hazard exposures in UK policing: Management standards indicator tool reference values

Jonathan Houdmont, Robert Kerr, Raymond Randall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose – There is a paucity of contemporary evidence on the organisational (as opposed tooperational) psychosocial hazard (OPH) exposures of UK police officers. The purpose of this study is toreport on OPH exposures measured via an instrument developed by the UK government –the management standards indicator tool – among police officers sampled from an entire UK force.The study seeks to provide reference values for UK police officers’ OPH exposures, to consider these inrelation to government exposure targets, and to examine the association between officers’ OPHexposures and perceived work-related stress.Design/methodology/approach – Police officers (n ¼ 1,729) completed the managementstandards indicator tool which measures perceived exposure to seven psychosocial workenvironment dimensions: demands, control, managerial support, peer support, relationships, role,and change. In addition, a single-item measure of perceived work-related stress was applied.Findings – Sector-specific reference values were generated by job role and rank on each of the sevendimensions assessed by the indicator tool. Scores on all seven dimensions were below governmenttarget levels (indicating that scores fell below the 80th percentile in relation to benchmark data). Intotal, 46 per cent of police officers reported their work to be very or extremely stressful. A significantpositive correlation ( p ,0.01) was found between scores on each of the seven psychosocial workcharacteristics and perceived work-related stress.Originality/value – This study is the first to report on the assessment of UK police officers’ OPHexposure using the management standards indicator tool. It provides reference values that UK forceswill find useful for benchmarking and intervention-targeting purposes, and against which progress inreducing OPH exposures can be assessed.Keywords Management standards indicator tool, Organizational psychosocial hazards, Police officers,Stress, United Kingdom, Moral hazards,Workplace, PolicePaper type Research paper
LanguageEnglish
Pages182-197
JournalPolicing: An International Journal of Police Strategies and Management
Volume35
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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@article{e18cf7f0552444ddbdd24ccfbac49c73,
title = "Organisational psychosocial hazard exposures in UK policing: Management standards indicator tool reference values",
abstract = "Purpose – There is a paucity of contemporary evidence on the organisational (as opposed tooperational) psychosocial hazard (OPH) exposures of UK police officers. The purpose of this study is toreport on OPH exposures measured via an instrument developed by the UK government –the management standards indicator tool – among police officers sampled from an entire UK force.The study seeks to provide reference values for UK police officers’ OPH exposures, to consider these inrelation to government exposure targets, and to examine the association between officers’ OPHexposures and perceived work-related stress.Design/methodology/approach – Police officers (n ¼ 1,729) completed the managementstandards indicator tool which measures perceived exposure to seven psychosocial workenvironment dimensions: demands, control, managerial support, peer support, relationships, role,and change. In addition, a single-item measure of perceived work-related stress was applied.Findings – Sector-specific reference values were generated by job role and rank on each of the sevendimensions assessed by the indicator tool. Scores on all seven dimensions were below governmenttarget levels (indicating that scores fell below the 80th percentile in relation to benchmark data). Intotal, 46 per cent of police officers reported their work to be very or extremely stressful. A significantpositive correlation ( p ,0.01) was found between scores on each of the seven psychosocial workcharacteristics and perceived work-related stress.Originality/value – This study is the first to report on the assessment of UK police officers’ OPHexposure using the management standards indicator tool. It provides reference values that UK forceswill find useful for benchmarking and intervention-targeting purposes, and against which progress inreducing OPH exposures can be assessed.Keywords Management standards indicator tool, Organizational psychosocial hazards, Police officers,Stress, United Kingdom, Moral hazards,Workplace, PolicePaper type Research paper",
author = "Jonathan Houdmont and Robert Kerr and Raymond Randall",
note = "Reference text: Alexander, D. and Wells, A. (1991), “Reactions of police officers to body handling after a major disaster: a before and after comparison”, British Journal of Psychiatry, Vol. 159, pp. 547-55. Alexander, D., Walker, L., Innes, G. and Irving, B. (1993), Police Stress at Work, The Police Foundation, London. Bevan, A., Houdmont, J. and Menear, N. (2010), “The management standards indicator tool and the estimation of risk”, Occupational Medicine, Vol. 60, pp. 525-31. Biggam, F., Power, K., Macdonald, R., Carcary, W. and Moodie, E. (1997), “Self-perceived occupational stress and distress in a Scottish police force”, Work & Stress, Vol. 11, pp. 118-33. Bond, F., Flaxman, P. and Loivette, S. (2006), A Business Case for the Management Standards for Stress, HSE Books, Sudbury. Bowling, A. (2005), “Just one question: if one question works why ask several?”, Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, Vol. 59, pp. 342-5. Brough, P. (2004), “Comparing the influence of traumatic and organizational stressors on the psychological health of police, fire, and ambulance officers”, International Journal of Stress Management, Vol. 11, pp. 227-44. Brown, J. and Campbell, A. (1990), “Sources of occupational stress in the police”, Work & Stress, Vol. 4, pp. 305-18. Brown, J. and Fielding, J. (1993), “Qualitative differences and women police officers’ experience of occupational stress”, Work & Stress, Vol. 7, pp. 327-40. Brown, J., Cooper, C. and Kirkcaldy, B. (1994), “Impact of pressures on senior police management in the United Kingdom”, Policing and Society, Vol. 4, pp. 341-52. Brown, J., Cooper, C. and Kirkcaldy, B. (1996), “Occupational stress among senior police officers”, British Journal of Psychology, Vol. 87, pp. 31-41. Brown, J., Cooper, C. and Kirkcaldy, B. (1999), “Stressor exposure and methods of coping among senior police managers at a time of organisational and management change”, International Journal of Police Science and Management, Vol. 2, pp. 217-28. Brown, J., Fielding, J. and Grover, J. (1999), “Distinguishing traumatic, vicarious and routine operational stressor exposure and attendant adverse consequences in a sample of police officers”, Work & Stress, Vol. 13, pp. 312-25. Calnan, M., Wadsworth, E., May, M., Smith, A. and Wainright, D. (2004), “Job strain, effort-reward imbalance, and stress at work: competing or complimentary models?”, Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, Vol. 32, pp. 84-93. Collins, P. and Gibb, A. (2003), “Stress in police officers: a study of the origins, prevalence, and severity of stress-related symptoms within a county police force”, Occupational Medicine, Vol. 53, pp. 256-64. Hazard exposures in UK policing 195 Cooper, C., Davidson, M. and Robinson, P. (1982), “Stress in the police force”, Journal of Occupational Medicine, Vol. 24, pp. 30-6. Cousins, R., Mackay, C., Clarke, S., Kelly, C., Kelly, P. and McCaig, R. (2004), “Management standards and work-related stress in the UK: practical development”, Work and Stress, Vol. 18, pp. 113-36. Cox, T. and Griffiths, A. (2010), “Work-related stress: a theoretical perspective”, in Leka, S. and Houdmont, J. (Eds), Occupational Health Psychology, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, pp. 31-56. Cox, T., Griffiths, A. and Rial Gonza´lez, E. (2000), Research on Work-related Stress, Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg. Davidson, M. and Veno, A. (1980), “Stress and the policeman”, in Cooper, C. and Marshall, J. (Eds), White-collar and Professional Stress, Wiley, Chichester. Edwards, J., Webster, S., Van Laar, D. and Easton, S. (2008), “Psychometric analysis of the UK Health and Safety Executive’s management standards work-related stress indicator tool”, Work & Stress, Vol. 22, pp. 96-107. EC (1989), Council Directive 89/391/EEC. On the Introduction of Measures to Encourage Improvements in the Safety of Health of Workers at Work, European Commission, Brussels. Elo, A-L., Leppa¨nen, A. and Jahkola, A. (2003), “Validity of a single item measure of stress symptoms”, Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health, Vol. 29, pp. 444-51. Health and Safety Executive (HSE) (n.d.a), HSE Management Standards Indicator Tool, available at: www.hse.gov.uk/stress/standards/pdfs/indicatortool.pdf (accessed 20 April, 2010). Health and Safety Executive (HSE) (n.d.b), HSE Management Standards Analysis Tool. 153 User Manual, available at: www.hse.gov.uk/stress/standards/downloads.htm (accessed 20 April, 2010). Health and Safety Executive (HSE) (2006), Psychosocial Working Conditions in Great Britain in 2005, HSE Books, Sudbury. Houdmont, J., Cox, T. and Griffiths, A. (2010), “Work-related stress case definitions and prevalence rates in national surveys”, Occupational Medicine, No. 60. Kerr, R., McHugh, M. and McCory, M. (2009), “HSE management standards and stress-related work outcomes”, Occupational Medicine, Vol. 59, pp. 574-9. Kinman, G. and Court, S. (2010), “Psychosocial hazards in UK universities: adopting a risk assessment approach”, Higher Education Quarterly, Vol. 64, pp. 413-28. Kirkcaldy, B., Cooper, C., Furnham, A. and Brown, J. (1993), “Personality, job satisfaction and well-being among public sector (police) managers”, European Review of Applied Psychology, Vol. 43, pp. 241-8. Kop, N., Euwema, M. and Schaufeli, W. (1999), “Burnout, job stress and violent behaviour among Dutch police officers”, Work & Stress, Vol. 13, pp. 326-40. Mackay, C., Cousins, R., Kelly, P., Lee, S. and McCaig, R. (2004), “Management standards and work-related stress in the UK: policy background and science”, Work and Stress, Vol. 18, pp. 91-112. Mitchell-Gibbs, J. and Joseph, S. (1996), “Occupational trauma in the British police: preliminary analysis”, Issues in Criminological & Legal Psychology, Vol. 25, pp. 54-8. Noblet, A., Rodwell, J. and Allisey, A. (2009), “Police stress: the role of the psychological contract and perceptions of fairness”, Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, Vol. 32, pp. 613-30. O’Driscoll, M. and Brough, P. (2010), “Work organisation and health”, in Leka, S. and Houdmont, J. (Eds), Occupational Health Psychology, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, pp. 57-87. PIJPSM 35,1 196 Phillips, S., Sen, D. and McNamee, R. (2008), “Risk factors for work-related stress and health in head teachers”, Occupational Medicine, Vol. 58, pp. 584-6. Shane, J. (2010), “Organizational stressors and police performance”, Journal of Criminal Justice, Vol. 38, pp. 807-18. Smith, A. (2001), “Perceptions of stress at work”, Human Resource Management Journal, Vol. 11, pp. 74-86. Smith, A., Johal, S. and Wadsworth, E. (2000), The Scale of Perceived Stress at Work: The Bristol Stress and Health at Work Study, Contract Research Report 265/2000, HSE Books, Sudbury. Smith, A., Wadsworth, E., Moss, S. and Simpson, S. (2004), The Scale and Impact of Drug Use by Workers, HSE Books, Sudbury. Symonds, M. (1970), “Emotional hazards of police work”, American Journal of Psychoanalysis, Vol. 30, pp. 155-60. Taylor, A. and Bennell, C. (2006), “Operational and organisational police stress in an Ontario police department: a descriptive study”, The Canadian Journal of Police and Security Services, Vol. 4, pp. 223-34. Wadsworth, E., Dhillon, K., Shaw, C., Bhui, K., Stansfeld, S. and Smith, A. (2007), “Racial discrimination, ethnicity and work stress”, Occupational Medicine, Vol. 57, pp. 18-24. Wanous, J., Reichers, A. and Hudy, M. (1997), “Overall job satisfaction: how good are single-item measures?”, Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol. 82, pp. 247-52. Waters, J. and Ussery, W. (2007), “Police stress: history, contributing factors, symptoms, and interventions”, Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, Vol. 30, pp. 169-88.",
year = "2012",
doi = "10.1108/13639511211215522",
language = "English",
volume = "35",
pages = "182--197",
journal = "Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies and Management",
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}

Organisational psychosocial hazard exposures in UK policing: Management standards indicator tool reference values. / Houdmont, Jonathan; Kerr, Robert; Randall, Raymond.

In: Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies and Management, Vol. 35, No. 1, 2012, p. 182-197.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Organisational psychosocial hazard exposures in UK policing: Management standards indicator tool reference values

AU - Houdmont, Jonathan

AU - Kerr, Robert

AU - Randall, Raymond

N1 - Reference text: Alexander, D. and Wells, A. (1991), “Reactions of police officers to body handling after a major disaster: a before and after comparison”, British Journal of Psychiatry, Vol. 159, pp. 547-55. Alexander, D., Walker, L., Innes, G. and Irving, B. (1993), Police Stress at Work, The Police Foundation, London. Bevan, A., Houdmont, J. and Menear, N. (2010), “The management standards indicator tool and the estimation of risk”, Occupational Medicine, Vol. 60, pp. 525-31. Biggam, F., Power, K., Macdonald, R., Carcary, W. and Moodie, E. (1997), “Self-perceived occupational stress and distress in a Scottish police force”, Work & Stress, Vol. 11, pp. 118-33. Bond, F., Flaxman, P. and Loivette, S. (2006), A Business Case for the Management Standards for Stress, HSE Books, Sudbury. Bowling, A. (2005), “Just one question: if one question works why ask several?”, Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, Vol. 59, pp. 342-5. Brough, P. (2004), “Comparing the influence of traumatic and organizational stressors on the psychological health of police, fire, and ambulance officers”, International Journal of Stress Management, Vol. 11, pp. 227-44. Brown, J. and Campbell, A. (1990), “Sources of occupational stress in the police”, Work & Stress, Vol. 4, pp. 305-18. Brown, J. and Fielding, J. (1993), “Qualitative differences and women police officers’ experience of occupational stress”, Work & Stress, Vol. 7, pp. 327-40. Brown, J., Cooper, C. and Kirkcaldy, B. (1994), “Impact of pressures on senior police management in the United Kingdom”, Policing and Society, Vol. 4, pp. 341-52. Brown, J., Cooper, C. and Kirkcaldy, B. (1996), “Occupational stress among senior police officers”, British Journal of Psychology, Vol. 87, pp. 31-41. Brown, J., Cooper, C. and Kirkcaldy, B. (1999), “Stressor exposure and methods of coping among senior police managers at a time of organisational and management change”, International Journal of Police Science and Management, Vol. 2, pp. 217-28. Brown, J., Fielding, J. and Grover, J. (1999), “Distinguishing traumatic, vicarious and routine operational stressor exposure and attendant adverse consequences in a sample of police officers”, Work & Stress, Vol. 13, pp. 312-25. Calnan, M., Wadsworth, E., May, M., Smith, A. and Wainright, D. (2004), “Job strain, effort-reward imbalance, and stress at work: competing or complimentary models?”, Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, Vol. 32, pp. 84-93. Collins, P. and Gibb, A. (2003), “Stress in police officers: a study of the origins, prevalence, and severity of stress-related symptoms within a county police force”, Occupational Medicine, Vol. 53, pp. 256-64. Hazard exposures in UK policing 195 Cooper, C., Davidson, M. and Robinson, P. (1982), “Stress in the police force”, Journal of Occupational Medicine, Vol. 24, pp. 30-6. Cousins, R., Mackay, C., Clarke, S., Kelly, C., Kelly, P. and McCaig, R. (2004), “Management standards and work-related stress in the UK: practical development”, Work and Stress, Vol. 18, pp. 113-36. Cox, T. and Griffiths, A. (2010), “Work-related stress: a theoretical perspective”, in Leka, S. and Houdmont, J. (Eds), Occupational Health Psychology, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, pp. 31-56. Cox, T., Griffiths, A. and Rial Gonza´lez, E. (2000), Research on Work-related Stress, Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg. Davidson, M. and Veno, A. (1980), “Stress and the policeman”, in Cooper, C. and Marshall, J. (Eds), White-collar and Professional Stress, Wiley, Chichester. Edwards, J., Webster, S., Van Laar, D. and Easton, S. (2008), “Psychometric analysis of the UK Health and Safety Executive’s management standards work-related stress indicator tool”, Work & Stress, Vol. 22, pp. 96-107. EC (1989), Council Directive 89/391/EEC. On the Introduction of Measures to Encourage Improvements in the Safety of Health of Workers at Work, European Commission, Brussels. Elo, A-L., Leppa¨nen, A. and Jahkola, A. (2003), “Validity of a single item measure of stress symptoms”, Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health, Vol. 29, pp. 444-51. Health and Safety Executive (HSE) (n.d.a), HSE Management Standards Indicator Tool, available at: www.hse.gov.uk/stress/standards/pdfs/indicatortool.pdf (accessed 20 April, 2010). Health and Safety Executive (HSE) (n.d.b), HSE Management Standards Analysis Tool. 153 User Manual, available at: www.hse.gov.uk/stress/standards/downloads.htm (accessed 20 April, 2010). Health and Safety Executive (HSE) (2006), Psychosocial Working Conditions in Great Britain in 2005, HSE Books, Sudbury. Houdmont, J., Cox, T. and Griffiths, A. (2010), “Work-related stress case definitions and prevalence rates in national surveys”, Occupational Medicine, No. 60. Kerr, R., McHugh, M. and McCory, M. (2009), “HSE management standards and stress-related work outcomes”, Occupational Medicine, Vol. 59, pp. 574-9. Kinman, G. and Court, S. (2010), “Psychosocial hazards in UK universities: adopting a risk assessment approach”, Higher Education Quarterly, Vol. 64, pp. 413-28. Kirkcaldy, B., Cooper, C., Furnham, A. and Brown, J. (1993), “Personality, job satisfaction and well-being among public sector (police) managers”, European Review of Applied Psychology, Vol. 43, pp. 241-8. Kop, N., Euwema, M. and Schaufeli, W. (1999), “Burnout, job stress and violent behaviour among Dutch police officers”, Work & Stress, Vol. 13, pp. 326-40. Mackay, C., Cousins, R., Kelly, P., Lee, S. and McCaig, R. (2004), “Management standards and work-related stress in the UK: policy background and science”, Work and Stress, Vol. 18, pp. 91-112. Mitchell-Gibbs, J. and Joseph, S. (1996), “Occupational trauma in the British police: preliminary analysis”, Issues in Criminological & Legal Psychology, Vol. 25, pp. 54-8. Noblet, A., Rodwell, J. and Allisey, A. (2009), “Police stress: the role of the psychological contract and perceptions of fairness”, Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, Vol. 32, pp. 613-30. O’Driscoll, M. and Brough, P. (2010), “Work organisation and health”, in Leka, S. and Houdmont, J. (Eds), Occupational Health Psychology, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, pp. 57-87. PIJPSM 35,1 196 Phillips, S., Sen, D. and McNamee, R. (2008), “Risk factors for work-related stress and health in head teachers”, Occupational Medicine, Vol. 58, pp. 584-6. Shane, J. (2010), “Organizational stressors and police performance”, Journal of Criminal Justice, Vol. 38, pp. 807-18. Smith, A. (2001), “Perceptions of stress at work”, Human Resource Management Journal, Vol. 11, pp. 74-86. Smith, A., Johal, S. and Wadsworth, E. (2000), The Scale of Perceived Stress at Work: The Bristol Stress and Health at Work Study, Contract Research Report 265/2000, HSE Books, Sudbury. Smith, A., Wadsworth, E., Moss, S. and Simpson, S. (2004), The Scale and Impact of Drug Use by Workers, HSE Books, Sudbury. Symonds, M. (1970), “Emotional hazards of police work”, American Journal of Psychoanalysis, Vol. 30, pp. 155-60. Taylor, A. and Bennell, C. (2006), “Operational and organisational police stress in an Ontario police department: a descriptive study”, The Canadian Journal of Police and Security Services, Vol. 4, pp. 223-34. Wadsworth, E., Dhillon, K., Shaw, C., Bhui, K., Stansfeld, S. and Smith, A. (2007), “Racial discrimination, ethnicity and work stress”, Occupational Medicine, Vol. 57, pp. 18-24. Wanous, J., Reichers, A. and Hudy, M. (1997), “Overall job satisfaction: how good are single-item measures?”, Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol. 82, pp. 247-52. Waters, J. and Ussery, W. (2007), “Police stress: history, contributing factors, symptoms, and interventions”, Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, Vol. 30, pp. 169-88.

PY - 2012

Y1 - 2012

N2 - Purpose – There is a paucity of contemporary evidence on the organisational (as opposed tooperational) psychosocial hazard (OPH) exposures of UK police officers. The purpose of this study is toreport on OPH exposures measured via an instrument developed by the UK government –the management standards indicator tool – among police officers sampled from an entire UK force.The study seeks to provide reference values for UK police officers’ OPH exposures, to consider these inrelation to government exposure targets, and to examine the association between officers’ OPHexposures and perceived work-related stress.Design/methodology/approach – Police officers (n ¼ 1,729) completed the managementstandards indicator tool which measures perceived exposure to seven psychosocial workenvironment dimensions: demands, control, managerial support, peer support, relationships, role,and change. In addition, a single-item measure of perceived work-related stress was applied.Findings – Sector-specific reference values were generated by job role and rank on each of the sevendimensions assessed by the indicator tool. Scores on all seven dimensions were below governmenttarget levels (indicating that scores fell below the 80th percentile in relation to benchmark data). Intotal, 46 per cent of police officers reported their work to be very or extremely stressful. A significantpositive correlation ( p ,0.01) was found between scores on each of the seven psychosocial workcharacteristics and perceived work-related stress.Originality/value – This study is the first to report on the assessment of UK police officers’ OPHexposure using the management standards indicator tool. It provides reference values that UK forceswill find useful for benchmarking and intervention-targeting purposes, and against which progress inreducing OPH exposures can be assessed.Keywords Management standards indicator tool, Organizational psychosocial hazards, Police officers,Stress, United Kingdom, Moral hazards,Workplace, PolicePaper type Research paper

AB - Purpose – There is a paucity of contemporary evidence on the organisational (as opposed tooperational) psychosocial hazard (OPH) exposures of UK police officers. The purpose of this study is toreport on OPH exposures measured via an instrument developed by the UK government –the management standards indicator tool – among police officers sampled from an entire UK force.The study seeks to provide reference values for UK police officers’ OPH exposures, to consider these inrelation to government exposure targets, and to examine the association between officers’ OPHexposures and perceived work-related stress.Design/methodology/approach – Police officers (n ¼ 1,729) completed the managementstandards indicator tool which measures perceived exposure to seven psychosocial workenvironment dimensions: demands, control, managerial support, peer support, relationships, role,and change. In addition, a single-item measure of perceived work-related stress was applied.Findings – Sector-specific reference values were generated by job role and rank on each of the sevendimensions assessed by the indicator tool. Scores on all seven dimensions were below governmenttarget levels (indicating that scores fell below the 80th percentile in relation to benchmark data). Intotal, 46 per cent of police officers reported their work to be very or extremely stressful. A significantpositive correlation ( p ,0.01) was found between scores on each of the seven psychosocial workcharacteristics and perceived work-related stress.Originality/value – This study is the first to report on the assessment of UK police officers’ OPHexposure using the management standards indicator tool. It provides reference values that UK forceswill find useful for benchmarking and intervention-targeting purposes, and against which progress inreducing OPH exposures can be assessed.Keywords Management standards indicator tool, Organizational psychosocial hazards, Police officers,Stress, United Kingdom, Moral hazards,Workplace, PolicePaper type Research paper

U2 - 10.1108/13639511211215522

DO - 10.1108/13639511211215522

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VL - 35

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JO - Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies and Management

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JF - Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies and Management

SN - 1363-951X

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ER -