Participatory Supervision and its Influence on Work Performance in the Kenya Police Service, the Case of Machakos County 2010 – 2017
Tonui, Johana Kiplangat
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Organizations and institutions the world over have resorted to supervision in ensuring employee effectiveness and better returns in performance and productivity. Police work is regarded as the interface between any government and the local populace, which follows structurally entrenched chain of command as stipulated in the Service Standing Orders (SSOs). Supervision of officers in the performance of duty ensures that they undertake their responsibilities with decorum while displaying expected standard of discipline. However, within the service instances have been witnessed where officers have been arrested for engaging in unethical conduct and also resorting to use of excessive force against members of public even in the presence of police commanders supervising them. This study was conducted within the Kenya police service, Machakos County covering the period 2010 to 2017. The objectives of the study included; examining how supervision emerged in the police service, analyzing the influence of participatory supervision in work performance and identifying intervention measures which make participatory supervision improve work performance in the police service. The study was informed by two theories; Douglas McGregor’s XY theory and the Relationship theory. This study targeted selected members of public in Machakos county, civil society organizations (CSOs), IPOA and all 690 police officers of all ranks from Police Constables (PC) to Commissioner of Police (CP) stationed within the county. Sample population of 246 respondents exclusively drawn from within Machakos County were targeted for the study. The study adopted structured questionnaires and key informant interview guides as primary tools of data collection. Empirical data was analyzed taking into account the specific objectives of the study while descriptive research design with a mixed methodology was adopted. It emerged that participatory supervision help to enhance work performance through; constant communication between supervisors and supervisees and power of command or authority held by senior officers. However, it also revealed that junior officers considered supervision to be an administrative responsibility as well as saw a control oriented rather than participatory with little impact on work performance. The study thus recommends that participatory supervision be made to be more of sharing ideas as opposed to controlled oriented or conventional. Supervisees should be provided with conducive environment to be innovative and develop their skills to be able to perform their duties successfully. Further, all levels of employees from supervisors to subordinates must be encouraged to work with diligence and contribute to improved service delivery within the police service. Consequently, rather than seeing supervision as a way to oversight the police service, it should be made compulsory for supervisors and supervisees through regularization in the training curriculum as well as in the Service Standing Orders.