Queering Employee Engagement to Understand and Improve the Performance of Gay Male Law Enforcement Officers: A Phenomenological Exploration

Joshua C. Collins, Tonette S. Rocco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Masculinized industries such as law enforcement (LE) are characterized as being ruled by traditional standards for masculinity and having a heteronormative culture. Both can be detrimental to gay men by diminishing their capacity for full engagement with the work. The purpose of this phenomenological study is to provide a “queered” understanding of gay male law enforcement officers' (LEOs') employee engagement (EE) to improve performance and inclusion for all LEOs. Findings indicated that positive disclosure experiences (coming out) produced stronger EE, and EE was sometimes limited by the extent to which the officers felt safe being out of the closet. Being able to frame coming out as beneficial for social interactions and positive perceptions of competency was important for the officers as they made meaning of their experiences. The implications for LE practice and organizational and EE research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)273-295
Number of pages23
JournalPerformance Improvement Quarterly
Volume30
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2018

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