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SA Journal of Industrial Psychology

On-line version ISSN 0258-5200

Abstract

HARRY, Nisha  and  COETZEE, Melinde. Sense of coherence, career adaptability and burnout of early-career Black staff in the call centre environment. SA j. ind. Psychol. [online]. 2013, vol.39, n.2, pp. 1-10. ISSN 0258-5200.

ORIENTATION: The call centre is recognised as being a stressful work environment that affects the general wellbeing of call centre agents. RESEARCH PURPOSE: This study explored whether call centre agents' sense of coherence significantly influences their career adaptability and whether their burnout levels significantly moderate the sense of coherence-career adaptability relationship. The research also investigated whether age, gender and years of service (as control variables), along with sense of coherence, predicted career adaptability. MOTIVATION FOR THE STUDY: The positive psychological construct of career adaptability and its association with call centre agents' sense of coherence, burnout, age, gender and years of service have not yet been investigated in the call centre environment. RESEARCH DESIGN, APPROACH AND METHOD: A cross-sectional quantitative survey design was used. The Orientation to Life, Career Adapt-Abilities Scale and Maslach Burnout Inventory General Scale were administered to a non-probability purposive sample of 409 early-career Black staff employed in three of the largest outsourced financial call centres in Africa. MAIN FINDINGS: Multiple regression analyses revealed that age, gender and meaningfulness significantly predicted call centre agents' career adaptability, but that their burnout levels do not significantly moderate the sense of coherence-career adaptability relationship. PRACTICAL/MANAGERIAL IMPLICATIONS: Enhancing call centre agents' sense of meaningfulness will increase their levels of career adaptability and career wellbeing. CONTRIBUTION/VALUE-ADD: This research is the first to investigate the construct of career adaptability in the call centre environment and adds new knowledge and insights to the existing wellness and positive psychology literature.

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