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Communicator Style of Police Officers and Citizen Satisfaction With Officer/Citizen Telephone Conversations

NCJ Number
Journal of Police Science and Administration Volume: 13 Issue: 1 Dated: (March 1985) Pages: 70-77
M J Glauser; W L Tullar
Date Published
8 pages
Norton's (1978, in press) conceptualizations and operational measures in a communicator style construct were used to investigate the relationship between officer communication style and citizen satisfaction with officer/citizen telephone interaction.
Six police officers staffing a telephone report unit (TRU) in the Southeastern United States were assessed on the friendly, precise, dominant, attentive, flexible, argumentative, and relaxed communicator style subcontructs and on overall communication effectiveness. Citizens who agreed to participate produced a total of 86 questionnaires or 32 percent of the 267 calls handled by the TRU during the 2-week study period. The citizens completed the short form of Norton's Communicator Style Measure and Hecht's (1978) measure of communication satisfaction. Overall, communication effectiveness was more strongly related to citizen satisfaction than any of the individual style variables. Preciseness was the strongest correlate of overall satisfaction. Friendliness was the second strongest correlate, followed by the relaxed and argumentative styles. Attentiveness and flexibility contributed little to the regression but showed a significant difference across the satisfaction groups. There were no strong correlations between any of the specific style variables and the objective measures of the conversation. There were no strong relationships between overall communication effectiveness or citizen satisfaction and the objective measures of the conversation. Friendliness showed correlations of .23 with both measures of citizen interruptions, and preciseness showed a correlation of .22 with conversation length. Overall, communication effectiveness and citizen satisfaction were related to conversation length and citizen interruptions. Tabular data and 21 references are provided.