Evidence abounds in literature that people are the preeminent resource that is key to the attainment of an organisational goal, and therefore performance of an organisation is contingent on the performance of its employees. To this end, the design and implementation of human resource management interventions has become a pivotal tool to provoke positive employees’ attitudinal and behavioural outcomes that, will in turn, occasion desired organisational performance outcomes. While empirical evidence of both significant and insignificant relationships between human resource management interventions, employee attitudinal outcomes, and performance has been registered in different contexts, however, evidence of such relationships has remained anecdotal in a Nigeria’s context where some institutions have undergone reforms to mitigate the crisis of underperformance. It is against this backdrop that this study sought to empirically investigate the relationship between human resource management interventions and performance of police force in Ondo State, Nigeria. The specific objectives sought by the study include: to determine the relationship between ability-enhancing interventions and performance of police force; to determine the relationship between motivation-enhancing interventions and performance of police force; to determine the relationship between opportunity-enhancing interventions and performance of police force; to establish the mediating effects of organisational commitment on the relationship between human resource interventions and performance of police force; and to establish the moderating effects of organisational justice on the relationship between human resource management interventions and performance of police force in Ondo State, Nigeria. The theories anchoring this study included Ability, Motivation, and Opportunity, Social Exchange, Affective Events, Self-Determination, and Resource-Based View theories. This study was guided by positivist approach, and both descriptive and explanatory research designs were employed. The study population comprised the entire 6,588 police personnel operating in all the 18 Local Government Areas in Ondo State, and employing Yamane’s formula a sample size of 377 respondents was determined. The respondents were selected using multi-stage sampling technique, and data were collected using self-administered questionnaire. The validity of the study’s instruments was ascertained using principal component analysis, and reliability of the study’s variables was achieved above the threshold of 0.7 for Cronbach Alpha value, in a pilot study conducted. Data collected from 321 respondents were analysed using both descriptive and inferential statistical methods. The descriptive statistics was employed to explain and summarise the characteristics of the survey data, and the inferential statistics through multiple regression method, having carried out the necessary diagnostic tests, was employed to test the various hypothesised relationships at 95 per cent level of significance. The study established that human resource management interventions positively and significantly influence performance of police force. Moreover, ability, motivation, and opportunity-enhancing interventions were statistically significant and positively influence performance of police force. Organisational commitment was found to partially mediate the relationship between human resource management interventions and performance of police. In addition, the findings revealed that organisational justice was an explanatory variable in explaining the relationship between human resource management interventions and performance of police force. The study therefore recommends that the performance of police force in Nigeria can be ascertained and improved, via commitment of police officers, subject to fairness perception of the implementation of human resource management interventions that enhance police officers’ ability, motivation, and opportunity to perform. Furthermore, the Administration of other agencies of Criminal Justice System in Nigeria can use the recommendations offered in this study to design and develop Human Resource policies towards managing people to attain desired institutional goals.
Background of the Study
Organisations, be it public, not-for-profit, or for-profit entities, are established to utilise resources for the purpose of achieving set of predetermined objectives. The pursued organisational objectives, as indicated in extant literature, range from financial and non- financial objectives (Patel, Booker, Ramos, & Bart, 2015), and their attainment connotes success which is measured as performance whether at individual, functional, or organisational level (Berman, 2015).
In public institutions, social goods and services are offered to the members of the public at no cost (Inyang & Akaegbu, 2014), and therefore, performance in public institution is attained when the expectations of the stakeholders are met. A public institution such as police force has been identified as an important institution saddled with the responsibility of providing service delivery to the public at no cost. The global perspective on policing is that police are an important agency of criminal justice system whose functions include: prevention of crimes, protection of life and property, and maintenance of peace and public order (Maduka, 2014). The ability to successfully exercise these functions to the satisfaction of the necessary stakeholders creates positive feelings about the legitimacy of the police as a law enforcement institution (Bouranta, Siskos & Tsotsolas, 2015).
Despite the significance of police institution to the safety and cohesion of a country, the agency has been clouded with criticism across the globe. The crisis of police legitimacy has been reported in both the developed and emerging countries such as United State of America (Rosenbaum & McCarty, 2017), United Kingdom (Owen, 2014) Netherland (Van Sluis,
Cachet & Ringeling, 2008), and India (Madan & Nalla, 2014), and as a result, public confidence in police has eroded.
The erosion of public confidence in police institution in Africa has been attributed to failure of the institution to live up to its core responsibilities. A survey that was conducted in three Africa countries (Kenya, Nigeria, and Zambia) by Africa Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) revealed that police have remained the least useful law enforcement agency in combating corruption and criminality (Agbiboa, 2015). In Nigeria, the Police Force is a public institution and also an agency of criminal justice system whose role remains significant in the sustenance of order, legality, development, and entrenchment of democracy (Maduka, 2014).
The Nigeria Police Force has not attained optimum efficiency due to its lacklustre performance (Osayande, 2008), though, strategic reorganisations through reform actions covering recruitment policy, standard training, personnel development, fair remuneration and allowances of officers, promotion and deployment, empowerment of police officer, welfare incentives and medical care, and among others, to foster performance have been embarked by Police Administration in Nigeria (Naankiel, Christopher, & Olofu, 2012; Van der Spuy & Röntsch, 2008).
As remarked by Berman (2015), performance of public institutions is attained when its programmes and policies connect with and meet the expectations and challenges the people, community, and nation are facing, and such performance attainment relies on the professionalism and competencies of employees (Pynes, 2008). As emphasised in literature, the development of effective, competent, and hugely performing workforce to enhance performance in the public sector is necessary and contingent on the design and implementation of effective HRM interventions (Abubakar, Panguil., & Othman, 2016).
Human resource management interventions have been conceptualised in different ways in HRM literature. It has been conceptualised as human resource management practices-HRMP (Alfes, Truss, Soane, & Gatembly, 2013; Jiang, Lepak, Hu, & Baer, 2012), high performance work systems-HPWS (Appelbaum, Bailey, Berg, & Kalleberg, 2000; Obeidat, Mitchel., Bray, 2016), high involvement work practices-HIWP (Boxal & Macky, 2009), innovative human resource practice-IHRP (Zheng, o’Neill., Morrison, 2009; Som, 2008), and as well as high performance human resource practices-HPHRP (Mostafa, 2016). Literature has, therefore, emphasised that via these HRM interventions in an organisation, human resource can be obtained, developed, motivated, and retained towards gaining a competitive advantage (Pauuwe & Boselie, 2005).
In a public sector institution which is labour-intensive in operation, the effective utilisation of human resource can therefore be achieved via investment in HRM interventions that enhance employee ability, motivation, and opportunity to perform so as to gain competitive advantage. As the debate and discussion continues among scholars on HRM systems with emphasis on relationship between performance and HR interventions that enhance employee ability, motivation and opportunity to perform, this study joined the train by investigating the relationship between HRM interventions and performance in the context of Nigeria Police Force.