The Relationship Between Higher Education and Job Satisfaction: A Study of Municipal Police Officers in Two Cities

Date of Submission


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Science in Management Systems (Sc.D.)




Judith A. Neal

Committee Member

William M. Norton

Committee Member

Gordon P. Simerson

LC Subject Headings

Police--Attitudes, Community policing, Job satisfaction

Call No. at the Univ. of New Haven Library

AS 36 .N290 Mgmt. Syst. 1994 no.2


This research examined to what extent higher education was related to job satisfaction facets, including achievement, growth in work, advancement, autonomy and responsibility. The study also looked at how majoring in criminal justice in college might influence a respondent's level of satisfaction for each job facet. Further, the research investigated how levels of job satisfaction might be affected by the degree to which officers perceive that their department has implemented community policing. The population consisted of police officers of all ranks from departments in two cities, one located in Connecticut and the other in New York.

The research findings revealed that police officers are only moderately satisfied with their jobs, with the greatest dissatisfaction being expressed with opportunities for advancement. Some statistically significant differences were identified for satisfaction with autonomy. Overall, the job satisfaction facets were not found to be strongly related to higher education.

For those persons who went to college, there was no statistical difference in level of satisfaction for those who majored in criminal justice as opposed to those who majored in another field. The research suggests that an officer's perception of the extent to which his or her police department is involved in community policing affects feelings of satisfaction for each job facet. Respondents who believe that their department has implemented community policing to a more advanced degree are generally more satisfied with the job facets.

This study specifically addressed the question of intrinsic job satisfaction facets and higher education for police officers and demonstrated that, in general, little relationship exists. These findings add to the management literature on job satisfaction and provide some of the first findings of this type for a police population.

The study also represents an initial look at the relationship between job satisfaction and community policing. The information that was discovered adds to the base upon which further research on the management implications of community policing can be built.