U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Distinguishing Organizational From Strategy Commitment: Linking Officers' Commitment to Community Policing to Job Behaviors and Satisfaction

NCJ Number
Justice Quarterly Volume: 20 Issue: 1 Dated: March 2003 Pages: 159-185
Date Published
March 2003
27 pages

This study examined the links between job behaviors and satisfaction and police officers' commitment to their departments and to the specific strategy of community policing.


The data were obtained from 11 police departments that had requested to participate as members of the recently formed Michigan Regional Community Policing Institute. The departments were similar in having some community-policing initiatives already in place. Each department was planning to expand the initiative into a department-wide, total organization change to a community-policing philosophy. A 21-dimension, 119-item organizational assessment questionnaire was developed to assess the officers' perceptions of various aspects of their departments that were related to community policing. The following measures were contained in the questionnaire: strategy-related behavior, job satisfaction, strategy commitment, organizational commitment, managerial support, job context, and job experience. Regression analyses examined the distinction between organizational and strategy commitment to determine whether they accounted for unique variance in outcome variables before testing the hypothesized model as a whole. The study found evidence that the two levels of commitment were distinct. Organizational commitment was directly related to job satisfaction but only indirectly related to officers' behaviors consistent with those expected with a community-policing orientation. Conversely, the level of commitment to a community-policing strategy was unrelated to job satisfaction but directly related to the frequency of community policing-type behaviors. Strategy commitment also mediated the effects of managerial support and organizational commitment and partially mediated the effects of job experience on officers' behavior. The authors discuss the implications of this multiple-level perspective of commitment for future research. 2 tables, 3 figures, 53 references, and appended list of survey items

Date Published: March 1, 2003