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

Jonathan Houdmont, Robert Kerr, Raymond Randall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


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
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)182-197
JournalPolicing: An International Journal of Police Strategies and Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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