Job Satisfaction and Performance of Police Officers in Penang


The purpose of this research was to examine if job satisfaction predicts job performance among police officers in Malaysia. Data was collected from 262 police officers who are currently working in the Royal Malaysia Police (RMP) located in Georgrtwon, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia. Participation in the research was voluntary. The results indicate that job satisfaction is positively correlated with performance. Supervision, co-workers, and work have a significantly positive impact on job performance, while the effect on pay and promotion is not significant. The findings of this study provide some insight to extend research in organizational behavior among police officers in North Earth Police Department, Pulau Pinang. In addition, studying the relationship between job satisfaction and job performance has synergistic and complementary effects on each of employee attitudes that exceed the individual effects. Intervention to improve the police officers’ job satisfaction should be kept developed in the future, especially to enhance the better performance in RMP. Implications, limitation, and suggestion for further research and practitioners are discussed in this study.

Keywords: Job satisfactionjob performancepolice officersMalaysia


Normally, the public sector organizations known as the largest employer in many countries (Knies, Boselie, Gould-Williams, & Vandenabeele, 2017). The public sector employment can be characterized as being labor intensive, as the performance of public sector workers is critical to the delivery of services (Knies et al., 2017). In the globalization changing widely, the public sector always try to provide quality service and high performance organizations based on the expectations and needs of their stakeholders including the communities, civilian and customer (Wisniewski, 2001).

According to De Waal (2010) noted that an employee is able to anticipate, respond and adapt to change is crucial element will achieving high-performance in the public sector .It strongly support by Danish and Usman (2010) defined the employee as important assets and as the key for development for success in the organization. The studies have done by scholars show that job performance and job satisfaction are strongly correlation positive (Agyare, Yuhui, Mensah, Aidoo, & Ansah, 2016; Koedel, Springer, & Tan, 2017; Shaju & Subhashini, 2017).

The Malaysian Public Service (MPS) has considered a crucial component in the economic and social development in Malaysia (Woo, 2015). MPS has responsive to make changing and transforming in the public sector to stay relevant, efficiently and optimize value creation. The government always want to provide high-performance through focus public administration and management research and reform for many years (De Waal, 2010). In the years 2004, programs ‘New Public Management’ introduced as a benchmark and key indicator embarked high-performance of all public sector (Siddiquee, 2006). One agency chosen are Royal Malaysia Police as the sample of the study of job satisfaction.

Problem Statement

The Royal Malaysia Police (RMP) took its formation of Malaysia in 1807. RMP responsible largely law enforcement, order maintenance and services in the country. In particular, crime reduces is one priority of the RMP (Royal Malaysia Police, 2018). In the Government Transformation Programme (GTP), the RMP give full responsibility to decreasing crime index 5% every year until 2020 (Pelan Strategik PDRM, 2015). Recently, the public is dissatisfaction with service delivery, performance and weakness RMP. In the years 2017, there are total 1,111 cases complaints from citizen included 10 agencies (Ministry): RMP is highest received complaints 274 cases (24.67%), State Health Department are 222 cases (19.99%), State Education Department are 200 cases (18.00%), Public Works Department are 117 cases (10.53%), Road Transport Department are 89 cases (8.01%), Immigration Department are 84 cases (7.56%), Kuala Lumpur City Hall is 79 cases (7.11%), Department of Irrigation and Drainage are 46 cases (4.14%) (Public Complaints Bureau, 2017).

As a result, poor operational management declined confidence among the public on RMP as the agency which responsible for upholding the law in the country (Kadir & Jusoff, 2009). In add, another issue has reported similar likely unethical misconduct (Klockars, Ivkovich, Harver, & Haberfeld, 2000), integrity (Bakri, Said, & Karim, 2015) and assets misappropriation (Karim, Said, & Bakri, 2015).

2.1. Job Satisfaction

Job satisfaction (JS) has numerous definitions and concept due is widely research in various complex phenomenon by the researcher (Smith, Kendall, & Huhn, 1969; Yang & Hwang, 2014). Job satisfaction is a feeling of an emotional effective response to a job (Smith et al., 1969). JS is recognized in industrial and organizational as a condition for successful job performance (Shmailan, 2016) and constructs in the industrial or organizational via the relationship between individual and organizational outcomes (Dormann & Zapf, 2001). Many studies have reviewed job satisfaction at different stages of development similar like educational (Smith et al., 1969), healthcare (Maqbali, 2015), and police (Bennett, 1997; Kuo, 2015).The job satisfaction such as pay, promotion, co-workers, supervision, and work has been considered as the base strategies to increase organizational performance (Smith et al., 1969).

2.1.1. Pay

Pay is crucial factor influenced on the job satisfaction (Lee, Esen, & DiNicola, 2017). Pay is the one of the part to help the employee for achieved their basic expectation and satisfaction the higher levels of need (Ogbonnaya, Daniels, & Nielsen, 2017). This led to the first set hypotheses:

H1: Pay has significant direct impact job satisfaction employee

2.1.2. Promotion

Promotions employee includes provided the better increment, upward rank of the organization, and enhancement responsibility (Lazear, 2000). The success of the organizations depends on the employee satisfaction and dissatisfaction with the promotion policies (Noor, Khanl, & Naseem, 2015). Many researchers give their opinion that promotion is strongly correlated and direct connect to job satisfaction (Busari, Mughal, Khan, Rasool, & Kiyani, 2017; Mughal & Busari, 2015; Noor et al., 2015). Thus, the following hypotheses:

H2: Promotion has significant direct impact job satisfaction employee.

2.1.3. Supervision

Supervision can define as the relationship with employee satisfaction because supervisor support of emotional and technology will increase job satisfaction (Johnson, 2015). Research has found out that have significant impact supervisor support on job satisfaction (Johnson, 2015; Lambert, Qureshi, Klahm, Smith, & Frank, 2017). The supervisor also known as the front-line manager responsible for supervising the employee and responsible regulated activates of the lower-level employee (Nel et al., 2004), the following hypotheses:

H3: Supervision has significant direct impact job satisfaction employee.

2.1.4. Co-workers

Co-workers are the interactions with each other co-workers including the extent relied on need, help and receptive to work-related problems in the organization (Menguc & Boichuk, 2012). In the survey of two universities in Texas, 174 personnels have taken to show that co-workers support is positive on job satisfaction (Charoensukmongkol, Moqbel, & Gutierrez-Wirsching, 2016). Thus, the following hypotheses:

H4: Co-workers has significant direct impact job satisfaction employee.

2.1.5. Work

Robbins and Judge (2014) refer to the job as an actual task given to an individual for learning, personal growth and responsible it. Satisfaction with work also reflects the employees feeling their actual job including interest, challenging, respected their own task rather being boring and felt uncomfortable it. Evans, Pucik, and Björkman (2011) noted that positive relationship job satisfaction of employees appears when perceives work conditions are good and same with their expectation, the following hypotheses:

H5: Work has significant direct impact job satisfaction employee.

2.2. Job Performance

Job performance refers to the ability employee able to achieve, attains, and accomplish the organizational goals (Ismail, Suh-Suh, Ajis, & Dollah, 2009). The job performance is a very essential part which plays an important role in achieving organizational goals (Kappagoda, Othman, Zainul, & Alwis, 2014; Wang, Yen, & Liu, 2015). In public administration, the study tested hypotheses on job satisfaction or job performance (Kim, Egan, & Moon, 2014), but no investigated the relationship between job satisfaction and job performance. Goldstein (1979) has highlighted that traditionally police agencies over-focus on internal management, rules, and regulations. Police agencies have measured their performance based on law enforcement similar crime rate, arrests and times response rather than community service (problem-solving, counseling or providing help) (Davis, 2012). As modern law enforcement agencies engage in diversity task such as crime prevention, traffic safety, preventing drug and prosecutes culprit (Royal Malaysia Police, 2018).

Research Questions

The present study aims to examine the relationship between job satisfaction and job performance among police officers is located in Northern Malaysia. With reference to the research objectives stated in this study, the research questions to be answered are as follows:

  • What is the relationship between job satisfaction and job performance in the

North East Police Department?

  • Does job satisfaction (such as pay, promotion, supervision, co-workers, and work) influence the job performance in the North East Police Department?

  • Determine the correlation between job satisfaction (such as pay, promotion, supervision, co-workers, and work) and job performance in the North East Police Department.

Purpose of the Study

The objectives of this study were to measure the impact of job satisfaction on the job performance and assesses in police officers who currently working in NEPD, Pulau Pinang. In order to materialize these objectives, the following specific objectives were considered.

  • to examine the relationship between job satisfaction (such as pay, promotion, supervision, co-workers, and work) and job performance in the North East Police Department.

  • to understand if the job satisfaction (such as such as pay, promotion, supervision, co-workers, and work) increasing the job performance in the RMP in the North East Police Department.

Research Methods

The population comprises sample was a police officer from the department in District Police North East Penang. Penang has the highest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita in the 2014 and 2015 (World Economic Forum, 2017). The potential significance George Town, Penang as World Heritage listing attractive tourists as destinations tourism, which is deemed a more profitable and sustainable market (Hall & Piggin, 2002). Usually, the tourism is potential variables that can influence the crime in the urban (Lisowska, 2017). Over the past several years, the world urban population have been changing rapidly of urbanization and rural population became more decreasing steeply (UN-HABITAT, 2015). In the years 2015, the world population are 7.3 billion and 53% are living in urban areas. The percentage will increase to 9.8 billion in 2050 which 69% will be urban (World Population, 2015). The rapidly in growth in urbanization, creates some social problems, and is one major contributor the high level urban crime in the countries (Ghani, 2017; Amin, Rahim, & Geshina, 2014).

Total 300 set questionnaires were disturbed and 262 were returned and complete to analyse. The impact effectively seriously at sampling less than 50 cases but if samples more 200 cases making the effectively diminishes (Hair, Black, Babin, & Anderson, 2014). The score scale including with 1 for “no”, 2 for “neutral”, and 3 for “yes”. The survey contained the five facets job descriptive index: pay, promotion, supervision, co-workers and work (Smith et al., 1969). We also delete all the respondents who missing more than 5 missing points across the JDI. The data collected was analysed by using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 2.0. The statistical analyses include the mean, standard deviation, and reliability value.


The statistical analyses were computed using SPSS version 12.0 for Window to extract the data and results. There are several results which are displayed below from study. Table 1 : below explains the background of the respondents. 86.6% respondents were percent male and 13.4% respondents were female. Age shows 6.5% were 21-25 years, 29.8% were age 26-30, 22.1%were 31-35 years, 12.2% were 36-40 years, 6.1% were 41-45 years and 46-50 years, 11.5% were 51-55 years and 5.7% were 56-60 years. The ethnicity divided into 4 group; first Malay 82.4%, Chinese 6.5%, India 5.0%, and others 6.1%. Majority of the respondents are between 26-30 years old (29.8%). Most of the respondents are Malay (82.4%) and educational backgrounds are the secondary school (76%).

Table 1 -
See Full Size >

Table 2 shows that all of the questionnaires in the questionnaires were reliable since, the scales used highly reliable for data analysis because the minimum acceptable range for Cronbach alpha is 0.7 (Cortina, 1993). The value of Cronbach Alpha was 0.74 for question impacts of pay towards employee job satisfaction, 0.69 for questions promotion towards employee job satisfaction, 0.77 for question impact of supervision towards employee job satisfaction, 0.89 for question impact of co-workers towards employee job satisfaction, and 0.67 for question impact of work towards employee job satisfaction.

Table 2 -
See Full Size >

Table 2 show, supervision, co-workers, and work have a positively correlated with job performance. Supervision shows a positively correlated to the job performance with the value (r=.305), co-workers show a positively correlated to the job performance with value (r=.333) and work also show a positively correlated to the job performance with value (r=.157). Based on the result, it can be concluded that correlation analysis has positive relations between variable and independent variables.

Table 3 -
See Full Size >

Table 3 , coefficients shows, co-workers and work are participation positively influence the dependent variable as the beta value is (.236) and (.183). From the result, it shows that the independent variable of co-workers has significant relationship towards dependent variables. The value of R square is represented .135 which means 13.5% of the variation in employee job performance can be explained by five (5) independent variables (i.e. pay, promotion, supervision, work and co-workers).

6.1. Results

In this study, there were five hypotheses were tested. The objective of the study is to examine the effects of job satisfaction on job performance in the Royal Malaysia Police. Statistical analysis on a sample 262 police officers who currently working in the district North East Police Department, Pulau Pinang. Based on the findings, job satisfaction such as supervision, work, and co-workers have a significant relationship between the job performances of police officers. Pay and promotion are no significant relationship between job performances among police officers in the district North East Police Department, Pulau Pinang.


This study is investigated effective job satisfaction that may lead to job performance using the questionnaire survey method. By considering and understanding job satisfaction (such as i.e. pay, promotion, supervision, co-workers, and work) that influences the job performance of police officers today, it is one of the best strategies to measure the level police officer’s performance. The between of five dimensions of job satisfaction in police officers in police district North East Polis Department, Pulau Pinang, only supervision, work, co-workers, and work have significant relationship between job performance among the polices. This study also found certain that police officers should pay more attention to another variable (such as job stress, organizational commitment, and HRM practices) to enhance and improve job performance in the police officers.

It is hoped that contributed proposed by the researcher were able to contribute towards improving the job satisfaction among the police officers in North East Polis Department, Pulau Pinang.

7.1. Limitation

This research has some limitations. First, the respondent’s commitment and opinion to answer the questionnaires. The respondents answer the questionnaire with just thick any answer which suitable for they think without honesty and makes the information not accurate.

Second, the limited population police officer is no represent all the police officer who currently in each of the state in Malaysia. Therefore, the total respondents are 262 police officers (18.04%) for this study, only a small percentage out of 1458 police officers who currently working in the North East Police Department, Pulau Pinang. The results might be affected and skewed.

Third, this study just only focused on five dimensions of job satisfaction (i.e. pay, promotion, supervision, co-workers, and work). The results have shown that most police officers are dissatisfied with the pay, promotion and work; insignificantly correlated with job performance.

7.2. Recommendations for Future Research

This study aimed to discover other important elements that will enhance and improve the job performance in the RMP. Perhaps the most significant limitation is that we did not measure is the Human Resources Management (HRM) practices that used wide to explain the linkage between HRM practices and performance (García & Tomas, 2016). Further research can be conducted more dimensions that influencing factor of job performance like fringe, benefits, rewards, compensations and stress.

Second, insert the mediating such as job embeddedness to link the job satisfaction and performance in the RMP. Job embeddedness theory (JET) explained the employees will becoming more embedded in their works and their desire to keep performing in the organizations and considered a linking HRM and employee performance as the intervening mechanism.

Third, it would more meaningful to gather more responses from each state in Malaysia. The bigger sample must be taken from the Royal Malaysia Police (RMP) to measure the effective job satisfaction among police officers. The questionnaire must be adapting, concise, compact, easy to understand, and mean fully. For future research it may be useful to include more journals and to look into papers that were not published to collect more data which can improve the results.


I am grateful to Associate Professor for their guidance and comments helped in completion of this reseach. My sincere appreciation also goes to Royal Malaysia Police (RMP) that provide the data to me. Last but no least, I would like to thank the participants of this research who spend valuable time in filling out the questionnaires.


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