Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Job Satisfaction of Former Undercover Officers at U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations: A Qualitative Multiple Case Study
by Martinez, Christopher, Ph.D., Northcentral University, 2018, 162; 10978563
Abstract (Summary)

The Department of Homeland Security leaders with over 230,000 employees are tasked with maintaining the security and safety of people and infrastructure. The unique mission of each agency poses a leadership challenge across directorates. To accomplish the security task, leadership must employ a highly trained, resilient, and effective workforce. The problem is that employees continue to report low levels of job satisfaction and lack of leadership. The purpose of this study was to understand the job satisfaction of a small segment departmental employees, former undercover officers. The current study utilized a qualitative method with a multiple case study design. Participants were recruited from an association of retired special agents. Seventeen former undercover officers were interviewed in-depth to gain a perspective of their relationship with their supervisors while working undercover. This study examined four research questions. To gain information concerning the four research questions, 15 interview questions were asked of each participant. The information gathered was analyzed and coded, eight themes were developed. The findings revealed former undercover officers maintained an elevated level of job satisfaction while working undercover regardless of their supervisors’ knowledge and abilities. Participants reported lower level of job satisfaction when undercover work concluded. This finding was in contrast with the guiding theoretical framework in the literature concerning leader-member-exchange theory. Former undercover officers reacted positively to supervisors with transformational leaderships skills which is supported by the leaders-member-exchange literature. The potential implication of this study is continued reported low levels of job satisfaction by employees may lead to lower levels of performance which can degrade the security of our nation. Future studies should include a quantitative study of currently active undercovers officers through anonymous surveys to protect their identity and safety.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Jones, James, Walters, Kelley
School: Northcentral University
Department: Business and Technology Management
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 80/04(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Law enforcement, Public administration, Organizational behavior
Keywords: Covert operations, Homeland Security, Job satisfaction, Leader–member exchange theory (LMX), Transformational leadership, Undercover policing
Publication Number: 10978563
ISBN: 9780438708150
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