Analyzing Literature Review

free essayResearch in the field of criminology has been evolving at the fastest rate possible because of the changing approaches to law enforcement across societies (Carvalho, 2013).  The recognition of the fact that law enforcers play an instrumental role in the success of the whole criminal justice system by tracing and arresting criminals has boosted the level of research because of the need to appreciate the emerging significance of technology and educational attainments among law enforcers. Accordingly, the scholarly research related to the proposed dissertation topic, Does the level of educational attainment influence job satisfaction among law enforcement officers in Pennsylvania? has effectively evolved from the seminal work to current through the proposal of significant theories that are highly applicable to the field. For instance,  Carrington (2013) and  Embry and Lyons (2012) point out that theories such as the feminist theory of criminology have become central to the topic with the evaluation of the number of female law enforcers joining the law enforcement practice. More so, the creation of a new body of knowledge and the central importance of the seminal works has facilitated their evolution to the current state. In essence, the research topic will adhere to the relevant ethical guidelines such as seeking the consent of the participants, facilitating confidentiality of their information, and voluntary participation in the study (Moore, 2011). It will ensure that the study collects the required data that will go a long way into contributing to the field of criminology. It will contribute to the criminal justice field by introducing emerging trends in law enforcement and educational attainment. For example, Sampson (2013) opines that law enforcers could be currently trained through computer systems apart from being taken to the field for physical training. The research will open up the ground for more theoretical development in the field of criminal justice with the view of providing solutions to challenges such as low levels of job satisfaction among law enforcers. It is worth appreciating that the criminal justice system is more effective in its operations in instances where law enforcers are satisfied in their respective jobs and where they have adequate skills to deliver in their areas of responsibility (Jo & Hoover, 2012).

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How the Scholarly Research Related to the Proposed Dissertation Topic Has Evolved From Seminal Work to Current State

Seminal works play an instrumental role in reporting a major breakthrough in the field of study such as criminology in this case. Accordingly, studies such as racism in criminology by Dollar (2014) related to the proposed dissertation topic have evolved from seminal work to the current state of recognized peer reviewed journals through the generation of new and acceptable theories that influence the whole field of the criminology. For instance, they have effectively come up with theories such as the racial threat theory, the feminist theory, and the self-control theory as part of the entire criminal justice system (Dollar, 2014;  Engel, 2012; Carrington, 2013). The relevance of these theories to the topic and the work of law enforcers set the ground for their evolution into the current state. For example, Carrington (2013) affirms that the feminist theory of the justice system is a new aspect in the area explaining the increased involvement of women in the area. In this case, women come up as both criminals and law enforcers hence calling for more in depth understanding and analysis of the issue.  Moore (2011) asserts that with the proposition of these theories, seminal work associated with the proposed dissertation topic evolved to the current state through deeper evaluations of the motivations both for crime and the factors that might instrumentally influence the work of law enforcers at any given moment based on the understanding of their work and its appreciation by respective authorities such as the government.

More so, the scholarly research related to the proposed dissertation topic has evolved from seminal work to the current state by influencing the writing of other research papers that either support their views or challenge them. The scholarly research by Bruns and Magnan (2014) investigating the relationship between educational attainments and the level of job satisfaction created a new body of knowledge as seminal works. For example, studies by  Ercikti, Vito, Walsh, and Higgins (2011) and Lu, Liu, Sui, and Wang (2015) brought about the new perspective that educational attainments do not necessarily lead to job satisfaction while others initially intimated that the level of educational attainment is likely to lead to job satisfaction among law enforcers (Kang & Cheong, 2013). It was the stepping-stone of their evolution into the current state because they set the pace for more research to challenge and support their respective positions. For instance, studies such as that done by Braga, Papachristos, and Hureau (2012) tended to base on the effectiveness of operations in the hotspots of crime among law enforcers. The argument in this case is that law enforcers with more knowledge through educational attainments have a more sensible approach to investigations in crime hotspots compared to those who have not been adequately trained (Sampson, 2013). The development of other pieces of work was vital in the acceptance and subsequent transformation of these scholarly research papers into the current state as they brought about the opportunity for argumentation and agreement on the different aspects of law enforcement operations.

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Additionally, the scholarly research applicable to the proposed dissertation topic evolved from seminal work to the current state through continued citations in both criminology research papers and review articles (Embry & Lyons, 2012;  DeLisi & Vaughn, 2014). Since seminal papers are always believed to be central publications to the given research area such as criminology in this case, there was much trust in the seminal papers hence ensuring they were always cited in the course of research. Studies such as the one done by Engel (2012) were cited many times in different pieces of research focusing on the motivations, work satisfaction, and the overall operations of law enforcement officers as they look forward to the attainment of the goals of the criminal justice system, which include the maintenance of law and order in their assigned areas (Queiros, Kaiseler, & Silva, 2013).  Continuous citations of the seminal papers gave them the opportunity to make a breakthrough into the mainstream research by ensuring they offer guidance on aspects that would need to be researched in the future to understand the field in the best ways possible. For instance, the current scholarly research such as Clarke (2012) have transformed from seminal works into their current state because of the ability to be cited on both the criminals’ part and the law enforcers’ part. A law enforcer is only able to spot the strategies of operation for criminals in cases where there is a perfect level of job satisfaction that is gained through enhanced educational attainment.

Literature Review and Studies that Have Been Ground Breaking

Several researchers such as Julseth, Ruiz, and Hummer (2011) have studied the relationship between the level of educational attainment and the level of job satisfaction among law enforcement officers in Pennsylvania. Julseth, Ruiz, and Hummer (2011) specifically focused their research on patrol officers evaluating their perceptions on job satisfaction as influenced by the level of their educational attainment. They basically focused on small police departments to ensure that they collected as much data as possible from different patrol officers. The findings of the study indicated that the level of educational attainment alone cannot contribute to job satisfaction among patrol officers because they tend to be influenced by other relevant aspects such as faster rotation of shifts in the course of their patrols and the morale they get from their respective small departments (Julseth, Ruiz, & Hummer, 2011). Nevertheless, Julseth, Ruiz, and Hummer (2011) established that the level of educational attainment is significant because it enhances their awareness of what they are supposed to do in their practice as law enforcement officers with the changing nature of crime and racial perceptions. For instance, they are supposed to try and act in the best ways possible to eliminate instances of biasness toward particular races, and this only comes through proper educational attainments.

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Another study by Brunetto, Teo, Shacklock, and Farr-Wharton (2012) focuses on the influence of emotional intelligence on the level of job satisfaction among police officers. It is worth noting that emotional intelligence is directly related to the level of educational attainment, and it leads to awareness of both the working environment and principles of operation through temper control and the exercise of professionalism among law enforcement officers. In their study, Brunetto, Teo, Shacklock, and Farr-Wharton (2012) surveyed responses from 193 police officers from Australia using partial least squares path modeling. Their findings revealed that the level of educational attainment contribute to job satisfaction among law enforcement officers. They also point out that a higher level of educational attainment leads to a higher level of emotional intelligence, which promotes job satisfaction and well-being (Brunetto, Teo, Shacklock, & Farr-Wharton, 2012). With improved education, police officers understand the essence of employee engagement and commitment to their own duties, which translates to job satisfaction. There is always increased understanding and sharing of their respective responsibilities as they work with each other through the knowledge gained from their academics in the field of criminology and collaborative working with each other. Brunetto, Teo, Shacklock, and Farr-Wharton (2012) suggested that their findings on educational attainment and its positive contribution to job satisfaction should be applied frequently for police retention in their different fields.

Studies by Jo and Hoover (2012) and Kang and Cheong (2013) investigate the connection between the level of educational attainment and satisfaction among police officers in South Korea. Kang and Cheong (2013) utilized email interviews to ask police officers about their level of satisfaction with their jobs. They also considered the level of educational attainment among these officers and the possible effect on their job satisfaction. Therefore, Kang and Cheong (2013) surveyed 14 male officers aged between 27 and 52 years to understand the whole concept of educational attainment and job satisfaction. The results by Kang and Cheong (2013) revealed that higher levels of educational attainment among these law enforcers meant quality performance and increased job satisfaction. The level of pay for law enforcement officers is anchored on their educational attainments meaning those with higher qualifications are in a better position to receive higher compensation, which motivates them to enjoy their jobs (Kang & Cheong, 2013). Higher educational attainments give a positive attitude and focus on their respective jobs hence working harder toward keeping them. In the same respect, Jo and Hoover (2012) used a sample of 341 police officers in South Korea to evaluate the nature of educational attainments and the job satisfaction tendencies among law enforcement officers. Their results revealed the view that work-related variables such as the level of pay have the greatest influence on the level of job satisfaction (Jo & Hoover, 2012). However, matters such as pay rate are determined by the level of educational attainment, meaning that higher attainments lead to increased satisfaction because it translates to increased earnings for the law enforcement officers (Jo & Hoover, 2012).

Brookman, et al. (2013) investigate  the best ways of ensuring that law enforcement officers work better with the community through the creation of trust and effective working methods. The study was focused on the activities of law enforcement officers in the community through the delivery of the set law and order targets. The results by Brookman, et al. (2013) reveal that education is the best way to boost the work of law enforcement officers. The results specifically indicated that police officers who have undergone effective training in colleges and even universities are always best-placed to work with the community through the creation of trust and efficient working (Brookman, et al., 2013). Higher educational outcomes play an instrumental role in enhancing job satisfaction because of the understanding of the work areas that need to be delivered in the course of their responsibilities. The most interesting thing is that higher educational achievements give law enforcement officers increased confidence even in their own responsibilities According to Brookman, et al. (2013), higher educational attainments set most law enforcement officers on the path of effective working with the rest and the whole community hence leading to satisfaction because of the elimination of unnecessary doubts about the job.

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Balci (2011) studied the effects of education on the satisfaction of police officers in Turkey. Descriptive survey data was collected among 812 participants to understand the effects of education on police officers in terms of their job satisfaction. Specifically, Balci (2011) investigated the extent to which education is related to different job satisfaction facets including the level of satisfaction with colleagues, the nature of the work, supervisors, and potential promotions that are likely to come about in the course of their work. The results of the study revealed that there is a close association between the level of education and job satisfaction in respect to promotion and co-workers. In essence, police officers with lower levels of educational attainments tend to rate higher levels of job satisfaction compared to police officers with higher levels of education. In this research, Balci (2011) seemed to point out the view that education might be a poor predictor of job satisfaction because most law enforcement officers look at what they get from their jobs in the form of salaries and promotions. Most of them would be motivated to work even harder in instances where they clearly understand that they would earn higher salaries irrespective of their level of education (Balci, 2011).

Accordingly, Bruns and Magnan (2014) researched the view of police officers regarding the essence of degrees in their jobs and whether these are necessary in influencing their level of job satisfaction.  Bruns and Magnan (2014) utilized quantitative data from 61 police officers of all ranks and different educational attainments to investigate the contribution of education to job satisfaction among law enforcement officers. The results of the study indicated that college education is necessary in boosting the level of job satisfaction among law enforcement officers of all ranks (Bruns & Magnan, 2014). It can be explained by the fact  that education provides the perfect opportunity for career advancement among most police officers hence motivating them to be more committed and satisfied with their positions and jobs that they hold. Bruns and Magnan (2014) proposed the need for increased learning opportunities for individuals looking forward to join the law enforcement profession. Higher educational attainments would give them the chance to work better and remain committed to their jobs hence reflecting job satisfaction every given moment in their work.

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Lastly, studies by Lu, Liu, Sui, and Wang (2015) and  Tucker (2015) focus on the levels of educational differences among law enforcement officers and their ability to deal with work stressors. Lu, Liu, Sui, and Wang (2015) did a cross-sectional study with a sample of 2516 police officers to understand job satisfaction as it relates to the level of educational attainment and job stressors. The findings of their study indicated that many law enforcement officers who have lower levels of education find it challenging to handle and manage the stresses that exist within their jobs hence leading to low levels of satisfaction (Lu, Liu, Sui, & Wang, 2015). However, law enforcement officers with higher levels of educational attainment have better ways of handling their stresses on the job and end up benefiting more in respect to job satisfaction. Tucker (2015) also found out that higher educational levels mean that law enforcement officers are able to solicit support from the organization hence enjoying their work better compared to those who have lower levels of education.

Studies That Have Been Most Influential

One of the studies that have been most influential andgroundbreaking in this area of research is the study by Bruns and Magnan (2014). The study has been groundbreaking in the sense that it focuses on the initial perceptions of police officers about the need to get a college degree before being hired as a law enforcement officer. It is influential because it helps in the understanding of the different college degrees that are available to police officers and the importance of such degrees to their own field as law enforcement officers. In their study, Bruns and Magnan (2014) reveal the strategies such as technological learning through the Internet that could be put in place to ensure that most law enforcement officers have the chance of accessing education, as this would only make the practice better and more enjoyable to them. They will have the opportunity to be promoted in their jobs and would be more satisfied working towards the realization of what is expected of them.

The second most influential study was the one done by Balci (2011) focusing on the effects of education on the level of job satisfaction among law enforcement officers. The study was groundbreaking because it went beyond the level of education as the key factor contributing to job satisfaction and focused on other facets such as its contribution to employee relations with others, promotions, supervisors, and even the kind of work they are supposed to undertake on their daily basis. The influence of the study by Balci (2011) is seen in terms of its appreciation of the view that education helps law enforcers understand their jobs better in all areas such as dealing with their colleagues, for example. It is easier to understand the contribution of education to job satisfaction based on this study because of the appreciation of all other facets such as the influence of supervisors and nature of work.

Another groundbreaking study for this dissertation topic is the study by Julseth, Ruiz, and Hummer (2011) where the focus is on educational attainment and job satisfaction among police officers in Pennsylvania. The study is groundbreaking because it focuses on the target area of research and preempts some of the expected outcomes in the field. The study by Julseth, Ruiz, and Hummer (2011) brings about a new set of knowledge about the level of education and job satisfaction hence calling for more research. For instance, it tends to hold that most law enforcers are not motivated to remain on their jobs because of the level of educational attainments, but by factors such as their relationship to other employees, supervisors, and the general nature of their work (Julseth, Ruiz, & Hummer, 2011). This aspect calls for more investigation and understanding of the real influence that the level of educational attainment can have on job satisfaction in the area. While in the field of research, it will be easier to draw upon this study while analyzing the collected results at the end of the study.

How the Study Adheres to Ethical Guidelines in research and How it Advances Literature in Criminology

A dissertation topic will only be seen as helpful in instances where it effectively adheres to the set research guidelines. Therefore, the study on the proposed dissertation topic does the level of educational attainment influence job satisfaction among law enforcement officers in Pennsylvania? adheres to ethical standards through its focus on seeking the consent of participants before taking them as part of the study.  According to Dollar (2014), it means that the researcher does not just start conducting the study without the knowledge of the participants. They will be duly informed on what the study is about and the goals that it tends to achieve at the end. The study will place much priority on educating potential participants about the advantages of the study and the possible risks to ensure they are prepared for it (Sampson, Winship, & Knight, 2013).

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More so, the study adheres to ethical standards through the emphasis on voluntary participation by the target population. It means that after being educated on the components of the research and the targets it aims at achieving, they would be required to make independent decisions on whether they will be participating in the study or not (Dollar, 2014). It will be done hence ensuring that they are not subjected to duress. Voluntary participation will be more ethical because it will give the participants the chance to interact with the researcher freely and contribute to the results.

Lastly, ethical standards are advanced through the preservation of the confidentiality of the information given by the participants. In tandem with the research by Esbensen et al., (2011), it means that they would not be required to fill their names in the questionnaires hence ensuring they remain anonymous throughout the research process for confidentiality purposes. It is the best way to ensure that they give more helpful information about the topic hence leading to more reliable conclusions. Therefore, privacy and confidentiality will be taken seriously to exhibit high ethical standards in the research.

How Research in the Topic Will Further Literature in Criminology

Firstly, research on this topic will further literature in the field of criminology by calling for the need of technological incorporation in the learning of law enforcement officers.  Braga, Papachristos, and Hureau (2012) affirm that most previous studies have primarily focused on the physical training of law enforcement officers without considering the fact that the world has moved into a technological era. Thus, this topic will bring a new perspective into the criminology literature by insisting that technology must be used in the promotion of educational attainments for law enforcement officers.  In the views of Carvalho (2013), it means that they will start learning in the easiest ways possible hence advancing their knowledge on the tasks that they are expected to do whole in the field. Literature on the technological application into learning in criminology will be easily built from the findings that would be derived from the collected data from different participants that would take part in this study (Vyshka & Preçi, 2014). There is an opportunity of this leading to more educational opportunities for law enforcement officers hence boosting their level of job satisfaction with the knowledge gained from the learning process about their jobs and its nature.

Secondly, the topic will contribute to literature in the field of criminology by opening up the ground for more theoretical development in the field.  Embry and Lyons (2012) assert that the field of criminology is still evolving with the changes in criminal cases and even the roles of law enforcement officers. Research on the topic would be crucial in theoretical development, which will help in the explanation of the trends in the field and the probable changes that might need to be undertaken to cope up with these trends.  According to Ercikti, Vito, Walsh, and Higgins (2011), a new theory probably on the effectiveness of education on enhancing job satisfaction among law enforcers could come up hence promoting further explanations on the teaching mechanisms that would need to be used to train them effectively to realize a more efficient system of law enforcers.  Vyshka and Preçi (2014) explain that the additional theory could help explain the best strategies that could be used to deal with the rising crime levels and community involvement by building trust between police officers and the community.

Thirdly, research in the topic will further literature in criminology by enhancing the aspect of organizational management for law enforcement officers. Most law enforcers are attached to police departments where they get the opportunity to interact with each other and their management.  DeLisi and Vaughn (2014) reveal that as much as this research focuses on the influence of educational attainment on job satisfaction, there would be other organizational aspects such as promotions, salary, and supervision that influence the working of law enforcement officers. It will help fill the gap in the limited literature that has been done about organizational management in police departments with the view of satisfying all employees in the best ways possible.  Queiros, Kaiseler, and Silva (2013) suggest that besides educational attainments, they are supposed to be treated in the best ways possible to ensure they enjoy their work of serving the community through security provision. Therefore, the study of this topic will bring in a new view on organizational management where leaders at the police departments are supposed to take the main role of advancing their staff through education.

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In conclusion, the scholarly research that applies to the proposed dissertation topic has evolved from seminal work to its current state through the proof of the theories that were established in the initials works. These theories, such as the feminism theory of criminology have become fundamental to the field hence transforming these articles. The large body of knowledge that made them reliable references over time also made them transform into their current state. The nature of the literature offered to the explication of the field was quite reliable and helpful hence leading to their integration into mainstream research. It is clear that researchers hold varying opinions on the influence of educational attainments on the level of job satisfaction among law enforcement officers. Nevertheless, in most instances, it is clear that higher levels of educational attainment lead to job satisfaction with the anticipation for promotions and higher pay. They also get the opportunity to understand themselves and their communities in the best ways possible hence leading to better law and order maintenance within their given communities. Trust between law enforcers and the community is created in instances where they are educated and are able to deal with the emerging issues in the criminological aspects of the community. In the course of the research, it will be instrumental to adhere to ethics through upholding confidentiality and ensuring that everyone participates in the study on a voluntary basis. They should not be forced to give details about their views on educational attainment and job satisfaction. In the overall sense, research in this study will contribute to literature growth in criminology through technology advancement in the education of law enforcement officers and the transformation of the organizational management aspect of criminology.