Factors influencing work satisfaction of single parents in the South African National Defence Force: an exploratory study
Thesis (MCom)-- Stellenbosch University, 2016.
ENGLISH SUMMARY : Families have transitioned from the traditional profile of two married heterosexual parents to homosexual and single parents. There has been a documented increase in single-parent families over the years. Various causes, such as divorce, death, irresponsible fathers, choice, etc. contribute to this increase. Single parents are largely made up of women as compared to men. When translating it to the world of work, this rise means that more and more companies employ single parents and will continue to do so in the future. The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) is not excluded from these companies. Since 2005, the SANDF has been partaking in various peace-keeping missions on the continent. The deployment of the SANDF is however not limited to cross-border activities. The SANDF also deploys its soldiers within the country in border control operations. While some soldiers are deployed within and outside the borders of the country, there are others who remain in the home bases to continue with daily tasks. These soldiers normally work from 08:00–16:00, Monday to Friday. There are instances, however, where they need to work beyond the normal working hours and over weekends to participate in training exercises or even being deployed. Because of their single-parent status, these soldiers face inherent military challenges as well as role-related ones, which may influence their work satisfaction. Literature purports that single parents experience challenges such as stress, a lack of social support, work–family conflict and work–family enrichment. These challenges directed the present study, which explored whether these challenges have an influence on the work satisfaction of single parents in the SANDF. All the questionnaires utilised in this study were found to be reliable in an African military sample. Structural model analysis conducted through PLS 3 revealed that only three of the four documented challenges influenced single-parent work satisfaction. Stress did not have an influence while a lack of social support, work–family conflict and work–family enrichment influenced work satisfaction. Social support was found to have a moderating effect on work satisfaction while work–family conflict and work–family enrichment had a direct influence. These results led to recommendations which focus mainly on provision programmes by the SANDF which will offer increased enrichment and support and reduce the conflict between work and family demands for single-parent soldiers.
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