Members Of The South African Police Service Management Essay
Introduction and Background: Gould (2012) notes that over the past few years the South African Police Service (SAPS) has lurched from crisis to crisis. ‘It seems that each week brings fresh allegations of mismanagement, corruption and political interference in the work of the police’. Gould (2012) further notes that the allegations of poor management practices, weak control and abuse seem particularly prevalent at the highest management levels.
Newham and Faull (2009) cited in IvkoviÄ‡ and Sauerman (2012) whilst reviewing SAPS personnel research studies found that “SAPS members believe corruption to be a problem at their stations and a ‘serious challenge’ facing the SAPS. IvkoviÄ‡ and Sauerman (2012) state that members of the SAPS also seem equally concerned about the SAPS’s levels of integrity.
The National Commissioner of police, General Cele (2011) in his annual (2010/2011) report noted that ‘the improvement of the SAPS resource capacity was dependent on professionalism, discipline and integrity of every member of the SAPS, and further highlighted that, to that regard, the SAPS management team had ensured that effective command and control systems were in place through visitations to police stations’, (SAPS, 2011).
At station level in Queenstown, Eastern Cape, a trend of declining performance of members has emerged over the past four years with the Station losing its number one spot as the Eastern Cape’s leading crime busters. In its character and positioning, the South African Police Service is designated an essential services organisation whereupon, its clients, the citizenry, is left without options of choice when it cannot be served well and properly by the police. This desperation is exaggerated and amplified in communities situated in rural settings such as can be seen in Queenstown, Eastern Cape. Thus, sprightliness and sharpness of performing organisations such as the police within such an environmental context is more than a necessity, hence a look at the how managers influence the morale of police officers is important, and moreover, a look into the effectiveness of command and control measures in promoting police morale is also necessary.
In the past four years, level of employee morale in the SAPS has declined to almost non-existent. This can be inferred inter alia, from the rate of absenteeism which is high.
Also, Communities complain about slow response of police and an attitude of indifference when called to attend complaints.
SAPS members have in the past year complained to shop-stewards consistently about unilateral decisions about working conditions, which affect them taken without consultation. The crime rate in Queenstown has gone up through the years in this past four year period albeit the assertions of management that statistics indicate a steady decline in crime.
The logic of this argument can be tested against the fact that in this last decade, Queenstown police station has been the leading Eastern Cape Police station designated as the number one in fighting crime as it had repeatedly reported the lowest crime rate in terms of reported crime, on consecutive annual basis, with the station winning Provincial and National awards to the effect that police officers at the station had now become accustomed to getting incentive bonuses which were paid annually to a winning station in terms of the performance enhancement program of the SAPS. This practice or culture and performance of always obtaining the number one position in crime fighting, with its accolades, seem to have but evaporated in the past four years.
How has the management style of SAPS ‘Top Management’ influenced ’employee morale’ of SAPS members in the Eastern Cape, Queenstown Police Station in the past year?
Aims And Objectives:
Assess how the management style of SAPS Queenstown Station Management has influenced the morale of police officials when performing their duties.
This study also seeks examine the effectiveness of present management control measures in promoting morale among police officials.
In understanding the nature of relationship between these variables, Station Management and SAPS as an organisation will be able to ‘assess and develop’ appropriate strategies that are better suited to effectively promote the morale of police officers at Queenstown Police Station. To fulfil this purpose, qualitative research will be undertaken to do an ‘instrumental case study’ at Queenstown police station in the Eastern Cape.
Central Theoretical Statements:
There is a direct (positive) relationship between the management and leadership style of Queenstown SAPS Management and the morale of Police officers at Queenstown Police Station.
In terms of its management control measures, the management structure of the SAPS does not effectively promote the morale of police officers.
ABBREVIATED LITERATURE REVIEW
Management and Leadership
For the purposes of this study the terms ‘management style’ and ‘leadership style’ are used interchangeably.
Robbins (1998) defines a manager as an individual who achieves goals through other people. Hellriegel, et al (2008) define a manager as a person who plans, organizes, directs, and controls the allocation of human, material, financial, and information resources in pursuit of the organisation’s goals.
Managers get things done through other people; they make decisions, allocate resources, and direct the activities of others to attain goals, Robbins (1998). This work is performed by managers in an organisation. Robbins (1998) describes an organisation as a consciously coordinated social unit, composed of two or more people, which functions on a relatively continuous basis to achieve a common goal or set of goals.
Hellriegel et al (2008) describes an organisation as a collection of people working together to achieve a common purpose, and the purpose of any organisation is to develop products and services which meet the needs of consumers.
According to Hellriegel et al (2008), the concept of ‘management’ refers to the tasks or activities involved in maintaining an organisation namely; planning, organizing, leading and controlling. Thus we can outline four basic managerial tasks, which are to plan, organize, lead, and to control.
Leadership involves influencing others to act towards the attainment of a goal and is based on interpersonal relationships, not administrative activities and directives, Hellriegel et al (2008). Robbins (1998) defines leadership as the ability to influence a group toward the achievement of goals. Hellriegel et al (2008) outlines four models of leadership namely; traits, behavioural, contingency, and transformational leadership models.
According to Hellriegel et al (2008), the behavioural model is associated with leadership styles such as ‘Theory (X) and Theory (Y)’, ‘Considerate leader’, ‘Initiating-structure leadership’, ‘Production-centred leadership’, and ‘Employee-centred leadership’; The contingency model is associated with leadership styles such as ‘Relationship-oriented leader’, ‘Task-oriented leader’, ‘Directive leader’, ‘Supportive leader’, ‘Achievement-oriented leader’, and ‘Participative leadership’; And transformational models are associated with leading by motivating, by appealing to followers’ ideals and moral values, and inspiring them to think about problems in new ways.
Robbins (1998) states that behavioural leadership styles lack consideration of situational factors that influence success or failure, and do not recognise changes in situations, further, based on contingency theories, leaders who rate high in people orientation should end up with satisfied employees. Robbins (1998) posits that task oriented or people oriented leadership styles are more likely to lead to high employee performance and satisfaction.
While much of the body of research in the last decade has centred on transactional and transformational leadership as initially developed by Bass (1985), Stogdill’s (1963) initiating structure and consideration styles of leadership are still an important approach within the body of research (Dale & Fox , 2008). According to Dale and Fox (2008), ‘the initiating structure and supervisor consideration have an effect on organizational commitment’. According to Stogdill (1963) cited in Davenport (2010), ‘A leader’s initiating structure is the degree to which a superior actively defines his or her own role as well as the roles of followers toward the attainment of the group’s or organization’s goals’. Examples of this leadership style include assigning and defining tasks and schedules, defining procedures, showing followers how things should be done, and outlining detailed measures of performance, Stogdill (1963) (cited by Davenport, 2010). According to Dale and Fox (2008), ‘supervisor consideration is when a leader develops an environment of support, respect, trust, and friendliness’. Superiors engaging in this leadership style will interact with employees on a professional level, an emotional level and a spiritual level. Stogdill (1963) cited in Davenport (2010) states that “leaders will actively discuss important issues with followers, show concern for employee problems, accept employee suggestions, and treat employees as equals”.
Griffiths (1956) cited in Miller (1981) posited that ‘if it can be shown that groups which achieve their goals efficiently, exhibit a high degree of cohesiveness, think well of their leaders, do not fight much among themselves, agree on their objectives, have confidence in their equipment, and so on, then these manifestations represent high morale, but only if a relationship to goal achievement can be shown’.
According to Fink (2011), ‘the behaviour of individuals employed by an organisation is driven by employee morale which may be defined as the spirits of a person or group, as exhibited by confidence, cheerfulness, discipline, and willingness to perform assigned tasks. Fink (2011) posits that “morale may be thought of as a group phenomenon but an individual matter; group morale depends on the morale of each individual in a group, and high morale in a group means that most of the people in a group have a good sense of esprit”.
The American Heritage Dictionary of English Language (2000) defines ‘esprit’ as “liveliness of mind or spirit; sprightliness”. Finger (2005) cited in Fink (2011) state that “morale is more influenced from the top down that from the bottom up. No single factor consistently explains good or poor morale, rather a combination of related factors results in good or poor morale.”
Finger (2005) cited in Fink (2011) maintains that ‘in order to improve the esprit of a group, the morale of each individual in the group must be improved, which is best achieved through the personal missionary work of the manager. Greenleaf (1996) also cited in Fink (2011) defines the manager’s role in improving group and individual morale as servant-leadership. According to Greenleaf (1996), the servant-leader is servant first, after which a conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead, thus, the servant-leader ensures that other people’s highest priority needs are being served.
Hasan and Subhani (2011) describe employee morale as the relationship that an employee or group has to their work. According to Hasan and Subhani (2011), “morale can be divided into two basic categories, high and low morale. Yousset (1998) cited in Hasan and Subhani (2011) states that ‘high employee morale is reflected on their work or the output they produce which is positive’. According to BÏŒ (2009) also cited in Hasan and Subhani (2011), “employees with low morale produce negative unhappy feelings about their workplace, and when they feel unappreciated, they tend to show inabilities of non-cooperative behaviour towards their work”.
According to Morris and Sherman (1981), employee morale can also be defined by the ’employee’s commitment’ shown while working in a group. Keller (2006) concluded that “belief in self and the trusts with one’s organisation are positive indicators of employee morale”. McKnight et al (2001) assert that ‘morale is the degree to which an employee feels good about his or her work and work environment. Lawler (1978) cited in McKnight et al (2001) asserted that “morale should be distinguished from motivation, which refers to readiness to act”.
Miller (1981) suggested that it was easy to determine when employees have high morale. According to assertion made by Miller (1981), we can infer that in an organisation with a positive spirit, employees; Look forward to going to work in the morning and are not in a hurry to leave in the evening; Exhibit concern for the direction in which the organisation and its programs are going; Actively participate in organisational structures and functions; Willingly perform various organisational tasks that are above and beyond their stated duties; Derive satisfaction from being a member of the organisation system; are supportive of the organisation, its goals and philosophy; Are actively involved in improving organisation-community relations.
Hackman and Oldham (1975), Mowday et al (1979), both cited in McKnight et al (2001), state that ‘morale encompasses constructs like intrinsic motivation, job satisfaction, experienced work meaningfulness, organisational commitment, and pride in one’s work’. Hasan and Subhani (2011) conclude that “it is the management and organisation’s role to aspire to build commitment and concentrate on ‘nourishment and nurturing’ for establishing positive employee morale”. Thus for the purposes of this study, the broad term ‘morale’ is used in the sense it is used in common speech, within the context of these definitions.
Motivation and Job Satisfaction
Hellriegel et al (2008) defines motivation as ‘any influence that triggers, directs, or maintains goal-directed behaviour’. Robbins (1998) defines motivation as ‘the willingness to exert high levels of effort towards organisational goals, conditioned by the effort’s ability to satisfy some individual need’. Grobler et al (2006) defines motivation as ‘the force that energises behaviour, gives direction to behaviour and underlies the tendency to persist even in the face of one or more obstacles’.
There is abundance of literature on motivation theories amongst which we can outline; Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, Alderfer’s ERG theory, McClelland’s learned needs theory, these which define individual differences; Herzberg’s two-factor theory, Job enrichment theory, and Adam’s equity theory, these define job and organisation contexts; Skinner’s reinforcement theory, and Locke’s goal-setting theory, these define managerial behaviour; Vroom’s basic expectancy theory, and Integrated expectancy model, these define motivation, Hellriegel et al (2008).
Hellriegel et al (2008) define satisfaction as ‘an employee’s attitude towards the work situation’. Locke (1978) cited in Wong and Tay (2010) described job satisfaction as ‘the positive attitude and emotion towards one’s job and work environment’. The positive feeling results from employees’ perception of the extent to which their job complements their personal goals, Wong and Tay (2010). According to Wong and Tay (2010), empirical findings suggest that satisfied employees are more likely to be affectively committed to their organisation than those who are dissatisfied, citing the studies done by Mathieu and Hamel (1989), Williams and Hazer (1986).
To that regard, Herzberg’s two-factor theory provides a basis for investigating variables relating to job satisfaction and thus to employee morale as Herzberg conducted research aimed at specifically identifying factors that lead to dissatisfaction and those that lead to satisfaction in the workforce.
According to Herzberg, two separate and distinct aspects of the environment are responsible for creating feelings of job satisfaction and job dissatisfaction, the motivator factors and hygiene factors; Motivator factors are job characteristics (such as the challenge of the work itself, responsibility, recognition, achievement, advancement, and growth) that should when present, create high levels of motivation; Motivators lead to superior performance only if no dissatisfiers are present; Hygiene factors are non-task characteristics of the work environment that create dissatisfaction like compensation and level of responsibility, working conditions, company policies, supervision, co-workers, salary, formal status, and job security; Hygiene factors need to be present at least to some extent, to avoid dissatisfaction, Hellriegel et al (2008).
According to Hellriegel et al (2008), Herzberg’s theory suggests that although these positive environmental factors will prevent dissatisfaction, they will not generate feelings of excitement about the job and organisation, motivator factors must also be present.
Approaches to Management Structure
Robbins (1998) states that an organisational structure defines how job tasks are formally divided, grouped, and coordinated. According to Robbins (1998), an organisation’s structural design will be determined by elements such as work specialization, departmentalization, chain of command, span of control, centralization and decentralization, and formalization. Hellriegel et al (2008) outlines seven approaches to management structure; The Traditional view point of management; Behavioural view point; Systems view point; Contingency view point; Quality view point; Flexible management view point; and Principle value management view point.
While body of research in the last decade has centred on ‘Quality management’, ‘Flexible management’, and ‘Principle value management’ approaches as initially developed by Deming (1900-1993), and Senge (n.d.), the ‘Traditional approach to management’ and more specifically Webber’s (1864-1920) ‘Bureaucratic management structure’ is an important approach within the body of research as it provides clear descriptors or elements that define the structure of most State or Government Institutions such as the South African Police Service.
According to Hellriegel et al (2008), the traditional approach to management is characterised by management structures such as bureaucratic management, scientific management, and administrative management.
SAPS Management Structure
According to the annual report of the year 2010/2011, released by the South African Police Service, the structure of the SAPS is a hierarchical structure that follows a top-down approach with a clearly defined and focused chain of command, flowing from the Minister of Police, to the National Commissioner, to Deputy National Commissioners and Provincial Commissioners etc. (SAPS, 2011).
The structure also reflects a clearly defined division of labour and all the classical characteristics of a bureaucratic structure.
Leadership and Morale in Perspective
In a study aimed at exploring the morale, commitment, satisfaction and perceptions of staff, at UNISA’s College of Economics and Management Sciences, Ngambi (2010) found that there is a relationship between leadership and morale, Ngambi (2010). Results of the study further revealed that, ‘aspects that influence employee morale include competencies such as communication, building trust, developing teams and promoting team-related activities, dealing with internal and external change, succession planning and direct supervision, Ngambi (2010). According to Ngambi (2010), these results indicated that leadership approaches can influence staff morale.
Karimi et al (2011) found that a correlational relationship existed between management styles and employee productivity in a study of ‘the relationship between management styles and productivity of employees’ at the Islamic Azad University. Ramey (2002) found a positive, moderate correlation between job satisfaction of ‘Staff Nurses’ and transformational leadership of ‘Nurse Managers’, and an inverse, weak relationship between job satisfaction of ‘Staff Nurses’ and transactional leadership of ‘Nurse Managers’.
Ekaterini (2010) investigated the impact of leadership styles on job commitment, job satisfaction, team communication, and managerial effectiveness, and found that leadership styles containing basic characteristics such as type of branches (structure), age and educational level are inter-related with communication, commitment, satisfaction and effectiveness. Results of a study (to determine the moderating effect of the locus of control on leadership style and organisational commitment) conducted by Davenport (2010) revealed that ‘separately, leader style and locus of control are important drivers of organisational commitment’, Davenport (2010).
Dolatabadi and Safa (2010) found directive leadership to have a negative effect on shared values and employees’ commitment to service quality, whilst it had a positive influence on employees’ role clarity, this within the banking industry in Iran. The results of this study also revealed that ‘participative leadership has a direct influence on shared values and employees’ commitment to service quality, but this leadership style did not influence role clarity, Dolatabadi & Safa (2010).
Shahzad et al (2010) in their study of ‘Human Resource Practices and Leadership Styles as Predictors of Employee Attitude and Behaviour’ found that human resource practices and leadership styles positively predicted organisational commitment; however, they did not predict citizenship behaviours. Their regression results revealed that human resource practices were more important than leadership styles in predicting organisational commitment of valued human capital, Shahzad et al (2010).
Wang et al (2010) found inter alia, that charismatic, transformational, and visionary leadership styles were positively related to organisational performance. McKnight et al (2001) found (in a study evaluating the relationship between feedback, incentive control, autonomy, and morale) that the three management controls (feedback, incentive control, and autonomy) did not, by themselves improve employee morale, however, moderation of each by a close ’employee-management relationship’ improved morale. McKnight et al (2001) found that “employee-management closeness itself was a strong morale booster, and ’employee management relationship closeness’ and ‘the morale of employees’ positively affected perceived harmonious teamwork”.
Hasan and Subhani (2011) found that various motivational efforts of co-workers may have a positive impact on employee morale, for a short while and does not guarantee job commitment. In a study on the communication correlates of employee morale, Braid and Bradley (1978) found communication content and communication style to have a distinct impact on employee morale, whereas, the employee’s relationship with a supervisor seemed to operate independently of the relationship with the workgroup.
Van Dyk and Coetzee (2012) found that ’employee’s satisfaction with retention factors such as compensation, job characteristics, opportunities for training and development, supervisor support, career opportunities, and work-life balance, has a significant relationship with their organisational commitment’.
Empirical literature suggests a existence of relationships between ‘leadership styles’ and certain specific variables such as ‘supervisor-employee relations, employee attitude and behaviour, job satisfaction, productivity, job commitment, team communication, shared values, role clarity, organisational performance, inter alia’. Most of these variables have been identified in empirical literature as construct elements of morale. It therefore can be inferred with confidence that empirical research supports existence of direct and correlational relationships between leadership and morale, Dolatabadi and Safa (2010); Shahzad et al (2010); Wang et al (2010); McKnight et al (2001); Ekaterini (2010); Ngambi (2010).
On the other hand, empirical research literature reveals a number of variables that correlate or have a direct relationship with morale such as human resource practices, communication, management structure, work environment, co-workers, job characteristics, opportunities for training development, work-life balance, inter alia.
Applying Herzberg’s theory to the South African Police Service, six variables that encompass pertinent hygiene factors and motivators can be identified, and can thus serve as indicators of morale. They include:
Management styles as it relates to administration, management and implementation of policies in the police;
Communication as it relates to content and style of communication by managers;
Quality of home life of police officers;
Promotions as they relate to advancement of police officers;
Structure of management as it relates to supervision;
Leedy and Ormrod (2005:94-97) cited in De Vos et al (2011:64) states that ‘the qualitative approach of research is used to answer questions about the complex nature of phenomena, with the purpose of describing and understanding the phenomena from the participants’ point of view. Creswell (2007:37-39) also cited in De Vos et al (2011:65) state that ‘qualitative research is a form of inquiry in which researchers make an interpretation of what they see, hear and understand. Thus, in this study, the qualitative research method will be employed to specifically undertake the ‘instrumental case study’ to elaborate on the identified central theoretical statements and gain a better understanding of ‘the morale of police officers’ in Queenstown. The dependent variable X to be studied is the ‘morale of police officers’, whilst the independent variables to be observed are the ‘management style of management, communication, quality of home life of police officers, promotions by rank, structure of management, and community relations.
The Instrumental Case Study will observe the feelings and experiences of a selected group of police officers in Queenstown for the past year 2012.
Unit of Analysis
The focus of this study is on assessing how the management style of station management has influenced the morale of police officers in Queenstown. Queenstown Police Station has a staff complement of (360) Police officials, and thus, for the purposes of this study, a group of (36) Police officers will be sampled and observed.
Identification of Variables
The main variables that are the focus of this study;
Morale, to be denoted as variable (X) and for our purposes is thee dependent variable that is subject of this study,
Management styles, to be denoted as variable (O1) together with,
Communication, to be denoted (O2),
Quality of home life, to be denoted (O3),
Promotions, to be denoted as variable (O4),
Structure of management, to be denoted as variable (O5), and
Community relations, to be denoted as variable (O6), are the independent variables, subject to this study.
One must also note and acknowledge the presence of other independent variables that directly influence employee morale, and hence will directly have the same influence on the dependent variable X. These other independent (nuisance) variables are now stated as follows; Job characteristics = Y1; Salary Package = Y2; Human resource practices = Y3; Job satisfaction = Y4; Legislation = Y5. Each of these variables will be studied to observe the degree to which they were present and influenced the dependent variables so as to reduce and or account for the posttest discrepancy (on effect on the dependent variable) between the X and non-X groups.
Sample and Sample Type
Given the nature of our unit of analysis (police officers), the population of Queenstown Police Station is made up of an estimated (360) police officers inclusive of all SAPS police components in Queenstown, (SAPS, 2012).
Employing random sampling, will not serve any practical purposes for achieving representativity as the population is hard to get and with a barrier of organisational culture that manifests itself through shyness or a code of silence among police officers, hence probability sampling will not be considered. The sample of 10% (36) police officers in our case is considered to be sufficiently representative. Thus non-probability (snowball) sampling will be used to draw our sample of (36) police officers.
Data Collection Methods
The focus group and one-on-one interview are the ideal data collection methods for this kind of study, however, because of the influences of culture within police organisations, it becomes almost impossible to get willing participants into focus groups and interviews. In the event that one could eventually put together a focus group, the reliability of data becomes compromised as participant’s openness and honesty would be withheld by participants. On the other hand, a questionnaire presents a reliable instrument to collect data that is not compromised by any fears, reservations or researcher interference. Participants are afforded the anonymity, and thus can be open and honest without prejudice or fear. Further, participant cooperation is encouraged by participant’s opportunity to complete questionnaire at own time and space. A questionnaire will thus be used as an instrument for data collection.
Due to the importance of direction and intensity of the respondents’ perceptions, a Likert-type rating scale will be used. Respondents will be requested to indicate whether a particular phenomenon is effective, very effective or not effective. Collected data will be interpreted by the researcher by following processes of inductive reasoning to reach some logical conclusion about observed phenomena.
Chapter 1 Introduction & Problem Statement
Chapter 2 Theoretical Literature
Chapter 3 Empirical Research Results
Chapter 4 Conclusions and Recommendations
The study will be conducted over a period of 10 months which will be utilised as follows:
Data collection (questionnaire)
04 February 2013
24 days will be spent collecting data from (36) units/individuals
04 March 2013
One month will be spent analysing and interpreting data
Presentation of results
At completion of data analysis 20 April 2013
The following is a projection of the expenditure:
Internet / Email
The researcher will personally perform fieldwork thus eliminating the cost of hiring and training fieldworkers
Travelling expenses of the researcher during fieldwork
Research report (language edition)
Preliminary List of References
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