The influence of age and job rank on employee commitment among police officers in the kenya police service
A look at past studies on employee commitment revealed that most researchers have only examined such individual correlates of employee commitment as physical, mental and dispositional differences. What seemed to be lacking was a fairly comprehensive approach to examine, in a single study, personal correlates of employee commitment specifically looking at the influence of age and job rank. Such a study would enable a more valid perspective to be adopted with regards to whether the stated variables do or do not constitute correlate of overall employee commitment. This research project was to provide empirical evidence to ascertain which of these personal variables, if any, are correlates of overall employee commitment within the police service in Kenya. The research project addressed the question: What is the influence of age and job rank on employee commitment among Kenya police officers? To achieve this, 169 respondents were issued with questionnaires and the response rate was 94%. It was established that 96.2% of police officers are below the age of 40 years and that 69.2% were constables, the lowest rank in the police service. This has implication for employee commitment, behavior and work attitude as how career growth is managed has an overall effect on commitment and organizational success. The findings further indicated that Age and job rank are positively related to employee commitment. The overall mean scores for the three types of commitment were as follows: continuance commitment- 3.074, affective commitment-2.618 and normative commitment- 2.9. These results revealed that age and job rank has an influence on employee commitment. The high means scores for Continuance commitment were explained by the presence of a youthful workforce that is ready to bear with the stressful working conditions in the police service and the absence of greener pastures elsewhere. This may be due to the high levels of unemployment in Kenya hence the respondents have very few if any options but to continue serving in the Kenya police service. Affective commitment scored the least which may be an indicator of absence of self pride as employees of the Kenya police service and the low levels on involvement of employees as the command structure is military in nature with minimal involvement of lower cadre officers in decision making. Normative commitment scored fairly since the cost benefit analysis of leaving the organization favored the police service as an employer since the job market is saturated with job seekers hence one has to continue to hold onto what he or she has already secured in terms of employment. The existence of a big percent of officers who are form four leavers with no post secondary qualification may be another reason for the normative commitment scores. These results are significant for theory, policy and practice as low scores for Normative commitment calls for the police service commission to come up with policies that that ensure that it is possible for police officers to fairly access promotion opportunities as they grow in age so as to ensure that the three aspects of employee commitment are well addressed hence realizing and attaining full commitment of police officers in their work.