Ateneo study cites factors for strong police performance

AN Ateneo School of Government  (ASOG) study showed that “police officers who received managerial skills training, not just operational skills training, have higher likelihood to perform better” suggesting that purposive leadership development programs like the one being implemented by Philippine National Police chief General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa played a key role in having more better-performing police officers.

This was among the results of the first-ever study on perennial problem on low public perception on PNP performance conducted by the ASOG in partnership with the PNP.

The research study entitled  “Leadership Study Diagnosing Factors Behind Success and Failure in the Philippine National Police” interviewed 479 officers and men of the National Capital Region Police Office by the Ateneo researchers.

The study said “more assignment transfers for a police officer were associated with a higher likelihood that the police officer would perform better.”

“From a governance perspective, this coheres with the effort to prevent officers from being ‘captured’ through corrupt transactions whose risk tends to increase with more familiarity in an assignment,” said Dr. Ronald U. Mendoza, dean of the ASOG, which is being run by the Ateneo de Manila University.

“Rotations help to prevent over-familiarization with potentially corrupt elements in any one assignment, and it also provides police officers with the opportunities to exhibit performance and gain more experience in different assignments,” Dr. Mendoza said.

The findings come in the wake of the PNP leadership’s decision to reshuffle many of its officers in the field including those assigned in administrative units like finance, logistics and comptrollerships as well as police operational units and regional, provincial and city/municipal stations  “overstaying” in their posts.

The PNP in partnership with ASOG conducted a study that mapped out some of the main factors that both build or erode key leadership qualities and performance in the PNP.

“Today, the PNP faces myriad challenges, spanning governance, corruption and national security threats. It is therefore crucial to secure a strong leadership pipeline equipped not only in facing these challenges, but also strengthening policing effectiveness and over-all security sector reforms,” said Mendoza.

The study objectively examined four main factors namely personality traits, organizational culture, demographic profile and professional history as predictor of performance of police officers.

A total of 479 officers and men of the National Capital Region Police Office participated in the study in which the quantitative analysis used a set of empirical data from personal data sheets, paper-and-pen personality test and organizational culture survey while the qualitative analysis used content and thematic analysis from data collected from focus group discussions.

“The goal is to build on this first study in advancing continued governance and evidence-based institutional reforms for the organization,” Mendoza explained.

The study showed that “strong performing police officers” -- defined as police officers who have received awards and those with zero-cases filed against them -- are more intrinsically driven to succeed rather than be influenced by other individuals, act more independently of others, remain firm on their stance, demonstrate confidence and have lower self-doubt.