Factors involved in subjective career success of soldiers in the South African National Defence Force : an exploratory study

Ditsela, Nondlela Jeanette (2012-03)

Thesis (MComm)--Stellenbosch University, 2012.


ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Since the 1970s, economic recession, industrial restructuring, technological changes, and intensified global competition has changed the nature of work. Consequently, employees have changed, many organisations are changing and jobs are minimized to keep up with global demands. However, military organisations and jobs seem to be lagging behind. Although the military is recruiting young generations, many of its jobs are still traditional military jobs that pose heavy demands and dangerous circumstances on the soldiers, hence, the purpose of this particular study. The aim of this study is to explore the relationship between subjective career success (SCS), work circumstances (WC) and personality factors (PF) of soldiers in the South African National Defence Force (SANDF). The existence of the relationship between the variables was explored through a non-experimental controlled inquiry. The variables under study were defined as follows: subjective career success is characterised by increase in the level of skills, increase in self-esteem, increased autonomy and responsibility in the position the person holds, and working with interesting colleagues; WC is defined as working conditions in which physical, mental, and emotional activities are directed towards accomplishing a specific task. Work circumstances encompass job demands, job characteristics, salary, and job security of soldiers; and PF includes locus of control in the workplace, self-efficacy and assertive behaviour in the workplace. A sample of 57 participants was selected from officers (Second Lieutenant – Captain and equivalent rank) studying at the South African Military Academy (here referred to as SAMA), Faculty of Military Sciences, Stellenbosch University. Another sample of 113 Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs) (Leading-Seamen – Chief Petty Officers) was selected from SAS SALDANHA (South African Naval Gymnasium). In total, a sample of 170 was drawn for this research. Correlation analysis was used to determine the relationship between independent variables and dependent variable; and multiple regression analysis was used to determine factors that explain SCS of soldiers in the SANDF. The results showed a significant partial relationship between job characteristics and SCS. Furthermore, a significant correlation emerged between salary satisfaction and satisfaction with job security. Insignificant relationship emerged between job demands and SCS. Insignificant results also emerged in the relationship between locus of control, self-efficacy and assertive behaviour (PF) and SCS respectively. As a result, it was concluded that WC have a partial relationship with SCS; and PF does not have any relationship with SCS. However, the results of the multiple regressions analysis provided that only job security satisfaction, salary satisfaction, locus of control and self-efficacy explain SCS, concluding that WC and PF in this research partially explain SCS of soldiers.


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