Views of SAPS social workers on essential development areas of police members’ emotional intelligence

Van der Westhuizen, Janine Melena (2016-12)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2016

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Police members regularly deal with emotionally charged and stressful situations as they perform their duties. The emotionally intense police environment requires of them to use their emotional intelligence skills. They need to be able to understand and regulate their own emotions and deal with the emotions of community members affected by traumatic incidents. Different jobs may require varying levels of emotional intelligence, but in the police environment a high level of emotional intelligence is important in the execution of duties. Therefore, members require emotional intelligence skills to become more competent, professional and efficient in their work. Emotional intelligence is a set of skills such as intrapersonal, interpersonal, stress management, adaptability and general mood that can be learned and improved on regardless of an individual’s current level of functioning. The essential development areas of police members’ emotional intelligence were unknown and were explored through the views of social workers. In this study, the nature of a police member’s work, the role of the social worker in the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the need for the development of police members’ emotional intelligence were described. A conceptual framework for the development of emotional intelligence within a law enforcement context was provided and recommendations by social workers for the development of police members’ emotional intelligence were presented. Qualitative research methods were used in this study. A combination of exploratory and descriptive research designs was utilsed as framework for the implementation of the research approach. Purposive sampling was used to select the participants. Face-toface and telephonic interviews were conducted. Data were gathered by means of semistructured individual interviews with 20 social workers. A pilot study was carried out to test the measurement instrument. The design of the interview schedule was based on the information obtained from the literature review. The findings of the empirical investigation confirmed the findings of the literature study. It was found that emotional intelligence competence can improve service delivery and enhance career satisfaction. It can enhance police members’ social competency in dealing with their professional and personal lives and improve intrapersonal relationships in the workplace. Emotional intelligence skills were found to be useful in Stellenbosch University https://scholar.sun.ac.za iii dealing more effectively with crowd control, domestic violence incidents, resistance to arrests, murder cases, assisting rape victims, child abuse cases and taking statements. It was confirmed by social workers through the use of examples that police members were able to use their emotional intelligence skills, but they need improvement and development in all areas of emotional intelligence that were previously mentioned. The recommendations resulting from the study indicate that the social work department in the SAPS should embark on the development of an emotional intelligence intervention in order to enhance police members’ emotional intelligence competencies, since there is no such intervention. Secondly, as pointed out by social workers, their department should take such a programme forward, given the fact that it is already offering pro-active programmes to police members. Lastly, it was suggested that research be done on the viability should such a programme be mandatory and linked to their performance enhancement appraisal and future promotion possibilities.

AFRIKAANS OPSOMMING: Polisielede het op gereelde basis te kampe met emosioneel belaaide en stresvolle situasies in die uitvoering van hul pligte. Die emosioneel belaaide polisie-omgewing vereis van polisielede om gebruik te maak van hul emosionele intelligensie. Hulle moet hul eie emosies kan verstaan, reguleer en die emosies van lede van die gemeenskap geraak deur traumatiese voorvalle hanteer. Verskillende beroepe verg verskillende vlakke van emosionele intelligensie. In die polisie-omgewing is ʼn hoë vlak van emosionele intelligensie tydens dienslewering belangrik. Om hierdie rede het polisielede die vermoë en vaardighede nodig om meer bevoeg, professioneel en doeltreffender in hul werk te wees. Emosionele intelligensie sluit vaardighede in soos intrapersoonlike, interpersoonlike, stres hantering, aanpasbaarheid en ʼn gemoedstoestand wat aangeleer en ontwikkel kan word ongeag die individu se huidige vlak van funksionering. Die essensiële ontwikkelings areas van polisielede se emosionele intelligensie is onbekend en is ondersoek deur die menings en insigte van maatskaplike werkers te verkry. In hierdie studie word die aard van ʼn polisielid se werk, die rol van die maatskaplike werker in die Suid-Afrikaanse Polisiediens (SAPD), en die behoefte vir die ontwikkeling van polisielede se emosionele intelligensie beskryf. ʼn Konseptuele raamwerk vir die onwikkeling van emosionele intelligensie in ‘n wetstoepassingskonteks word verskaf, sowel as aanbevelings aan maatskaplike werkers oor die ontwikkeling van polisielede se emosionele intelligensie. ʼn Kwalitatiewe navorsingsbenaderings is in hierdie studie gevolg. ʼn Kombinasie van verkennende en beskrywende navorsingsonderwerpe is gebruik as raamwerk vir die implementering van die navorsingsbenadering. ʼn Doelgerigte steekproeftrekking is gebruik om die deelnemers te selekteer. Data is ingesamel deur middel van semigestruktureerde onderhoude, individueel en telefonies, met 20 maatskaplike werkers. ʼn Loodsstudie is ook gedoen ten einde die onderhoudskedule te toets. Die samestelling van die onderhoudskedule is gegrond op inligting wat uit die literatuur oorsig verkry is. Die bevindings van die ondersoek het grotendeels dié van die literatuuroorsig bevestig naamlik dat emosionele intelligensievaardighede tot beter dienslewering kan lei en goeie kliente diens en werksbevrediging kan verseker. Dit kan polisielede se sosiale Stellenbosch University https://scholar.sun.ac.za v vaardighede verhoog om hul professionele en persoonlike lewe beter te kan hanteer, asook interpersoonlike verhoudings in die werksplek te kan verbeter. Emosionele intelligensievaardighede kom ook nuttig te pas in die hantering van skarebeheer, gesinsgeweld, weerstand teen inhegtenisneming, moordsake, verkragtingslagoffers, kindermishandeling en die neem van polisieverklarings. Maatskaplike werkers het aan die hand van voorbeelde bevestig dat polisielede wel hul emosionele intelligensievaardighede gebruik. Hulle moet egter daarop verbeter en dit moet ontwikkel word op alle gebiede van emosionele intelligensie. Die aanbevelings van die studie dui daarop dat die maatskaplike-werk-departement in die SAPD oorweeg om ʼn emosionele intelligensie ontwikkels intervensie te begin, om polisielede se emosionele intelligensievaardighede te verbeter, gesien in die lig daarvan dat daar tans geen sodanige program is nie. Maatskaplike werkers het hul department geïdentifiseer as die gepaste een om sodanige program aan te bied, aangesien dit reeds betrokke is by die aanbieding van proaktiewe programme vir polisielede. Laastens word daar aanbeveel dat navorsing gedoen word oor die lewensvatbaarheid sou so ʼn program verpligtend wees en gekoppel word aan polisielede se prestasie evaluering en toekomstige bevorderingmoontlikhede.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/100145
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