Date of Award

Spring 2009

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Sociology & Criminal Justice


Applied Sociology

Committee Director

Melvina T. Sumter

Committee Member

Elizabeth Monk-Turner

Committee Member

Robert K. Perkins

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.S62 B345 2009


This thesis is an exploratory study which examines employee retention in relation to organizational loyalty and commitment, specifically in the field of law enforcement. Focus groups with nine police officers who are currently employed with the Norfolk Police Department provided the data for this study. Participants described various positive aspects of the job that they enjoy as well as reasons for their remaining with the department. Themes identified include working conditions, interesting work, peers and subordinates, company policy and administration, interpersonal relationships with supervisors, achievement and recognition, and professional growth and advancement.

This research addresses how loyalty and commitment are related to employee retention as well as the ways in which retention can be increased.

The findings from this study indicate that there is a link between employee retention and levels of loyalty and commitment within the field of law enforcement. For example, of the participants interviewed there was a consensus that the more loyal or committed an officer was to his or her work the longer he or she could be expected to remain with the department. Also, the findings suggest that the various aspects which are thought to increase the loyalty and commitment amongst officers can be easily obtained and applied.


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