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A STUDY OF FACTORS AFFECTING PARTICIPATION AND PERFORMANCE OF ...
A STUDY OF FACTORS AFFECTING PARTICIPATION AND PERFORMANCE OF POLICE OFFICERS UNDERTAKING THE QUEENSLAND POLICE SERVICE’S MANAGEMENT DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM BY DISTANCE EDUCATION BARBARA LEIGH JACK M.Ed. B.Ed.St. G.Dip.Ed. G.Cert.(TESOL) T.C. A thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy The work presented in this thesis is, to the best of my knowledge and belief, original, except as acknowledged in the text, and the thesis has not been submitted, either in whole or in part, for any academic award at this or any other tertiary educational institution. All research procedures reported in this thesis received approval from the Ethics Committee. Faculty of Education Queensland Research Office ACU - National December 2005 ABSTRACT Management education for police officers has played a significant role in the desired transformation of police services around the world from vocational to professional status. This thesis reports research that employed qualitative and quantitative data collection methods to investigate the factors affecting participation and performance of Queensland Police Service officers who undertook the Management Development Program by distance education mode. Three phases of data collection were employed. The first phase involved interviews with facilitators of the program about their perceptions of factors that affected participation and performance of officers enrolled in the program. Data from this phase were used to develop a questionnaire with seven internally consistent scales. This questionnaire constituted the second phase of data collection and was completed by officers at the ranks of senior constable, sergeant and senior sergeant who had successfully completed at least one unit of the Management Development Program. Data gained from the questionnaire were used to investigate the relationship between an officer's characteristics and the factors that influenced participation and performance in the Management Development Program. An analysis of these data provided the basis for the development of a schedule for interviews that were conducted with the manager of the program and the head of the School of Management. Central to these two interviews were implications for the delivery of the Management Development Program as part of the Queensland Police Service's continuing education and professional development program. These interviews constituted the third phase of data collection for this study. This study found factors that influenced the participation and performance of officers undertaking the program were their attitude to in-service professional development, how they perceived professional development, issues about their success potential, the level of personal, professional and academic support they received, the impact of aspects related ii to program delivery, and discourse with facilitators of the program. A model that provides a comprehensive representation of the relationships among the variables was developed. Key recommendations derived from this study have implications for the clinical delivery of the Management Development Program. Recommendations focus on the need to market the benefits of the program to individual officers, to provide enhanced student support services, to ensure the appropriateness of the learning materials, and to establish orientation programs and assignment-writing workshops for officers. Recommendations for the Queensland Police Service include the need to market the program’s importance to continuing education and professional development for officers as well as the program’s contribution to ensuring officers possessed sound management skills. Recommendations focussing on human resources include ensuring that numbers of facilitators are adequate to meet the learning needs of officers and that all facilitators possess appropriate postgraduate qualifications. It is also recommended that the postgraduate level of the Management Development Program be reviewed to determine if it is the most appropriate for the needs of officers and the service. iii
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