The Impact of Health-Oriented Leadership on Police Officers’ Physical Health, Burnout, Depression and Well-Being [2018]

The present study examines the impact of health-oriented leadership (HoL) on health outcomes of police officers. HoL refers to leaders’ health-specific orientation toward followers and includes behavioural as well as motivational and cognitive aspects. We tested whether HoL has a direct effect on police officers’ mental and physical health and whether this relationship is mediated by work-related health behaviours of the officers themselves. Data were collected at a large urban police department in Germany (n = 811). Results indicate that HoL is negatively related to levels of burnout, depression and physical complaints among police officers and is positively related to their state of well-being. The relationship between leadership and well-being was partially mediated by the officers’ own health-related behaviours, indicating that HoL also affects followers’ well-being by promoting health-related self-care at work. The results emphasize the importance of leadership for follower health and provide valuable information for leadership development in the context of police work.

Andreas Santa Maria, Christine Wolter, Burkhard Gusy, Dieter Kleiber, Babette Renneberg
Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice, Volume 13, Issue 2, June 2019