An investigation into the manifestation of resilience

Nicholls, Jessica (2012-12)

Thesis (MComm)--Stellenbosch University, 2012.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Drawing from the fields of positive psychology and career psychology, this research endeavours to study the manifestation of resilience in the workforce population and the elements or attributes which contribute to resilience. More particularly, this paper examines the evident paradigm shift in the changing world of work, as well as whether the culture of the organisation has the potential to play a role in the manifestation of such resilience. The RS-25 by Wagnild and Young (1993) was used to determine levels of resilience and in-depth interviews were conducted in order to expand upon the evidence of resilience. The outcome was that many factors such as positive emotions, individual differences, learned resourcefulness, positive appraisal, positive affectivity, altruism, gender, birth order, emotional intelligence, locus of control, self-directedness, human agency, motivational forces and challenges experienced, sense of coherence and psychological stamina were identified as contributing factors to the level of resilience in an individual. The amalgamation of these factors was solely reliant on the different appraisal of situations and the perceived level of difficulty that was presented by a challenge or hardship, which differed from one person to another. It was largely recognized that resilience is a construct that is learnt and accrued from a very young age. In addition, the greater the hardships experienced, the more resilient a person could become. Moreover, organisational cultures seemed to play a particular role in preparing or enabling employees to become acclimatized or more accustomed to a harsher working world, which required more acts of resilience pertinent to growth and survival. Whether resilience is an inherited trait or learned attribute is not clear. The main aim of this study is to gain insight into the manifestation of resilience in the lived worlds of individuals who overcame severe tribulations. An existential-phenomenological epistemology informed the in-depth interview method applied. The persons interviewed had different ideas about this problem, ranging from the viewpoint that either nature or nurture, or an interaction between the influence of the social environment and inner individual personality qualities, were contributory factors.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Binne die vakterrein van die Positiewe Sielkunde en Loopbaansielkunde, strewe hierdie studie daarna om die manifistasie van die konstruk “veerkragtigheid” in die arbeidsmag van naderby te ondersoek. Daar word gelet op verskeie bydraende faktore wat veerkragtigheid kan bevorder. Klem word geplaas op die paradigmaskuif teweeggebring deur ‘n veranderende arbeidswêreld asook die kultuur binne organisasies wat die potensiaal het om in te speel op die bevordering van veerkragtigheid. Die RS-25 deur Wagnild en Young (1993) is gebruik om die vlakke van veerkragtigheid kwantitatief te bepaal. In-diepte onderhoude is gevoer met persone wie sodanig deur die kwantitatiewe metode as hoog op in veerkragtigheid geidentifiseer is. Die doel is om insigte aangaande die manifestasie en persoonlike belewenis van die konstruk te bekom deur middel van ‘n eksitensieël –fenomenologiese benadering. Die bevinding was dat daar verskeie persoonlikheidsfaktore bydraend was tot veerkragtigheid. Aspekte wat vanuit die teorie asook vanuit die praktiese navorsing na vore gekom het en bespreek word, sluit in: positiewe emosies, individuele verskille, vindingrykheid, positiewe selfbeoordeling, effektiwiteit, altruïsme, geslag, geboorte-orde, emosionele intelligensie, lokus van beheer, selfgerigtheid en verantwoordelikhied. Motiverende kragte, vorige uitdagings, ‘n gevoel van koherensie en sielkundige stamina is ook elemente waarna verwys word. Hoe elkeen sy spesifieke situasie geëvalueer het, asook watter vlak van uitdaging in probleme aanvaar word, sou afhang van die kombinasie van hierdie faktore en persoonlike eienskappe soos dit afspeel in die persoonlike ontwikkeling van die individu binne ‘n bepaalde omgewingskonteks. Dit wil voorkom asof veerkragtigheid ‘n eienskap is wat vanaf ‘n jong ouderdom aangeleer word en dat daar ‘n verband ontstaan tussen die mate van swaarkry en gevolglike versterking van hierdie konstruk. ’ n Komplekse interaksie tussen persoonlikhied, ondersteunende omgewing en intensiteit van ervarings word uiteindellik geidentifiseer as die boustene van die konstruk . Daarbenewens sal verskeie organisasie kulture ’n bepalende rol speel in die voorbereiding of ondersteuning van werknemers om te kan aanpas by ‘n veeleisender arbeidsomgewing, om sodoende, meer veerkragtigheid te kan ontwikkel vir toekomstige uitdagings by die werkplek. Of veerkragtigheid suiwer ‘n aangeleerde of suiwer oorerflike eienskap is, is nie onbevange duidelik belig deur die antwoorde wat uit die onderhoude verkry is nie. Die persone waarmee onderhoude gevoer is, het verskil ten opsigte van hul siening hieromtrent. Dit wil tog voorkom dat daar ‘n komplekse interaksie is ten opsigte van die rol van ‘n verskeidenheid persoonlikheids- en omgewingsfaktore en dat organisasies wel kan bydra tot die skepping van ‘n klimaat wat veerkragtigheid kan ontgin en bevorder. Daar word van die standpunt uitgegaan dat veerkragtighied ‘n positiewe eienskap is wat algemeen tot voordeel van die werker sowel as die organisie sal strek, veral in ‘n dinamiese, vinnig veranderende tegnologiese werksomgewing.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/71909
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