Scielo RSS <![CDATA[SA Journal of Industrial Psychology]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/rss.php?pid=2071-076320110001&lang=en vol. 37 num. 1 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.org.za <![CDATA[<b>Leadership effectiveness in higher education</b>: <b>managerial self-perceptions versus perceptions of others</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2071-07632011000100001&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en ORIENTATION: The study reported here explores the relationship between managerial self-perceptions and perceptions of others (the manager's direct supervisor, peers and subordinates) with regard to leadership effectiveness (LE) in a group of managers in the context of a South African university undergoing a merging process. RESEARCH PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to investigate the prevalence of self-perception accuracy amongst the managers and to explore the patterns of interaction between self-perception accuracy (regarding their leadership behaviour) and perceived transformational leadership behaviour (as measured by composite 'other'-ratings) MOTIVATION OF THE STUDY: Research has shown that managers in various work environments typically overestimate their own level of competence and that this could impact on the effectiveness of their leadership behaviour. This phenomenon has however not yet been researched in the context of South African higher education institutions. RESEARCH DESIGN, APPROACH AND METHOD: A quantitative cross-sectional study of the relationship between self-perception accuracy and leadership effectiveness was conducted amongst the total population (N = 204) of staff members in management positions. The response rate was 67% and the realised sample consisted of 137 managers. Leadership behaviour was measured by means of behavioural ratings on the following five dimensions of the Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI): 'Challenging the process', 'Inspiring a shared vision', 'Enabling others to act', 'Modelling the way' and 'Encouraging the heart'. MAIN FINDINGS: Statistically significant discrepancies were found between self- and observer ratings on all five leadership dimensions, indicating a probable overestimation of their own capabilities. Results further provide evidence that perceived leadership effectiveness on three of the five transformational leadership practices varied as a function of the self-perceptions of managers. PRACTICAL AND MANAGERIAL IMPLICATIONS: Managerial development practices should sensitise managers to what is essentially introspective and provide opportunities for them to reflect upon and question their leadership practices. CONTRIBUTION/VALUE-ADD: A challenge for higher education is to embark on feedback intensive leadership development processes that provide participants with comprehensive feedback in a supportive environment. <![CDATA[<b>Entrepreneurial networking differences</b>: <b>an ethnic in-group and out-group analysis</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2071-07632011000100002&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en ORIENTATION: Researching entrepreneurship using a network perspective is important, as social networks are assets for small business owners struggling to survive in competitive markets. RESEARCH PURPOSE: The research question of this study has focused on what we can learn about entrepreneurial networking, considering that there is an under-explored and unarticulated set of networking principles and practices which have not been previously analysed in terms of a multiethnic country context. MOTIVATION FOR THE STUDY: Often the lack of network use is reported as a feature of entrepreneurs, who have less opportunity to utilise formal social capital features. Social networks provided by extended family, community-based or organisational relationships are often theorised to supplement the effects of education, experience and financial capital. RESEARCH DESIGN, APPROACH AND METHOD: Based on hypothesised differences in networking ties, network assistance and support relationships, a survey was used to collect data on quantitative measures. Descriptive statistics were calculated and differential tests were conducted to test the hypotheses. MAIN FINDINGS: Results indicate that entrepreneurial networking is largely independent on group composition. Generally at least some aspects of networking are generic and as a consequence, a more integrated view of networking can be adopted. PRACTICAL/MANAGERIAL IMPLICATIONS: The practical value of the present study points to several areas of interest to entrepreneurs, policy makers and educators, through demonstrating the multifaceted nature of entrepreneurial networks for different groups and their explanatory potential in understanding networking. CONTRIBUTION/VALUE-ADD: Despite the importance of entrepreneurial networking, little empirical or theoretical research has examined the dynamics of networking in a developing country context such as South Africa, which has lower than expected total entrepreneurship activity. <![CDATA[<b>Positive organisation</b>: <b>the role of leader behaviour in work engagement and retention</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2071-07632011000100003&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en ORIENTATION: The positive organisation creates a framework in which its elements can be investigated in relation to the retention of talent. RESEARCH PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to investigate if leader empowering behaviour can positively impact on role clarity, psychological empowerment and work engagement, with the final outcome being the retention of talent. MOTIVATION FOR THE STUDY: In the ever changing work environment organisations place great emphasis on their human capital. The positive organisation utilises specific elements to optimise human capital's potential. It is therefore important to identify the elements contributing to a positive organisation as well as the elements which lead to the retention of talent. RESEARCH DESIGN, APPROACH AND METHOD: A survey research design was used. A convenience sample (n = 179) was taken from a business unit in a chemical organisation. The Leader Empowering Behaviour Questionnaire, Measures of Role Clarity and Ambiguity Questionnaire, Measuring Empowerment Questionnaire, Utrecht Work Engagement Scale and the Intention to Leave Scale were administered. MAIN FINDINGS: Leader empowering behaviour, role clarity and psychological empowerment predicted work engagement. Role clarity interacted with competence to affect employees' dedication and interacted with the development of employees to affect absorption. Work engagement predicted employees' intention to leave. PRACTICAL/MANAGERIAL IMPLICATIONS: Organisations should foster the elements of a positive organisation if they want to retain their talent. CONTRIBUTION/VALUE-ADD: The results of this research contribute to scientific knowledge about the effects of a positive organisation on retention. <![CDATA[<b>Work-related well-being of South African hospital pharmacists</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2071-07632011000100004&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en ORIENTATION: Hospital pharmacists in South Africa are experiencing increased stress because of the high demand for their services, a lack of resources in hospital pharmacies, and the shortage of pharmacists in South Africa. RESEARCH PURPOSE: The objective of this study was to investigate whether job stress and coping strategies could predict the work-related well-being (burnout and work engagement) of hospital pharmacists in South Africa. MOTIVATION FOR THE STUDY: Information about the work-related well-being and coping strategies of hospital pharmacists could be used to plan individual and organisational interventions which can be used to retain them and to manage their well-being and performance. RESEARCH DESIGN, APPROACH AND METHOD: A survey design was used. A stratified random sample (N = 187) of pharmacists in South African hospitals was studied. The Maslach Burnout Inventory - Human Services Survey, Utrecht Work Engagement Scale, Pharmacist Stress Inventory and the COPE questionnaire were administered. MAIN FINDINGS: The results showed that job related stress and three coping strategies (approach coping, avoidant coping, and turning to religion) predicted burnout and work engagement of South African hospital pharmacists. PRACTICAL/MANAGERIAL IMPLICATIONS: Job stressors that are in the main responsible for the unfavourable work environment and that lead to the development of burnout amongst hospital pharmacists should be addressed. It is also important to enhance the coping capabilities of the hospital pharmacists. CONTRIBUTION/VALUE-ADD: The findings of this study provide insight into the factors impacting on the work-related well-being of hospital pharmacists in South Africa. <![CDATA[<b>Critical elements in defining work-based identity in a post-apartheid South Africa</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2071-07632011000100005&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en ORIENTATION: The main focus of the study was to answer the question: 'Who am I at work?' in a post-apartheid South African organisation. RESEARCH PURPOSE:The aim of the specific research questions was to determine which life sphere and life role elements, and which work-based identity facets were significant in forming work-based identity. MOTIVATION FOR THE STUDY: The findings of the study will enable the formulation of an integrative definition of work-based identity applicable to the South African context. RESEARCH DESIGN, APPROACH AND METHOD: Qualitative data was collected by means of unstructured interviews with 29 employees representing a range of job titles, levels and demographics in a large South African manufacturing company. A grounded theory approach (open and axial coding) was used to analyse the data. MAIN FINDINGS: Distinctive individual self-definitions and a number of common themes integrating social and personal identity perspectives emerged from the data. These themes provided a sound basis for the proposed integrative model to define work-based identity. PRACTICAL/MANAGERIAL IMPLICATIONS: The findings of this research will assist human resource practitioners to develop training interventions and management strategies for the potential enhancement of work-based identities. This will result in a more engaged and harmonised workforce. CONTRIBUTION/VALUE-ADD: This was the first study of its kind to identify and delineate significant work-based identity elements for the formation of a work-based identity within a South African work context. <![CDATA[<b>Happiness, work engagement and organisational commitment of support staff at a tertiary education institution in South Africa</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2071-07632011000100006&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en ORIENTATION: Support staff members play a vital role in tertiary education institutions. With this in mind, the institutions must address their particular needs. In the context of positive psychology, issues of happiness and work engagement could lead to increased positive organisational outcomes like the commitment of support staff. RESEARCH PURPOSE:The purpose of the research was to determine the relationship between happiness, work engagement and organisational commitment and to determine whether happiness and work engagement hold predictive value for the organisational commitment of support staff. MOTIVATION FOR THE STUDY: This study aims to enable the identification of a link between happiness, work engagement and organisational commitment and to identify a predictive value of the model. RESEARCH DESIGN, APPROACH AND METHOD: The researchers used a cross-sectional survey design. They used a sample of 123 (N = 123) support staff members from a tertiary education institution in South Africa. The researchers used four demographic questionnaires for the research. These were the 'Satisfaction with Life Scale' (SWLS), the 'Well-Being Questionnaire' (WBQ), the 'Utrecht Work Engagement Scale' (UWES) and the 'Organisational Commitment Questionnaire' (OCQ). MAIN FINDINGS: The researchers found a significant positive relationship between affective organisational commitment and work engagement, as well as between affective organisational commitment and happiness (as the SWLS and WBQ measure). They found a significant positive relationship between work engagement and happiness. Finally, the results showed that happiness and work engagement have predictive value for affective organisational commitment. PRACTICAL/MANAGERIAL IMPLICATIONS: Happiness and work engagement have predictive value for affective organisational commitment. Therefore, institutions should carefully tailor any implementation programme or initiative to address this relationship. CONTRIBUTION/VALUE-ADD: The findings will benefit both managers and workers. Institutions should consider evaluating the levels of happiness and work engagement of their support staff to address the issue of the organisational commitment of their employees. <![CDATA[<b>The relationship between barriers to change and the work engagement of employees in a South African property management company</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2071-07632011000100007&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en ORIENTATION: For any organisational change initiative to have a successful outcome, people need to contribute and be engaged in the process. RESEARCH PURPOSE:The main objective of the research was to determine the relationship between barriers to change and work engagement. The secondary objectives of the research were to determine whether there are significant relationships between barriers to change, work engagement and demographic variables. MOTIVATION FOR THE STUDY: Exploring and understanding the relationship between barriers to change and work engagement amongst different demographic groups will help organisations to predict which working environments and jobs are amenable to organisational change and which will alleviate, and maybe even eliminate, the negative effects of change. RESEARCH DESIGN, APPROACH AND METHOD: The researchers used a cross-sectional survey research design. They drew a convenience sample of 234 employees (N = 234) from a South African property management company. They administered the Barriers to Change Questionnaire and the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale. MAIN FINDINGS: The results showed a practically significant relationship, with a large effect, between barriers to change and work engagement. In addition, the results showed significant differences between barriers to change and demographic groupings based on home language, ethnicity and organisational level. The results also showed significant differences between work engagement and demographic groupings based on home language, ethnicity and level of education. PRACTICAL/MANAGERIAL IMPLICATIONS: Managing barriers to change can increase the work engagement of employees. CONTRIBUTION/VALUE-ADD: The research adds to the knowledge about the adverse effects of organisational change initiatives on people. <![CDATA[<b>Nigerian agriculture workers' outcomes from perceived organisational support and protestant work ethics</b>: <b>Job satisfaction as a mediator</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2071-07632011000100008&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en ORIENTATION: The mechanism facilitating the development of organisational commitment and performance of citizenship behaviours is of research interest to scholars. Recent research trends suggest that job satisfaction can mediate the development of employee commitment and citizenship behaviours. RESEARCH PURPOSE:The present study hypothesised that job satisfaction mediated the relationships between the predictors (perceived organisational support and protestant work ethics) and outcomes (organisational citizenship behaviours and organisational commitment). MOTIVATION FOR THE STUDY: There is paucity of literature on the mediating influence of job satisfaction on predictors-outcomes linkages amongst agriculture workers in Nigeria. Available studies either examined the main effect of perceived organisational support on citizenship behaviours or the mediating influence of satisfaction on citizenship behaviours and not the proposed model. RESEARCH DESIGN, APPROACH AND METHOD: The present study was survey-correlational in design. Data were obtained from 223 heterogeneous samples from different organisations (such as ministry of agriculture, parastatals, banks, private agro-allied companies, and insurance companies). MAIN FINDINGS: Results showed that job satisfaction fully mediated the relationship between perceived organisational support and citizenship behaviours and partially mediated the relationship between perceived organisational support and organisational commitment. Further, employee satisfaction partially mediated the relationships between protestant work ethics and citizenship behaviours and organisational commitment. PRACTICAL/MANAGERIAL IMPLICATIONS: This study indicated that both protestant work ethics and perceived organisational support are important in motivating employees to engage in cooperative behaviours and exhibit greater commitment through job satisfaction. CONTRIBUTION/VALUE-ADD: The present study showed that job satisfaction is a mediator linking both perceived organisational support and protestant work ethics to organisational commitment and citizenship behaviours. <![CDATA[<b>Development of the Learner Self-Directedness in the Workplace Scale</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2071-07632011000100009&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en ORIENTATION: This study reports on the development of an instrument that one can use to measure learner self-directedness in work environments. RESEARCH PURPOSE:The purpose of this study was to develop a scale to measure learner self-directedness in the workplace. MOTIVATION FOR THE STUDY: Learner self-directedness appears to be an essential characteristic to keep up with the demands of the world of work. There is no brief instrument currently available to measure learner self-directedness in the workplace. RESEARCH DESIGN, APPROACH AND METHOD: The researchers fitted the responses of 519 participants to 22 items to the Rasch rating scale model. MAIN FINDINGS: The researchers retained 13 of the original 22 items. The hierarchy of item locations supported the construct validity of the scale. Hierarchical factor analysis showed the presence of one higher-order factor and three residual first-order factors. The higher-order factor accounted for almost five times as much of the common variance as did the strongest residual first-order factor. The Rasch analysis and the factor analysis suggested that the 13-item Learner Self-Directedness in the Workplace Scale (LSWS) measures a single one-dimensional construct (α = 0.93). PRACTICAL/MANAGERIAL IMPLICATIONS: The instrument can help employers to understand and support employees' self-directed learning efforts. CONTRIBUTION/VALUE-ADD: This research resulted in a brief instrument to measure learner self-directedness in the workplace. This instrument is unique in the South African context. <![CDATA[<b>Coping and work engagement in selected South African organisations</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2071-07632011000100010&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en ORIENTATION: The coping strategies of their employees are amongst the activities that organisations should address to improve their employees' work engagement. RESEARCH PURPOSE:The objective of this study was to investigate the relationship between coping strategies and work engagement in three occupational groups in South Africa. MOTIVATION FOR THE STUDY: There is little understanding of the relationship between effective forms of coping and positive outcomes (like work engagement). RESEARCH DESIGN, APPROACH AND METHOD: The researchers used a survey design. They drew random and stratified samples (N = 3178) from three occupational groups. These were technical employees in an electricity provider, professional and enrolled nurses and police officers. They administered the Coping Orientations to the Problems Experienced (COPE) and the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (UWES). MAIN FINDINGS: The results showed that there was a statistically significant relationship between work engagement, problem-focused coping, positive reinterpretation and growth. In the nursing sample, high problem-focused coping, low avoidance and low ventilation of emotions predicted work engagement best. In the police sample, four coping strategies (problem-focused coping, seeking social support, turning to religion and low ventilation of emotions) predicted work engagement best. In the technician sample, problem-focused coping and low ventilation of emotions predicted work engagement best. PRACTICAL/MANAGERIAL IMPLICATIONS: Organisations should consider employees' coping strategies when they introduce interventions to improve work engagement. CONTRIBUTION/VALUE-ADD: This study contributes to the knowledge about the relationship between coping strategies and work engagement in South African organisations. <![CDATA[<b>A human capital predictive model for agent performance in contact centres</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2071-07632011000100011&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en ORIENTATION: Currently no integrative model exists that can explain the phenomena contributing to agent performance in the South African contact centre industry. RESEARCH PURPOSE:The primary focus of this article was to develop a theoretically derived human capital predictive model for agent performance in contact centres and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) based on a review of current empirical research literature. MOTIVATION FOR THE STUDY: The study was motivated by the need for a human capital predictive model that can predict agent and overall business performance. Research design: A nonempirical (theoretical) research paradigm was adopted for this study and more specifically a theory or model-building approach was followed. A systematic review of published empirical research articles (for the period 2000-2009) in scholarly search portals was performed. MAIN FINDINGS: Eight building blocks of the human capital predictive model for agent performance in contact centres were identified. Forty-two of the human capital contact centre related articles are detailed in this study. Key empirical findings suggest that person- environment fit, job demands-resources, human resources management practices, engagement, agent well-being, agent competence; turnover intention; and agent performance are related to contact centre performance. PRACTICAL/MANAGERIAL IMPLICATIONS: The human capital predictive model serves as an operational management model that has performance implications for agents and ultimately influences the contact centre's overall business performance. CONTRIBUTION/VALUE-ADD: This research can contribute to the fields of human resource management (HRM), human capital and performance management within the contact centre and BPO environment. <![CDATA[<b>The differential item functioning and structural equivalence of a nonverbal cognitive ability test for five language groups</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2071-07632011000100012&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en ORIENTATION: For a number of years, eliminating a language component in testing by using nonverbal cognitive tests has been proposed as a possible solution to the effect of groups' languages (mother tongues or first languages) on test performance. This is particularly relevant in South Africa with its 11 official languages. RESEARCH PURPOSE:The aim of the study was to determine the differential item functioning (DIF) and structural equivalence of a nonverbal cognitive ability test (the PiB/SpEEx Observance test [401]) for five South African language groups. MOTIVATION FOR STUDY: Cultural and language group sensitive tests can lead to unfair discrimination and is a contentious workplace issue in South Africa today. Misconceptions about psychometric testing in industry can cause tests to lose credibility if industries do not use a scientifically sound test-by-test evaluation approach. RESEARCH DESIGN, APPROACH AND METHOD: The researcher used a quasi-experimental design and factor analytic and logistic regression techniques to meet the research aims. The study used a convenience sample drawn from industry and an educational institution. MAIN FINDINGS: The main findings of the study show structural equivalence of the test at a holistic level and nonsignificant DIF effect sizes for most of the comparisons that the researcher made. PRACTICAL/MANAGERIAL IMPLICATIONS: This research shows that the PIB/SpEEx Observance Test (401) is not completely language insensitive. One should see it rather as a language-reduced test when people from different language groups need testing. CONTRIBUTION/VALUE-ADD: The findings provide supporting evidence that nonverbal cognitive tests are plausible alternatives to verbal tests when one compares people from different language groups. <![CDATA[<b>A preliminary factor analytic investigation into the first-order factor structure of the Fifteen Factor Plus (15FQ+) on a sample of Black South African managers</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2071-07632011000100013&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en ORIENTATION: The Fifteen Factor Questionnaire Plus (15FQ+) is a prominent personality questionnaire that organisations frequently use in personnel selection in South Africa. RESEARCH PURPOSE: The primary objective of this study was to undertake a factor analytic investigation of the first-order factor structure of the 15FQ+. MOTIVATION FOR THE STUDY: The construct validity of the 15FQ+, as a measure of personality, is necessary even though it is insufficient to justify its use in personnel selection. RESEARCH DESIGN, APPROACH AND METHOD: The researchers evaluated the fit of the measurement model, which the structure and scoring key of the 15FQ+ implies, in a quantitative study that used an ex post facto correlation design through structural equation modelling. They conducted a secondary data analysis. They selected a sample of 241 Black South African managers from a large 15FQ+ database. MAIN FINDINGS: The researchers found good measurement model fit. The measurement model parameter estimates were worrying. The magnitude of the estimated model parameters suggests that the items generally do not reflect the latent personality dimensions the designers intended them to with a great degree of precision. The items are reasonably noisy measures of the latent variables they represent. PRACTICAL/MANAGERIAL IMPLICATIONS: Organisations should use the 15FQ+ carefully on Black South African managers until further local research evidence becomes available. CONTRIBUTION/VALUE-ADD: The study is a catalyst to trigger the necessary additional research we need to establish convincingly the psychometric credentials of the 15FQ+ as a valuable assessment tool in South Africa. <![CDATA[<b>Positive psychology leadership coaching experiences in a financial organisation</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2071-07632011000100014&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en ORIENTATION: Organisations are practising leadership coaching more and more from a positive psychology perspective, yielding positive results. The current qualitative research focused on this coaching using work engagement, learned resourcefulness, sense of coherence, self-actualisation and locus of control as constructs. Although the researcher could find no previous research on this combination of constructs, the findings did link to previous studies with other constructs and combinations. RESEARCH PURPOSE:The purpose of this research was to describe the positive psychology leadership coaching experiences of leaders in a large financial organisation. MOTIVATION FOR THE STUDY: The researcher addressed the organisation's need to develop leadership by structuring and presenting a coaching programme. He chose positive psychology as the paradigm and experiential learning as the method to meet the organisation's goal of enabling its leaders to take up their roles with self-awareness, internal motivation and effective interpersonal connections. RESEARCH DESIGN, APPROACH AND METHOD: The researcher used a qualitative and descriptive research design with a case study. Leaders attended ten experiential leadership-coaching sessions over three months. The sessions focused on work engagement, learned resourcefulness, sense of coherence, self-actualisation values and locus of control. The data gathering consisted of the coach's field notes and the participants' reflective essays, which they wrote after the last coaching session. The researcher analysed the data using discourse analysis. MAIN FINDINGS: The manifesting themes were the coaching context, engagement in roles, understanding role complexity, emotional self-awareness and demands, self-authorisation and inability to facilitate the growth of others. CONTRIBUTION/VALUE-ADD: Although intrapersonal awareness increased significantly, leaders struggled with the interpersonal complexity of the leadership role. Positive psychology leadership coaching should refine the operationalisation of interpersonal effectiveness. PRACTICAL/MANAGERIAL IMPLICATIONS: Organisations should integrate the methodology of leadership coaching with leadership development interventions to expose leaders to better intrapersonal awareness and functioning. <![CDATA[<b>Burnout amongst urban secondary school teachers in Namibia</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2071-07632011000100015&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en ORIENTATION: Burnout seems to be particularly common amongst professionals who help and enable people to cope with the demands of their daily lives. MOTIVATION FOR THE STUDY: The study focused on the magnitude and nature of burnout amongst Namibian teachers as well as the influence of biographical factors on their levels of burnout. Another aim was to determine the extent to which the results of this study correlate with research findings in other countries. RESEARCH DESIGN, APPROACH AND METHOD: The researchers used a non-experimental research method. The study involved more than 300 secondary school teachers from the Windhoek region of Namibia. They administered the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) and a biographical questionnaire to achieve the goals of the study. MAIN FINDINGS: The main findings of the study were that the participants experienced similar levels of burnout compared to teachers in other countries. This was especially true for emotional exhaustion. Teaching experience was the biographical variable that yielded the most significant positive correlation with burnout. PRACTICAL/MANAGERIAL IMPLICATIONS: The education authorities should address the emotional needs of secondary school teachers in Namibia urgently. They should introduce effective burnout intervention and prevention programmes. These programmes could result in higher levels of job satisfaction and educational effectiveness. They could also lead to increased general fulfilment and better teacher retention. <![CDATA[<b>The psychometric relationship between career thinking and salutogenic functioning amongst unemployed adults</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2071-07632011000100016&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en ORIENTATION: Corporate survival mechanisms, like mergers, downsizing, restructuring and outsourcing, contribute to unemployment levels amongst adults. Psychological maturity seems to influence the quality of the career decisions that people make in these difficult circumstances. However, we do not know what their behavioural strengths are. RESEARCH OBJECTIVES: The objective of this study was to investigate the psychometric relationship between career thinking (negative and positive career thoughts) and salutogenic functioning (locus of control and sense of coherence) amongst unemployed adults. MOTIVATION FOR STUDY: Career decision research has consistently surveyed students to understand career indecision. Adults are not a homogenous group. Therefore, this trend may not reflect throughout the larger adult population. For this reason, the researchers conducted exploratory research into the nature of career indecision amongst non-student adults. RESEARCH DESIGN, APPROACH AND METHOD: The researchers used a quantitative design that included a four-instrument survey on a purposive sample of 225 Canadian unemployed and non-student adults who had not decided on a career. They calculated correlations and regressions. MAIN FINDINGS: The researchers reported significant relationships between the four constructs. They found that a sense of coherence predicted career thinking. CONTRIBUTION/VALUE-ADD: A sense of coherence, which includes comprehension, meaningfulness and manageability, acts as a facilitator of effective career thinking. PRACTICAL/MANAGERIAL IMPLICATIONS: During career assessment and guidance, the role of sense of coherence as a strength factor will indicate the person's readiness to make important career decisions. <![CDATA[<b>Negotiating work identity</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2071-07632011000100017&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en ORIENTATION: The study explored the dynamics of work identity negotiation and construction. RESEARCH PURPOSE: The aim of the study was to investigate identity tensions and demands that mobilise identity work in the work environment. MOTIVATION FOR THE STUDY: The study hoped to improve the understanding of the dynamics of identity construction and negotiation. RESEARCH DESIGN, APPROACH AND METHOD: Using grounded theory methodology in the context of qualitative field research, the researchers conducted two unstructured interviews with 28 employees of a South African manufacturing company. MAIN FINDINGS: The five primary dimensions the data yielded were personal identity, individual agency, social identity, social practice and job. PRACTICAL/MANAGERIAL IMPLICATIONS: This study has implications for organisations that want to improve productivity through understanding work identity. CONTRIBUTION/VALUE-ADD: The article presents a conceptual model of the demands and tensions that influence work identity. <![CDATA[<b>Unravelling safety compliance in the mining industry: examining the role of work stress, job insecurity, satisfaction and commitment as antecedents</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2071-07632011000100018&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en ORIENTATION: Safety compliance remains a major issue in the South African mining industry. This article explores the roles of specific work-related job and attitudinal variables in predicting compliance. RESEARCH PURPOSE:The objective of this study was to investigate the relationship of work stress, job insecurity, satisfaction and commitment to safety compliance in a mine. MOTIVATION FOR THE STUDY: The study aims to predict safety compliance through work-related variables in order to manage safety better. RESEARCH DESIGN, APPROACH AND METHOD: The researchers used a cross-sectional survey design with a convenience sample (n = 158). They distributed a survey booklet. It included a biographical questionnaire, scales for job insecurity, satisfaction, affective organisational commitment, workplace accidents and safety compliance as well as a work stress measure that comprised dimensions of role clarity, conflict and overload. MAIN FINDINGS: The results showed that work stress and job insecurity had a negative relationship with safety compliance. The researchers found that only job satisfaction was a significant predictor of safety. PRACTICAL/MANAGERIAL IMPLICATIONS: Although exploratory, this study suggests that promoting job satisfaction may improve safety compliance whilst job stress and job insecurity also relate negatively to safety compliance. CONTRIBUTION/VALUE-ADD: This study shows that job satisfaction is more important than organisational commitment, job security and work stress for predicting safety compliance. <![CDATA[<b>Staff perceptions of organisational values in a large South African manufacturing company</b>: <b>exploring socio-demographic differences</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2071-07632011000100019&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en ORIENTATION: Companies' concerns about increasing their competitiveness, responsiveness and adaptability in a globalised, highly complex and turbulent business environment have led to a renewed interest in the role of corporate values and culture in improving organisational effectiveness and performance. RESEARCH PURPOSE: The objective of the study was to explore the perceptions of men and women staff members, as well as members of various race and age groups, in a large South African manufacturing company about the current enactment of organisational values and the importance of these values. MOTIVATION FOR THE STUDY: The challenge of managing multi-cultural work forces from different gender, race and generational backgrounds makes an understanding of how peoples' values align with those of their organisations, as reflected in their cultures, necessary. RESEARCH DESIGN, APPROACH AND METHOD: Using an organisational values scale, the researchers conducted a quantitative survey on a random sample of 988 participants employed in a large South African manufacturing company. MAIN FINDINGS: ANOVAs and post hoc multiple comparison of means tests revealed that gender, race and age have a significant effect on some of the dimensions of organisational values and that these biographical groups differ significantly in their perceptions of the importance of certain organisational values as well as how their organisations enact them. PRACTICAL/MANGERIAL IMPLICATIONS: The findings highlight the importance of understanding staff perceptions in creating greater commitment to organisational values as important aspects of an effective organisational culture. CONTRIBUTION/VALUE-ADD: This study is original research that contributes new knowledge to the field of organisational psychology and management practices. <![CDATA[<b>Differential item functioning of the UWES-17 in South Africa</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2071-07632011000100020&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en ORIENTATION: South Africa's unique cultural diversity provides a constant challenge about the fair and unbiased use of psychological measures in respect of their cross-cultural application. RESEARCH PURPOSE:This study assesses the Differential Item Functioning (DIF) of the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (UWES-17) for different South African cultural groups in a South African company. MOTIVATION FOR THE STUDY:Organisations are using the UWES-17 more and more in South Africa to assess work engagement. Therefore, research evidence from psychologists or assessment practitioners on its DIF across different cultural groups is necessary. RESEARCH DESIGN, APPROACH AND METHOD: The researchers conducted a Secondary Data Analysis (SDA) on the UWES-17 sample (n = 2429) that they obtained from a cross-sectional survey undertaken in a South African Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector company (n = 24 134). Quantitative item data on the UWES-17 scale enabled the authors to address the research question. MAIN FINDINGS: The researchers found uniform and/or non-uniform DIF on five of the vigour items, four of the dedication items and two of the absorption items. This also showed possible Differential Test Functioning (DTF) on the vigour and dedication dimensions. PRACTICAL/MANAGERIAL IMPLICATIONS:Based on the DIF, the researchers suggested that organisations should not use the UWES-17 comparatively for different cultural groups or employment decisions in South Africa. Contribution/value add: The study provides evidence on DIF and possible DTF for the UWES-17. However, it also raises questions about possible interaction effects that need further investigation. <![CDATA[<b>Discourses regarding ethical challenges in assessments - Insights through a novel approach</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2071-07632011000100021&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en ORIENTATION: From a pragmatic approach, a novel method called 'the town hall focus group' was utilised to provide insight into discourse regarding ethical issues in psychological assessments. This article contributes to the understanding of the practice of ethics in assessments and suggests the use of this particular method to facilitate discourse regarding ethical issues. RESEARCH PURPOSE:To illustrate a forum where ethical discourse can occur in a practical fashion in order to deal with the diversity of situations, questions, demands and responsibilities experienced by psychologists. MOTIVATION FOR THE STUDY: Although codes and guidelines on assessment exist, many psychologists feel that despite the existence of ethical beacons, they are often faced with challenges for which no obvious solution is evident. A need exists for ethical discourse by which psychologists grapple with unique situations through an active dialectical process. RESEARCH DESIGN, APPROACH AND METHOD: A qualitative research approach was employed using the town hall focus group. The study was conducted with a convenience sample of 108 psychologists and practitioners. MAIN FINDINGS: The town hall focus group method provided an opportunity and platform for ethical discourse regarding the ethical challenges experienced by psychologists. PRACTICAL/MANAGERIAL IMPLICATIONS: This article contributes to the understanding of the practice of ethics in assessments by illustrating a platform for ethical discourse regarding ethical issues experienced in assessments. The town hall method appears to be valuable as it provides a forum to discuss ethical challenges where members are allowed to share their experiences and thus gain access to peer support, insight and shared resources. CONTRIBUTION/VALUE-ADD: Although the focus group results are not transferable, this article proposes it as a useful method contributing to the understanding of the ethical issues and challenges experienced in assessments. The novel method applied and described facilitates peer discourse regarding ethical challenges. This method could be replicated and applied in other contexts as a means of contending with ethical challenges within a supportive environment.