SA Journal of Industrial Psychology
On-line version ISSN 2071-0763
Print version ISSN 0258-5200
ORIENTATION: Given the interest in the impact of positive psychology on employees, it is imperative to use reliable and valid instruments to operationalise positive-psychology constructs. One such construct is hope. RESEARCH PURPOSE: The purpose of the study was to assess the degree of factorial invariance across race and gender by using a sample of aspiring chartered accountants. MOTIVATION FOR THE STUDY: Previous research on the hope construct and associated measuring instruments have been conducted, using homogenous samples from Westernised cultures. Researchers need to be careful to assume that hope looks and behaves in exactly the same manner across cultures and groups. RESEARCH APPROACH, DESIGN AND METHOD: A cross-sectional quantitative research design was used. A sample of 295 aspiring chartered accountants participated in the study. Exploratory factor analysis was used to determine the degree of factor similarity across groups, utilising Tucker's coefficient of congruence. To supplement the exploratory factor analysis, a series of increasingly restrictive multi-group analyses were conducted to test the invariance of model parameters across the groups. MAIN FINDINGS: No significant differences were found in the factor patterns for the agency and pathways factors for (1) the white and designated groups and (2) females and males. PRACTICAL/MANAGERIAL IMPLICATIONS: Evidence related to factorial invariance was found. This should inform researchers and practitioners that both pathways and agency look similar across racial and gender groups. CONTRIBUTION/VALUE-ADD: Researchers are urged to use various statistical techniques, in combination, to determine the degree of factorial invariance across groups.