Scielo RSS <![CDATA[SA Journal of Industrial Psychology]]> vol. 43 num. 1 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>A generational perspective on work values in a South African sample</b>]]> ORIENTATION: In order to ensure harmonious relationships in the workplace, work values of different generational cohorts need to be investigated and understood. RESEARCH PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to investigate the work values of a South African sample from a generational perspective, in order to foster an understanding of the similarities and differences of different generational cohorts in terms of work values. MOTIVATION OF THE STUDY: Understanding the work values of different generational cohorts could assist organisations to manage and retain human capital in an increasingly competitive environment. Furthermore, it could assist organisations to develop an advanced understanding of employee behaviour, which should inform conflict-resolution strategies to deal with reported conflict between different generational cohorts. RESEARCH DESIGN, APPROACH AND METHOD: The study was conducted within the positivist paradigm and was quantitative in nature. Data were gathered from 301 employees representing three different generational cohorts, namely the Baby Boomers, Generation X and Generation Y. A cross-sectional study was conducted, and data were collected once off by means of the Values Scale. The psychometric properties of the Values Scale have a reliability coefficient of 0.95, and the scale has been applied successfully in various iterations. MAIN FINDINGS: The findings indicate statistically significant differences and similarities between the various generational cohorts in terms of work values. More specifically, similarities and differences between the various generational cohorts were observed with regard to the values of authority, creativity, risk and social interaction in the work context. PRACTICAL/MANAGERIAL IMPLICATIONS: Organisations can use the findings of the study to strengthen employee interaction within the work environment. In addition, the findings can be used to inform retention and management strategies, in order to ensure harmonious relationships in the workplace. CONTRIBUTION/VALUE-ADD: The study contributes to the literature on South African generational cohorts and work values. <![CDATA[<b>Validating strengths use and deficit correction behaviour scales for South African first-year students</b>]]> ORIENTATION: It is well known that the first year at university can be very challenging and stressful for students. While some students mainly depend on the university to assist them through this time, other students want to proactively manage this stressful period themselves by focusing on their strengths and developing in their areas of weakness. Two new scales measuring proactive strengths use and deficit correction behaviour have recently been developed for employees. However, the psychometric properties of these new scales have not yet been tested on first-year students in the South African context. RESEARCH PURPOSE: To examine the validity, measurement invariance and reliability of the proactive strengths use and deficit correction scales for South African first-year university students. MOTIVATION FOR THE STUDY: In order to cope in the demanding university environment, first-year university students need to develop and apply proactive strategies, including using their strengths and developing in their areas of weaknesses. Several studies have indicated that proactive behaviour, specifically strengths use and deficit correction behaviour, lead to favourable outcomes such as higher engagement, lower burnout and more life satisfaction. Therefore, it is important to validate scales that measure these constructs for first-year students. RESEARCH DESIGN, APPROACH AND METHOD: A cross-sectional research approach was used. A sample of South African first-year university students aged between 18 and 23 years (N = 776) was collected. The two scales were tested for their factor structure, measurement invariance, reliability, and convergent and criterion validity. MAIN FINDINGS: A two-factor structure was found for the strengths use and deficit correction behaviour scales. Measurement invariance testing showed that the two scales were interpreted similarly by participants from different campuses and language groups. Cronbach's alpha coefficients (α ≥ 0.70) indicated that both scales were reliable. In addition, the scales demonstrated convergent validity (comparing them with a general strengths use and proactive behaviour scale). Strengths use and deficit correction behaviour both predicted student burnout, student engagement and life satisfaction, with varying strengths of the relationships for strengths use and deficit correction behaviour. PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS: Strengths use and deficit correction behaviour could enable students to manage study demands and enhance well-being. Students will experience favourable outcomes from proactively using strengths and developing their weaknesses, including reduced burnout and enhanced engagement and life satisfaction. Universities and lecturers can be informed, which allows them to develop support structures and provide students with opportunities to apply their strengths and develop thier deficits. CONTRIBUTION/VALUE-ADD: The present study adds to the limited research available on initiating proactive behaviour to use strengths and improve deficits for university students by validating two new scales. This could help in facilitating positive outcomes for first-year university students within the South African context. <![CDATA[<b>Emotional intelligence in South African women leaders in higher education</b>]]> ORIENTATION: This study contributes to an in-depth understanding of emotional intelligence (EI) in women leaders in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in South Africa from an inside perspective. RESEARCH PURPOSE: The purpose of this study is to explore EI in South African women leaders working in HEIs to identify women leader's strengths, foci and their possible areas of development. The aim is to get deeper insights in EI in women leaders because EI is associated with effective leadership qualities, creativity and innovation, as well as empathetic communication which is needed in the challenging HEI workplaces. MOTIVATION FOR THE STUDY: Emotional intelligence is an important source for women leaders to increase leadership qualities. This study is motivated by a deep interest to explore aspects of EI in women leaders in this specific professional context. RESEARCH DESIGN, APPROACH AND METHOD: The study uses a qualitative research design and an approach based on Dilthey's modern hermeneutics of 'Verstehen' (understanding). Twenty-three women leaders of the Higher Education Research Service (HERS-SA) network were interviewed through semi-structured interviews. One researcher observed behaviour in one HEI to support the interpretation of the data. Data were analysed through content analysis. MAIN FINDINGS: Findings show that women leaders mainly refer to intrapersonal emotional quotient (EQ), followed by interpersonal EQ, adaptability, stress management and, finally, general mood. The most highly rated components of EQ are self-regard, followed by interpersonal relationships, problem solving, empathy, emotional self-awareness, assertiveness, impulse control and social responsibility. Findings also provide ideas on what EQ components can be further developed. PRACTICAL/MANAGERIAL IMPLICATIONS: New insights are provided on what components of EI should be developed in women leaders to increase overall EI, on cognitive and behavioural levels. CONTRIBUTION/VALUE-ADD: This research provides new and original context-specific insights on EI in HEIs in South Africa, which can be used as a basis for future research on women leaders while providing a knowledge base for contemporary training of EI in HEIs. <![CDATA[<b>'The fact that she just looked at me... '- Narrations on shame in South African workplaces</b>]]> ORIENTATION: Shame has been internationally researched in various cultural and societal contexts as well as across cultures in the workplace, schools and institutions of higher education. It is an emotional signal that refers to experienced incongruence of identity goals and the judgement of others. RESEARCH PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to focus on experiences of shame in the South African (SA) workplace, to provide emic, in-depth insights into the experiences of shame of employees. MOTIVATION FOR THE STUDY: Shame in the workplace often occurs and might impact negatively on mental health and well-being, capability, freedom and human rights. This article aims at gaining some in-depth understanding of shame experiences in SA workplaces. Building on this understanding the aim is to develop awareness in Industrial and Organisational Psychologists (IOPs), employees and organisations to cope with shame constructively in addition to add to the apparent void in the body of knowledge on shame in SA workplaces. RESEARCH DESIGN, APPROACH AND METHOD: An interpretative hermeneutical research paradigm, based on Dilthey's modern hermeneutics was applied. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews of 11 employees narrating their experiences from various workplaces, including the military, consulting organisations and higher education institutions. Content analysis was used for data analysis and interpretation. MAIN FINDINGS: The major themes around which shameful experiences evolved included loss of face, mistreatment by others, low work quality, exclusion, lifestyle and internalised shame on failure in the workplace. Shame is experienced as a disturbing emotion that impacts negatively on the self within the work context. It is also experienced as reducing mental health and well-being at work. PRACTICAL/MANAGERIAL IMPLICATIONS: SA organisations need to be more aware of shame in the workplace, to address the potential negative effects of shame on employees, particularly if they are not prepared to reframe shame into a constructively and positively used emotion. Safe spaces should be made available to talk about shame. Strategies should be applied to deal with shame constructively. CONTRIBUTION/VALUE-ADD: This article expands an in-depth understanding of shame from emic and culture-specific perspectives within SA workplaces. The findings are beneficial to IOPs and organisations to understand what shame is from the perspective of SA employees across cultural groups. The article thereby adds value to theory and practice, offering IOPs a deeper understanding of shame in the work context.