Markus M. Thielgen, Alice Carobolante & Stefan Schade

Hochschule der Polizei Rheinland-Pfalz

The Myth of Generation: Age Differences of Work Motives in Police Services

The demographic change is challenging police organizations in many ways. In the present paper, we focus on generatio┬Čnal differences in work motives in the police context. Due to theoretical and methodical limitations of this approach, we prefer the perspective of age differences. Aging is associated with both physiological and psychological alterations that may result in age related differences in vocational values and motives, and account for seemingly generational differences. Within a research project at Rhineland-Palatinate Police University we investigated a sample of N = 225 police officers regarding several categories of work values. Thereby, younger police officers seem to prioritize work values that promote a successful organizational socialization and maximize occupational opportunities, for example intrinsic values such as performance or growth-related motives such as development. Limitations of the study are discussed.

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