Paul Andrew Bourne*
Socio-Medical Research Institute, Kingston, Jamaica
Received date: June 03, 2016; Accepted date: July 04, 2016; Published date: July 12, 2016
Citation: Bourne PA. Customer Satisfaction of Policing the Jamaican Society: Using SERVQUAL to Evaluate Customer Satisfaction. J Healthc Commun. 2016, 1:3. DOI: 10.4172/2472-1654.100025
Introduction: The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) established in 1867 as a paramilitary organization and over its 148 year history, the institution has sought to address various crimes and it appears that all its policy efforts have come to nought. In seeking to combat the crime pandemic in the society, the entity has been accused of corruption, abuses, professional misconduct and excessive use of power. With such accusations and claims, there has been a negative image of the JCF and so it has sought to inco-operate the user as a part of policing strategy. To date, there has been no empirical research undertaken on service quality in the JCF.
Objectives: The purpose of this research is to evaluate the perception of Jamaicans on the service quality of the JCF following the implementation of any aspect of modernization. In that it is to provide insights into service quality (SERVQUAL), aid policy implementation and highlight the current gap in SERVQUAL between the citizen and the police. There is a clear realist that the present policing strategies and mechanisms require modernization. Assessing service quality in the JCF can provide a perspective and solution on the matter of crime management within the society.
Materials and methods: The large volume of data were stored, retrieved and analyzed using the Statistical Packages for the Social Sciences (SPSS) for Windows version 17.0 (SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL, USA). Descriptive statistics were performed on the data as well as percentages and frequency distributions. Service Quality is measured using a simple mathematical equation Eqn 1: SQ = P – E Where, SQ denotes overall service quality; P symbolizes perception and E means service quality expectation.
Findings: In all cases in Jamaica, a negative score was recorded for SERVQUAL indicating that JCF is not meeting the needs of users of its service. On desegregating the overall SERVQUAL of JCF members, Jamaicans highest expectations were for assurance and reliability of SERVQUAL.
Conclusion: The psychology of dissatisfaction with the service delivery of the JCF is accounting for the failure of its initiatives and unless the negative gaps between perceptions and expectations are addressed, the JCF will be a failed organization.
Customer satisfaction; SERVQUAL; Psychology of police; Jamaica
The murder pandemic in Jamaica and by extension the wider Caribbean has shown to be an objective reality and not an idealism, irrespective of the social construction used to examine the crime statistics in the Caribbean . For long before the highlighted crime pandemic of the 1990’s, there were reported cases of crime and violence. In 1716 night watchmen were appointed to serve the cities of Port Royal, Kingstown and the parishes of St. Catherine and St. Andrew. This gave rise from the mid 1830’s to the establishment of several police forces in the region, including the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) to combat and reduce the high incidences of crime and violence including rebellions and protests. In Jamaica today, the murder rate per 100,000, is more than many other nations, including the United States, England, and Germany. Moreover, in 2013, Jamaica an island with a population of 2,714,734 has a murder rate per 44.2 per 100,000 that is more than many other nations, including the United States, England and Germany, with substantially larger populations.
Two critical approaches were taken in response to the crime and violence pandemic of the 1990s in the Caribbean; First, there was the ‘Crime and Criminal Justice in the Caribbean Conference’ was held in 1998 in Barbados. Secondly the International Bank of Reconstruction and Development (i.e., World Bank) sponsored a qualitative study in five Caribbean nations to include Jamaica to investigate the worrying issue crime and violence in. This qualitative crime research was conducted by a team of scholars from the Department of Sociology, University of the West Indies, Mona Campus; the lead investigator being Horace Levy.
Aside from the aforementioned realities, the JCF over the decades has instituted various operational taskforces–example ACID in 1993. Table1 gives a breakdown of the various initiatives in the JCF. The changes of policies and programmes in the JCF are a result of more group think than the real organizational change of culture that is required in 21st Century policing compared to the paramilitary style of the past, which had obtained in another police jurisdiction (Austin, 1985).
|Special Police Squads||Year formed||Party in Government|
|Area 4 Task Force||1986-1987||JLP|
|Organized Crime Unit||1998||PNP|
|Special Anti Crime Task Force (SACTF)||Oct 1999||PNP|
|Crime Management Unit (CMU)||2000||PNP|
|Major Investigative Team||2002||PNP|
Table 1 Special police squads established by the JCF by year and party in government.
The JCF was established as a paramilitary organization, to guide its members in determining policies and programmes for to serve, protect and reassure citizens. Like in the wider Caribbean, the police force in Jamaica has an autocratic management style, exclusion of the people and more in keeping with a paramilitary style than people centered. Clearly, the JCF is failing the people of the Jamaica. Thus the argument to support the failure of the JCF is enveloped in the statistics on murder rates in Jamaica. In 2007, a cross-sectional national probability study found that crime and violence were identified as the leading national problem in Jamaica. For the decades of the 1990’s, 22.56 ≤ M ≤ 40.82 compared to 34.26 ≤ M ≤ 63.16 for the decade of 2000’s. The mathematical statement shows that the murder rate per 100,000 in the 1990’s was between 22.56 and 40.82 compared to 34.26 and 63.16 for 2000. This indicates that the murder phenomenon has increased and this speaks to the inability of the current style of policing in addressing this murder monster [1-3].
The nexus of crime and politics has its historical roots in the Jamaican society long before the 1970’s  and clearly the ‘Badness-honour’ which permeates the current nation can be ascribed to the 1970’s  although it began even before this date . In an article entitled ‘The historical roots of violence in Jamaica: The Heart Report 1949’ Sives contended that “strong-arm politics” was used in the 1940’s by the two political institutions (namely, Jamaica Labour Party, JLP; People’s National Party, PNP) government of the nation. She noted that the rivalry was so intense that many people lost their lives in the process, particularly political followers. This continued and became even more intense since the 1970s , in spite of the type of policing that has been employed by the various past and present Inspector Generals/Commissioners of JCF.
Obaka Gray stated that political patronage was introduced into the society by both political parties (JLP and PNP). This was evident by the political enforcers and killers, including police officers in which ‘badness’ became a part of the Jamaican culture. This is keeping with the political rivalry between hardliners of the two main political parties in the pursuit of political power and patronage.Consequently, in order to protect resource allocation the intense political rivalry has led to violent crimes [4,5]and electoral crimes. The economic climate in Jamaica is also a correlated variable in the proliferation and continuation of the political division among the people, which supports ‘badness’ and killings. Gray  aptly captures this:
The failure of economic policies, near-weekly accounts of human rights abuses, and recurrent disclosures of the corruption of power, the political bosses have retained their predominance, and the political apparatus that supports them has remained largely unchanged… .
Even prior to Gray’s postulations, discourses on the contribution of violence in Jamaica, has been narrated. The Library of Congress in 1987 laid the foundations that accounted for violence, particularly political violence. The Library of Congress writes: The nation's political violence derives from the socioeconomic structure of Jamaican politics, that is, social stratification along racial and economic class lines. Increasing political, social, and economic polarization in Jamaica has contributed to both political and criminal violence.
Numerous studies have established the relationship between politics and crime in Jamaica [6-9]. Importantly, the police is a part of this relationship, in that there are challenges of mistrust between it and the citizenry, which makes the crime phenomenon worse due to the lack of cohesion. The media have reported many cases of police misconduct these include the murder (domestic and otherwise), rape, robbery and sexual partner homicide. Hence the lower rate of solving murders has increased fear and victimization among the citizenry and JCF. This is indeed of grave concern to policy-makers, legislators and administrators, including the head of the JCF, which accounts for expulsion of officers from the force of their involvement in criminality [10,11]. As stated previously there is a call for more person centered or community policing instead of para military style in the Jamaican society. This can be a step forward in bridging the gap in police-citizenry conflicts and the police solving crimes.
The challenge of administrators in the JCF is to change the established psychological and sociological paradigms within the organizational culture. In that many police officers have accepted and practiced, this “way of life” for years. A report from the Ministry of National Security in 2007 highlighted the challenges of reform within the context of the culture of the JCF and how these hinder policing efforts and mandates. The Report stated that the dominant culture of the JCF is incongruent with that required of a modern day police service. Its stated values, “We serve, protect, and reassure with courtesy, integrity and proper respect for the rights of all”, do not represent the dominant culture of the JCF nor how the public perceive the police. The dominant culture is that of command and control; it is severely hindering its effectiveness and its implications run deep .
Consecutive Chiefs of the JCF have been cognizant of the need to change the organizational culture of the force as it is in keeping with the modernity of police forces in other jurisdictions. To put it briefly the sociopolitical milieu in Jamaica is of itself a barrier to reform, organizational changes and effective public management. Suffice to say there have been attempts to reform the JCF, which dates back to Herst???  and Wolfe  reports. Harriott  opined that the Wolfe report has been the third police reform within the JCF since 1834, “and the second at reforming the JCF in the 130 years since it was established in 1867”. Those words highlight the difficulty in reforming the force, the need for its immediacy, and an ingrained organizational culture which can hinder attempts at reform. But the issue is “As the twentieth century draws to a close, the twin ideologies of community-based and problem-oriented policing are reshaping at least the way some police organizations do their business” .
Meanwhile ‘how do police effectively carry out their mandate, when there is a gap between them and the citizenry? Powell et al.  found that the police were among the least confident public institution in Jamaica. Various stakeholders attempt to reform the public sector, including the JCF as the gulf between the citizenry and stakeholders does not allow for cooperation and partnerships in addressing the critical issues. In 2016, policing in Jamaica continues within the traditional paramilitary approach instead of solely wholesale people driven policing (i.e., community policing). However, in the discourse of policing, police management and police effectiveness in Jamaica, there is a gap in the literature on service quality from the perspective of the officers and the citizenry.
The Policification of Jamaica and Its People is an amalgamation ofthe state of crime in Jamaica, the perspective of police and the citizenry on quality of policing. The issue of the service quality (SERVQUAL) of policing in Jamaica has had a long stay of execution on the sideline, resulting in a gap between the perspectives of the citizenry and police officers. The reality in the Caribbean on the matter of crime management and crime solution is that there is a disparity in the construction of the police and the people. The stay of execution continues as the police commits human rights and other types of violations while the people are dissatisfied with their behaviour. The police sideline the value of the citizenry’s inputs in crime management. Yet it appears incomprehensible when there is a significant gulf between crimes committed and crimes solved by the police.
Clearly, Jamaica is not different from the United States of America in the way messages are received, obtained, interpreted, and framed on crime information. The media hold much of the information received by the public on crime and they are therefore a critical source of information. Another similarity to the United States of America is the disparity between perception and reality of crime. In 2007, crime was the leading national problem identified by Jamaicans; yet less than 20% of people were affected by crime . The fear of crime retards decisions, influences behaviour, and this is used by people to proxy the ‘workability’of law enforcement initiatives. The consequences of the crime problem in the region are expressed in fear and distrust as well as the unwillingness of people to report threats in whatever form. For instance,in particularly Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica, the crime pandemic is resulting in the silence of many people including the business class.
The Caribbean has been experiencing a crime pandemic that resulted in the 1999 Tourism and Crime Conference in Barbados to address the challenges, find solutions, examine the consequences and control the escalating crime and violence phenomena . The crime pandemic, explains why the World Bank sponsored a study on ‘crime and poverty’ in the late 1990’s . The extent of the crime problem is aptly captured in a study which was conducted by Powell et al.  which found that crime and violence were the leading national problem identified by Jamaicans.
Within the context of Durkheim’s work, crime prevention cannot be stopped because crime is normal. In fact, the influence on crimes paticularly on lives, property and communities, account for the disparity between perception on crime and reality in Jamaica. Goetz et al.’s work is aptly fitting for crime prevention and crime management in Jamaica. Firstly, the reality is that there has been a reduction in major crimes in Jamaica; but the increase in murder has made many people opined that there is a crime pandemic. Secondly, is the percentage of people who have been influenced by crime  compared to the percentage of people who indicated that crime is the leading national problem (44%) . Thirdly, as in the United States, most Jamaicans received information on crime from the media and not law enforcement.
Policing is therefore evaluated based on media reports, exposure to incidences and biases of other people. Hence, there is a gap between perception of police officers and citizenry on how crime management should be executed and fashioned for effectiveness. The JCF was labelled as the most corrupt institution in 2007 . There is a psychology of fear for police in Jamaica, because of police excesses and/or brutality (Apendix C). The public fear the police, there is little confidence and trust in police officers and the negatives about the JCF is influencing customers’dissatisfaction in spite of the seemingly modernization and organizational changes in policy that have occurred over the last decades [12,17, 19-21].
Despite the many cases of alleged police excesses, (police excesses???) including unprofessional conduct, a study has never been conducted on service quality using SERVQUAL on the JCF; yet the police speak of consumer satisfaction among its core values in the 2015-2018 Corporate Plan [20,21]. The issue of measuring service quality, using SERVQUAL, has been done in other police jurisdiction [22,23]. Neither a review of the JCF by Herst  nor JCF manual  did not speak to an evaluation of the quality of service of the organization.So, there is no psychology of policing study to examine the perception of users of these law enforcement officers. Thus, the purpose of this research is to evaluate the perception of Jamaicans on the service quality of the JCF following the implementation of any aspect of modernization. In that it is to provide insights of the???, aid policy implementation and highlight the current gap in SERVQUAL between the citizen and the police. There is a clear realistic that the present policing strategies and mechanisms require modernization. Assessing service quality in the JCF can provide a perspective and solution on the matter of crime management within the society.
The theoretical framework, therefore, holds the keys, assumptions, perspectives and guides the approaches and so frame the methodology. Lloyd Waller aptly summarized the value of the theoretical framework, when he postulated that:
A theoretical framework is a self-conscious set of (a) fundamental principles or axioms (ethical, political, philosophical) and (b) a set of rules for combining and applying them (e.g. induction, deduction, contradiction, and extrapolation). A theoretical framework defines the objects of a discourse, the permissible ways of thinking about those objects, and so determines the kinds of knowledge about the objects that can be produced legitimately within the framework”.
The aforementioned theorizing offers invaluable insights into the rationale for the use of a theoretical framework in research, albeit political, public management, social, economic or otherwise. A study by Lois Recascino Wise in 2002, examining ‘Public Management Reform: Competing Drivers of Change’ employed a similar theoretical framework used by economists that of modeling determinants (independent variables) and their influence on a dependent variable. Wise forwarded that ‘economic and budgetary restraints’ are determinants of organizational change. She opined that Kaufman in 1985 wrote that values, taste, economic development, existing political, social and economic institutions and knowledge as well as technology are associated with administrative reform. The theoretical framework used by some scholarsemphasized the econometric model of various independent factors, especially political influences, in explaining administrative changes.
Politics, political administration and management had begun using the positivist paradigm in research examining as this sets the framework for the methodology and the interpretation of the research findings. According to Burnham et al. :
Three paradigms have shaped post-war political science, especially in the USA but also with an impact elsewhere: Behaviouralism, new institutionalism and rational choice .
The rational choice approach was based on methodological individualism and it was the core assumption that made it unpalatable to many historical institutionalists .
Burnham et al’s perspective offers an understanding in the use of Objectivist epistemology in the studies of political sciences and political administration, and why model, including diagrams with endogenous determinants are forwarded in explaining organizational change (or the lack) within the context of culture, especially individualism. The use of econometric model, from which various independent factors can be developed and established relating to a single or many dependent variable(s), is an approach that emanates from an Objectivist epistemology. Such a theoretical framework has the advantages of empiricism, generalizability, validity, verification and falsification. Balashov and Rosenberg  argued that those are fundamental tenets upon which science is adjudged and established, and not because it is pure (or natural science) or social science. Hence this is justification and rationale for the use of econometric model, flowcharts and experimental laws (or theories) in the social sciences.
Service and service quality
It is the product and services sold by companies that help to sustain the viability of their businesses. In such a highly competitive global market, product managers should actively engage in the marketing of products their company’s sells. Although there are no physical products being sold by Jamaica Constabulary Force the statement still applies to the service for which they offer. According to Kotler, “A service is an act or performance that one party can offer to another that is essentially intangible and does not result in ownership of anything”. Its production may or may not be tied to a physical product.” Considerable amount of research surrounding service quality have lead scholars and researchers to place similar definition to the concept. According to Berry , the phrase service quality can be misleading in that although quality is ‘conformance to specification’ it leans more so to how customers define how it should be and not what management thinks should exist. When customers use the services of an organization they expect that what they will receive are a friendly environment and people who are able to satisfy their needs on a whole Kotler  defined satisfaction as “a person’s feelings of pleasure or disappointment resulting from comparing a product’s perceived performance in relations to his or her expectations”. With this in mind worganizations offer high service quality to generate customer retention, satisfaction and loyalty. Often time when customers are able to reuse services it is as a result of loyalty and satisfaction and they often than always becomes the advertising driver of new product and new customers.Customers’ reaction is based on the concept of expectation received. According to Zeithaml, Berry and Parsuraman  a normative standard for expectation has been proposed by many researchers they specifically mentioned the works of Miller , Swan and Trawick  stating that normative expectations is how a brand should perform in order to satisfy consumers completely.
Service quality (SERVQUAL) gap models
Service Quallity Model (SERVQUAL) is an approach developed by Parasuraman, Zeithaml and Berry in 1988 to evaluate service quality. Initially when the model was developed there were 10 elements of service quality. Over time this has been collapsed to five factors–assurance, empathy, reliability, responsiveness and tangibles.There are five identifiable dimension of service quality they are reliability, responsiveness, assurance and empathy and tangible according to Parasuraman et al. . these dimension link consumer’s expectations to specific service characteristic. The measurement of service quality using these dimension have often be done using the SERVQUAL model (Figures 1 and 2). This model measures service quality based on the difference between what is expected and the customer perception Parasuraman et al. . The model has been used to measure both private and public services such as banking fast food industry  hotel industry  health care  Local Authorities . The consumer’s perception of service quality within Jamaica Constabulary Force is relatively important as the staff seen at the frontline is the first element that bears the true image of the organization. Therefore in the true interest of the public the desired expectation requires the use of the service quality dimensions as the important variables to measure service quality validity .
As a result of the various studies that have been done using the SERVQUAL model in various areas [33,38-49], this study will aim at building on the works already presented as it relates to public sector reform on service quality. The GAP model by Zeithaml, Parasuraman and Berry  and Kotler and Keller , were chosen on the basis that the selected gaps will enable the reader and the researcher to assess how the service dimensions are relatively important to understanding and implementing level of quality service required.
Service quality gaps
Based onParasuraman et al.  as well as Kotler and Kotler , the service quality gaps are differences between 1) expectations of customers and the perceived service offered, and 2) the expectations of users in relating to service and management’s perception of customers’expectations. Parasuraman et al.  identified five Gaps in service quality, which emerged between the users and the organization (or department). This was later adopted by Kotler and Kotler  who made the differences between users and marketers owing to the marketing perspective with which they wrote.
Based on Parasuraman et al.’s work, the Gaps are as follows:
I Gap: This arises as a result of thedifference between customers’ expected service and management’s perceptions of customers’ expectations.
II Gap: This isthe variation between management perceptions of customers’ expectations and service quality specifications.
III Gap: Beingthe disparity between service quality specifications and the real service delivery.
IV Gap: The dissimilarity between the service delivered and the external communication about the service with customers.
V Gap: Arising fromthe difference between consumer expectation and their perception of service quality.
The Service Quality Gap Model developed by Parasuraman et al.  was void of the socio-demographic characteristics of people, which was later included by Renganathan . Renganathan wrote “The aim of this study is to analyze the hotel guests’ expectations and perceptions of hotel services and the role of demographic variables in evaluating the Service quality and also to ascertain how Factor analysis can be used to identify number of factors underlying SERVQUAL components (items)”. The work did not include the perception of managers about what users expect, which meant that this was Gap 5 in Parasuraman et al.’s Model with the inclusion of socio-demographic characteristics (i.e., age, gender, income, and educational level).
Renganathan argued that many of the studies on service quality examine the issue from the perspectives of customers and organization [32,39]and that Zeithamlet al.  proposed molding customers’ expectations and perception fitted in a five dimension service quality . These were 1) tangibles; 2) reliability; 3) responsiveness; 4) assurance, and 5) emphathy. According to Rengathan “Tangibles: Physical evidence, appearance of physical facilities, personnel, and communication materials. Reliability: Ability to perform the promised service dependably and accurately. Responsiveness: Willingness to help customers and provide prompt service. Assurance: Knowledge and courtesy of employees and their ability to convey trust and confidence. Empathy: provision of individualized caring attention to customers.”
Instead of the initial five Gaps developed by Parasuraman et al.  which included users Zeithaml et al.  established five Gaps around the perception of users only based on tangibles, reliability, responsiveness, assurance and empathy. The Gaps were based on the mean differences between users’ expectations and perception.
Within the context of Kotler’s definition of customer satisfaction “a person’s feelings of pleasure or disappointment resulting from comparing a product’s perceived performance in relations to his or her expectations”, it can be deduced from Parasuraman, et al. , Kotler and Kotler  and Zeithamlet al.  that if users’ perception of service performance is greater than their expectation that satisfaction will be greater and vice versa. The disparity between users’ expectations and their belief on service performance holds the key service delivery with excellence and otherwise to customers .
The current study undertakes to examine the perception of Jamaicans on service quality offered by Jamaica Constabulary Force in order to provide empirical evidence on psychology of policing the Jamaican society and provide information upon which some policies can be guided and framed by. In order to do this the researcher adopted a positivistic epistemology which is carried out using survey research methodology. It follows that this section provides a detailed description of the 1) research process; and 2) methods (measurement, statistical analysis, sampling, questionnaire, interview, and thematic identification) used to interpret the data, the objectives, limitations, instruments, and the definition of terms.
Survey research is well documented in the social sciences as a methodology which comes from positivism (or post-positivism) . This methodology requires conceptualization and measurement of phenomenon as it seeks precision, objectivity and sometimes the forecasting of results. According to Blalock in 1982, “Conceptualization involves a series of processes by which theoretical constructs, ideas, and concepts are classified, distinguished, and given definitions that make it possible to reach a reasonable degree of consensus and understanding of the theoretical ideas we are trying to express”. Suggesting that survey research can be used to formulate and construct theories and/or laws, extensively evaluate issues and understand general issues. Blalock noted that “By measurement, we refer to the general process through which numbers are assigned to objects in such a fashion that it is also understood just what kinds of mathematical operations can legitimately be used”. Hence, survey research is built around conceptualization, measurement and objectivity before it can be used to establish laws and/or theories. Crotty  aptly summarizes the research process using objectivistic epistemology in a diagrammatic manner highlighting the rationale for conceptualization and measurement in survey research.
A literature review is the documentary evidence which provides a comprehensive understanding of a problem and/or how other studies have approach related or similar issues in the past. Neuman succinctly summarized the literature when that “Reviewing the accumulated knowledge about a question is an essential early step in the research process, no matter which approach to social science you adopt. As in other areas of life it is best to find out what is already known about a question before trying to answer it yourself” . Based on the objectives of this study, this chapter provides a comprehensive documentary analysis of relative materials on service quality. Although the emphasis of this study is Jamaica, related materials in-and-outside country will be evaluated to provide an understanding of the phenomenon, a base for contextualization, and aid in the interpretation of the current findings.
The researcher reviewed written documents including books, journal articles, and company documents. The review was to determine 1) theoretical framework, 2) items for instrument, and 3) epistemological framework for the study, and 4) how to interpret the statistical analysis as well as study. A major reason for the document review was to assist in triangulating and validating information obtained in the interview, given that interviews “rarely constitute the sole source of data in research”  as well as framing the study.
To provide data for the quantitative aspect of this study, a survey was used as it allows for testing the theoretical model. A survey provides for the collection of vast number of data on any issue and for cross comparison of the results of the current study against those in other geo-political areas (Powell et al.  ). There were three standardized questionnaires were the choiced instrument to gather data from many people. The standardized questionnaires had mostly close-ended items and each instrument was written in English, as this is general language in Jamaica–Appendix Ais a Service Quality of the Jamaica Constabulary Force Survey; and Appendix Bwas a Five dimension Service Quality Service survey designed by Parasuraman et al. .
Service quality of the jamaica constabulary force survey
For this survey, there were 52 questions on the instrument, with three being open-ended items (Questions 1, 3, and 4)–Appendix B. The questionnaire was sub-divided into two sections–Section One (demographic data), and Section Two (Service Quality). The demographic questions comprised of 6 items including employment status. The service quality items, Section II, consisted of 7-point Likert Scale items, with items 23 items being exceptations, labelled E, and 23 items on Perception, labelled P.
The survey method allows for the 1) measurement, 2) statistical analyses, and 3) objectivism. According to March and Bourne, “The objectivist epistemology holds sacred logic, precision, general principles, principles of verification, the standard of rigor, gradual development, establishment of laws, principles, theories and apparatuses …” , which are the rationale for the survey research and the statistical analyses that are embedded therein. The survey went through a process before it was finally accepted as the standardized instrument–pilot testing and retesting.
Pilot testing and retesting of instrument
Thomas Kuhn postulated that science not only embodies objectivity, logic, precision and general principles as humans are social beings , suggesting that inquiry must be a gradual development which is critical to the scientific method . As such, we must understand the meaning behind people behaviors which can only be found through 1) observation, 2) experimentation, 3) interviews, and/or 4) survey research. Of the aforementioned methods, the current work uses a survey instrument. Having collated the items from different sources with cultural disparities from Jamaica, the instrument was test for 1) clarity, 2) understanding of items, 3) language usage and context, 4) measurement and conceptualization, and 5) challenges and likely problematic issues that are inherent in the way the questions are phrased.
The collated survey questionnaire was pilot tested on a similar group of people with similar characteristics to the actual sample. Modifications were made to the initial instrument based on the feedback given by the participants. In addition to the participants, the questions were vetted by 1) managers, 2) a scholar in management, and 3) a methodologist. Their input was fed back into a modified questionnaire in addition to those offered by the participants to formulate a modified instrument. The modified instrument was pre-tested on another group with characteristics of the sample, and their comments were feed into the process to form the final instrument.
Kuhn noted science is so because of the approaches taken, the rigors followed objectivity, measurement and gradual development. The social science is an inquiry into social phenomena, meaning peoples’ attitudes, behaviors and perceptions. Because social science is on people, care must be taken in how the information is gathered [53,57]. To comprehend the seriousness of ethical issues, in Neuman’s book entitled “Social Research Methods: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches’ chapter 5 reads ‘The Literature Review and Ethical Concerns’, suggesting that documented analysis which provides the context of scientific investigation must take into consideration ethical standards that hold true of the research process. He opined that “Researchers need to prepare themselves and consider ethical concerns as they design a study so that sound ethical practices is built into the study design” . He noted further that “Ethics define what is or is not legitimate to do, or what ‘moral; research procedure involves” .
In keeping with Neuman’s perspective, the researcher includes ethics as a part of the research process and followed it throughout. Firstly, the researcher ensures that on the survey instrument does not require the participant to give his/her name, other personal identifiers and information that can be traced back to the individual. Secondly, the participants were informed of their rights and responsibility of the subjects, and that they can withdraw from the process if they so desire. An informed concern Form was given to each willing subject to sign before they were allowed to participate in the research.
Thomas Kuhn who had a doctorate in physics argued expensively on the validity and verifiability of qualitative inquiry despite the seemingly non-objectivism. Knowing how things operate was not singly embedded in empiricism, objective measurability and statistical analyses [26,56] as meaning accounts for actions that are sometimes outside of the realm of objectivism. It can be extrapolated from Kuhn’s perspectives that validity and reliability are equally important in all scientific inquiry, and the issues of conceptualization and measurement must include an aspect of validity and verification.
For any research project to be credible, its reliability and validity have to be clearly established . As such, the necessary steps taken to ensure that the proposed project has both internal and external validity and internal/external reliability on the instrument used are outlined. According to Wiersman, reliability is concerned with the reliability and consistency of the methods, conditions and results while validity deals with the accurate interpretability of the results and the generalizability of the results.
In order to ensure a high response rate on the questionnaire, the researcher used only the number of necessary items to elicit questions. The researcher also established a directory of the respondents to be able to make the relevant follow up calls. The researcher also did personal deliveries and collection of the instruments, to personally outline to the respondents the importance of their responses to the project.
In this study, reliability of some items was based on Equivalence Reliability-Cronbach alpha . This was compared based on high or low values of Cronbach alpha. Reliability was increased by way of using 1) previously tested items (or questions), 2) pre-testing, testing and post-testing of items. The researcher adheres to the following types of measuring validity–1) Face validity, 2) Content validity, 3) Criterion Validity, and 4) Concurrent validity .
Prior to administering the final question, the instrument went through a process of testing, retesting, and modifications in keeping with issues raised in the vetting and pilot testing process. Initially, the researcher construed a number of items that would adequately collect data that could allow for the testing of the hypothesis and addressing the objectives of the study.
The researcher carried out a pilot test using the modified questionnaire. On the questionnaire the scale items were taken and sometimes modified in keeping with the culture and context of Jamaican workers. The pilot testing was done at Lingston Political Industry (pseudo name), with 10 employees at different employment status. The overall time taken to complete the instrument was 20 minutes (± 10 minutes). Adjustments were made to the final instrument based on queries, word usage, context, lack of understanding and weakness in construction. Following that exercise, the modified instrument was again done with another group of workers at Bethal University (pseudo name). The final instrument that emerged was a modified questionnaire that was administered to the participants of the study.
The entire process of instrument design was aided by Rea and Parker’s book on designing and conducting survey research  as well as a copy of cross-sectional survey conducted by Powell et al.  on probing political culture in Jamaica.
The logic of sampling is to make inferences about the population [60,61], which requires a well-defined and/or stated population. For this research, the population was residents of the fourteen parishes in Jamaica (Figure 3) Map of Jamaica, with parish, rural and urban centres). Figure 3 provides an explanation of the sampling frame for the entire nation (Table 2).
|Parish||Population||Population ratio||Sample size|
|Kingston & St. Andrew||667,778||0.25||322|
Table 2: Population of Jamaicans, population ratio and sample size of current study.
Sampling: sample design
The samples for this work were 1) Jamaicans and 2) Gazette Police Officers (i.e., from the rank of Assistant Superintendents to Commissioner). Table 2 summarizes the stratified probability sampling of Jamaicans for this study. A detailed description of the sample design for Jamaicans is provided in Table 2. The entire sampling process was guided by Leslie Kish’s work on ‘Survey Sampling’ . The present sampling process represents a deviation from the full scientific principles of surveying as outlined by Kish.
The data were examined by way of statistical analyses–descriptive and inferential statistics. Cronbach alpha was used to measure the reliability of each construct created for the purpose of the study. Descriptive statistics were used to report on the demographic characteristics of the sample as well as for each measure. The following will be used to interpret data [63,64]:
Tangibles: Physical facilities, equipment and appearance of personnel;
Reliability: Ability to perform the promised service dependably and accurately;
Responsiveness: Willingness to help customers and provide prompt service;
Assurance: Knowledge and courtesy of employees and their ability to inspire trust and confidence (Including competence, courtesy, credibility and security); and
Empathy: Caring andindividualized attention that the firm provides to its customers (Including access, communication, understanding the customer).
Service Quality is measured using in a simple mathematical equation (Eqn 1):
SQ = P – E (1)
Where,SQ denotes overall service quality; P symbolizes perception and E means service quality expectation
Table 3 summarizes the socio-demographic characteristics of the sampled population. Marginally more females were in the sample (57.6%) compared to males (42.4%); with one in every 2 respondents indicating that they are in the lower (working) class, and 68.9% reported that they were employed compared to 11.5% being unemployed. The mean age of the respondents was 37 years ± 11 years, 95% CI: 34.3–39.8 years.
|Subjective social class|
|Lower (working) class||50.0|
|Age of respondent|
|Mean ± Standard deviation||37.0 years ± 11.0 years|
Table 3: Socio-demographic characteristics of the sampled population, n=1,300.
Quantitative data response
Table 4 summarizes descriptive statistics of service expectations and perception of service delivery of users of Jamaica Constabulary Force. Both service expectations and perception of service delivery are moderate. With Service Quality being the difference between Expectations and Perception, it follows therefore that the Gap is very small. Many researchers that have examined Service Quality opined that this is the Gap between Customer’s Expectation and Perception of Service delivery [65-67]which was comprehensive forwarded by Parasuraman, et al. , and that a negative value indicates unmet needs of customers.
|Descriptive||Mean ± SD||Minimum||Maximum||95% CI||GAP (P–E)|
|Perception of service delivery||4.642 ± 1.31||1.4||10.35||5.19–5.86||-1.16|
|Service Expectations||5.802 ± 1.41||1.0||11.0||5.35–6.08|
Table 4: Descriptive statistics on service expectations and perception.
Table 5 is a disaggregation of overall SERVQUAL of JCF members as viewed by the people of Jamaica. Jamaicans highest expectations were for assurance and reliability of SERVQUAL. Such findings indicated that Jamaicans have the greatest unmet customer service needs in the areas of courtesy of officers,their ability to influence confidence and trust in law enforcement and perform their tasks accurately with a high degree of dependability.
Table 5: The perspective of Jamaicans on service quality of JCF members.
The perspective of rural area children and youths
Table 6 presents a detailed description of Service Quality (SERVQUAL) of JCF from the perspective of rural children and youths in Jamaica. The overall negative gap score (-2.0) in SERVQUAL indicates that there is a shortfall in meeting users’ satisfaction. This negative gap between perception and expectation of SERVQUAL offers an insight into rural children’s and youths’ dissatisfaction with the service deliverables by members of the JCF. Thus, the negative image of rural children and youths on JCF member is captured in the overall value and magnitude of the gap between perception and expectation in SERVQUAL.
|Details||Mean ± SD||Minimum||Maximum||GAP scores
Table 6: The perspective of rural area children and youths on service quality of JCF members.
Disaggregating the overall SERVQUAL of JCF members based on the perspective of rural area children,youths indicate dissatisfaction with the entire components of SERVQUAL (Table 7). In fact, the widest gap score was recorded for empathy. Simply put, rural area children and youths indicated that the police do not have much empathy in relation to them in the execution of their duties. The data indicates that rural area children and youths expect the most empathy from JCF member compared to the least tangible service deliverables.
Table 7: The perspective of rural area children and youths on service quality of JCF members.
Residents of Central Kingston (Lower class residents), Kingston, Jamaica, at most awarded members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, whom police their community, a moderate score for service quality (i.e., 77%) (Table 8). By a way of comparison, 23% of the residents gave the police a high score for service quality, 32% a low score and 45% stated moderate service quality (Table 8). The findings offer some insights into the perspective of residents of Central Kingston on the conduct, attitude and behaviour of police who service their community. Such findings illustrate the failing grade awarded by residents for the policing of the communities by Central Kingston police division. Overall the residents are dissatisfied with the actions of police officers in policing their communities in the Division. Almost 8% of the residents gave the police the least score for service quality compared to 3% who awarded the police the highest score for service quality. Overall, the service quality score awarded to police, whom work in the Police Division, for whatever reason, is 5 ± 0.011, 95% CI=4.978–5.011indicating moderate SERVQUAL.
|Value||Frequency (f)||Cumulative Frequency (cf)||Relative Frequency (rf)||CRF (IN %)||fx||x2||fx2|
Table 8: Residents of central kingston (lower class) police division’s perspective on service quality of members of JCF.
Table 9 presents descriptive statistics on service quality of residents of Central Kingston Police Division (Lower class), and the gap between their expectations and perception of service delivery by members of the JCF who police their communities. Using the residents’ perspective, the expectations of service delivery of police officers was 5.0 ± 1.31, 95% CI: 4.90–6.50 compared to 4.3 ± 1.41, 95%CI: 4.12–4.72 for the perception of service delivery. The negative score relates to the gap between perception and expectations indicates unfulfilled expectations of residents on service quality offerings by members of the JCF who police this Division. Simply put, the -0.7 indicates that police officers are not meeting the needs of the residents and that this offer an explanation of the negative image of residents on the behaviour of police officers in the execution of their duties in the division. The results illustrate a justification for community policing, customer satisfaction in policing inner-city communities and a changing of the traditional approach in policing Central Kingston Police Division (Lower class). The reality is, the police cannot demand co-operation from residents of Central Kingston Police Division due to the deficiency in service quality deliverable-expectations. It is this perception that is creating the negative image for law enforcement, which concurs with the literature on the matter [68,69].
|Descriptive||Mean ± SD||Minimum||Maximum||95% CI||GAP
|Service Expectations||5.0 ± 1.31||1.5||10.00||4.90–6.50||-0.7|
|Perception of service delivery||4.3 ± 1.41||1.3||10.0||4.12–4.72|
Table 9: Descriptive statistics on service expectations and perception.
In order to provide a comprehensive understanding of the negative gap score, the score was disaggregated by the 5 components of SERVQUAL (Table 10). A disaggregation of the SERVQUAL reveals that residents of Central Kingston indicated that JCF members least empathy for them–by way of the highest negative gap score–as well as responsiveness and assurance. Simply, the residents are dissatisfied with JCF members’ to promptly deliver service, be courteous and inspire trust and confidence in police officers.
Table 10: The perspective of rural area children and youths on service quality of JCF members.
One of the core values of the JCF’s 2015-2018 Corporate Plan is the fair and equitable treatment of citizens . Suffice to say a former law enforcement officer, now Deputy CEO of the Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency, Mr. Garth Williams, called for the police to reduce excesses against the citizens in the execution of their duties. For decades, residents of Central Kingston Police Division have been complaining about police excesses such as police brutality and unprofessional conduct by law enforcement officers.Rogue cops are creating a negative image of the general membership of the Jamaica Constabulary Force . The JCF dispels this as a myth which is oppositely expressed by the residents of Central Kingston.
There are some truths to the claims of unprofessional behaviour and excessive as well brutality by police, which is evident by accounts of the Independent Commission of Investigations . This brings the truthfulness of the situation squarely on the table and explains police excesses experienced by the residents of Central Kingston. The implementation of measures by the Ministry of Justice to reduce police excesses  signals the truth to the allegations and the cries of Jamaicans about excesses and/or brutality and accounts for the negative gap in service quality of members of the JCF. In fact, Amnesty International  confirms the allegations of police excesses met out against Jamaicans and the negative score of the service quality index is a clear indication that matters still exist in 2016 inspite of measures to address the issue by the Ministry of Justice  and the police hierarchy .
It is evident from various publications that the police have been unprofessional in many instances in Jamaica, across different communities including Central Kingston [11,74-77]. The residents of Central Kingston lament the behaviour of members of the JCF, and the distrust is owing to the many experiences and/or or public pronouncements on police excesses, which is captured in a scholarship by Meikle & Jaffe  Harriott  and media reports  as well as Amnesty International .
Stratified national probability samples of 374 middle-class Jamaicans were sampled. Table 11 summarized their perspective on SERVQUAL for JCF members. Overall, middle class Jamaicans were dissatisfied with the quality of service delivered by JCF members. The negative value for the gap score indicates a significant shortfall in middle class respondents’ expectations on service delivery by members of the JCF. Simply put, there is customers’dissatisfaction in service delivery. The overall SERVQUAL Gap model does not provide a comprehensive explanation of service area and/or the dimensions of dissatisfaction of respondents. Thus, a disaggregation of the overall SERVQUAL gap score can only offer insights into the service areas of dissatisfaction and the specifications can aid police management
Table 11: SERVQUAL score for JCF members.
Table 12 presents a detailed summary of service area and/or the dimensions of dissatisfaction of respondents. Middle class respondents are dissatisfied with all the service areas offered by members of the JCF and this speaks to shortfalls in the JCF in meeting the needs of its customers. The highest levels of dissatisfactions occurred in the service areas of reliability and responsiveness followed by empathy. Those areas of service include delivering of promised service in a dependable, accurate manner; willingness to offer assistance in a prompt manner; the provision of individualized attention to all people. Thus there is a real cause for concern to immediately address the shortfalls in order to improve service deliveries.
Table 12: Disaggregated SERVQUAL score for JCF members.
The Ministry of National Security and the Jamaica Constabulary Force [12,20,21] have purported that there is a new era in policing in Jamaica and/or a new policing agenda that takes into consideration the user–service delivery. Thus it can be extrapolated from such perspective that customer satisfaction is among the many core values of the policing in Jamaica. It is well documented in the literature where customer satisfaction or dissatisfaction has been measured using SERQUAL [32,33,43,44,66,80-88], and the issue has also been evaluated in policing in other jurisdictions outside of Jamaica [22,65,89]; yet no such empirical work has been conducted on the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) . The JCF desires to change its image and so it recognizes that customer satisfaction will be critical to which he has included in the 2015-2018 (Appendix C), Corportate Plan ; suggesting that service quality is of importance and is long outstanding it the customer service apparatus. The reality is, the administration of policing cannot be simply about ‘force’ to address social issues in the society and so an amalgated concept must be looked at for policing communities [11,90,91].
Customer satisfaction, customer service and quality service are not mere concepts that have no meaning outside of their usage. In fact, there is a psychology behind customer satisfaction, customer service and service quality that is captured in using SERQUAL that must be understood by police officers. Oliver  defined satisfaction “as a summary of psychological state resulting when the emotion surrounding disconfirmed expectations is coupled with the consumer's prior feelings about the consumption experience". Oliver’s perspective offers an insight into the satisfaction that comes beyond the simple word to the mental state of people, this must be understood by policy making in law enforcement. Another scholar defined satisfaction as “a person’s feelings of pleasure or disappointment resulting from comparing a product perceived performance (or outcome) in relation to his or her expectations” . This goes to the crux of the cooperation gap between the member of the JCF and the public. It is simple, based on the Kotler’s perspective, dissatisfied clients expect more than they received and this disappointment will materialize itself into 1) performance deficiency, 2) distrust, 3) confrontation and 4) a lack of cooperation among the various parties.
Jamaicans are dissatisfied with the service offered by the JCF as emerged by the negative gap between perceptions and expectations of the current findings (-1.16). The negative score indicates that the JCF has unmet the needs of its users and this goes to the feeling of disappointment  and the ‘emotion surrounding disconfirmed expectations’ Oliver , which accounts for the difficulty of the JCF to solve the crime situation in the society. The reality is the disappointment of the unmet needs are creating psychological barriers between law enforcment and the public. Angelova and Zekiri’s perspective offers insight to the image of the JCF and how this image was created by users’ dissatisfaction. They forwarded that “Satisfied customers form the foundation of any successful business as customer satisfaction leads to repeat purchase, brand loyalty, and positive word of mouth”, which means that the current challenges of the JCF to address crime are embedded in users’ dissatisfaction.
In order to fully grasp the pscyhology behind policing a society and the difficulties of law enforcement to effectively address crimes in Jamaica, one must explore users’ satisfaction (or dissatisfaction) and the vigiliant approaches are used as alternative means of policing in the society. Hansemark and Albinson  “satisfaction is an overall customer attitude towards a service provider, or an emotional reaction to the difference between what customers anticipate and what they receive, regarding the fulfillment of some needs, goals or desire“. Administrators, policy makers and managers of the JCF need to recognize the importance of the customers to the overall success of the entity. It therefore explains why policing has been a challenge. Chen et al.  empirical established that success of policing is based on the satisfaction of user of the service and supervisors and administrators in the force must understand the value of users’ satisfaction in police management . Simply put, a satisfied mind is a cooperative person and that the correct blending of police management must include satisfaction of the users and that this holds the key to crime reduction. Police must take the same approach as the retail industry  in recognizing the importance of the user in the execution of their duties.
This research has shown that users’ expectations in services of the JCF were all negative scores. Such findings speak to the psychology of disappointment, and why the users do not desire to cooperate with the law enforcement to address the crime monsters in the society. Oliver "… expectations are consumer-defined probabilities of the occurrence of positive and negative events if the consumer engages in some behavior", highlighting that all the negative scores for expectations of Jamaicans is an expression of behaviour and future behaviour that will not support the efforts of the police. Both expectations and perceptions are intangible behaviours and when unmet needs are present in a service, people will withhold critical information, reduce support for, become antogonistic, confrontational and challenges of policing the Jamaican society is based upon the life dissatisfaction of service expectations, which is comprehensively explained by Cronin& Taylor  and others [67,93].
Berryet al. , and Gronroos  extensively argued about the importance of quality in service, which is is borne out by this study. The negative scores for the gap between perceptions and expectations indicates bad service [43,79], which is now captured in the psychology of policing in Jamaica. Therefore, the psychology of policing in the Jamaican society is captured in all the gaps between perceptions and expectations as found in the current research. The police must incooperate such findings into their operational and conceptual framework as it is statistically established that a correlation existed between user satisfaction, user loyality and profitability . While policing is a public service which means that there is no profitability issue, this can be replaced with user co-operation and the gap model in service quality offers a whole in light on the psychology of behaviour of people [95-97]. The reality is service quality dimensions (i.e., assurance, empathy, reliability, responsiveness and tangibles) are related to user satisfaction [98,99] and so it easy to make the link between service quality, customer satisfaction and psychology of behaviour as well as customer retention [92,100-103]. Disappointment, sadness and expectations are all apart of the psychology of behaviour [104-108] they must be understood in policing a society. Jamaica’s reality of the challenges experienced by law enforcement officers is embodied in the the psychology of behaviour that is not employed in policing the society, which is expressed in the service quality model used in this research. There is a science of service  that needs to be comprehensively understood and incorporated into police strategic management as obtain in service management [82-86].
The Jamaica Ministry of National Security as well the JCF have implemented many programmes to address the crime problem, especially homicides, but to no avail. The current findings offer some insight into the failed policies as Jamaicans are dissatisfied with the service delivery of the JCF. The psychology of dissatisfaction with the service delivery of the JCF is accounting for the failure of its initiatives and unless the negative gaps between perceptions and expectations are addressed, the JCF will be a failed organization.
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