The impact of positive organisational factors on the career success of black employees in the South African work environment: An exploratory study

Roux, Shayne (2014-12)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2014.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study is rooted in career psychology with implications for career management. In addition, the study draws from various fields including the positive organisational behaviour paradigm. The underlying assumption of this study is that certain organisational and individual factors influence the experience of subjective career success amongst black employees in the South African work environment. In order to evaluate this assumption an attempt was made to gain an understanding of the antecedents of subjective career success. An overview of the literature led the researcher to the conclusion that transformational leadership, job resources, supportive organisational climate, psychological empowerment, and psychological capital (PsyCap), could be regarded as antecedents of subjective career success. Based on the literature, a theoretical model was developed that portrays a sequential process within which the identified variables play roles that vary in salience, depending on the stage in the sequential process. A mixed-methods research design was employed to guide the investigation. More specifically, the study consisted of a qualitative strand, followed by two quantitative strands. In the qualitative strand (Phase 1), a semi-structured interview was used to obtain information about the factors influencing career success from 30 black employees in white-collar jobs from three different South African organisations. The purpose of the qualitative strand was two-fold, firstly to seek confirmation that the instruments utilised covered the most salient issues. Secondly, to obtain guidance on how to supplement constructs that were not adequately covered, before continuing with the subsequent quantitative strands. The outcome of Phase 1 provided evidence of sufficient coverage of the variables as based on the literature review. However, it was decided to add three questions to the job resources measuring instrument, as well as two items to the supportive organisational climate instrument. During both the quantitative strands, survey research was used. To facilitate the collection of data during the survey research, an electronic web-based questionnaire was compiled. Standardised questionnaires were utilised to measure each of the ten constructs. The purpose of Phase 2 was to pilot test the composite questionnaire. A total of 220 usable questionnaires were analysed during Phase 2 with regard to the psychometric properties associated with each of the constructs. Evidence of the psychometric properties was obtained by means of internal consistency, confirmatory and exploratory factor analysis. All the instruments used in Phase 2 had acceptable reliabilities and goodness-of-fit, with the exception of the psychological capital instrument (PCQ). More specifically, less than satisfactory reliability coefficients were observed for resilience (α= .60) and optimism (α= .48). On the basis of this, no changes were made to the content of the instruments for use in Phase 3. However assumptions about the factorial structure of the job resources scale had to be revisited. The outcome of Phase 2 was a set of reliable and valid measuring instruments that could be used with confidence. The purpose of Phase 3 was to evaluate thirteen propositions guiding the current study. A total of 418 usable questionnaires were analysed during Phase 3. During Phase 3, further confirmation was found that all the instruments used had acceptable reliabilities, as well as goodness-of-fit. In addition, correlation analysis, step-wise multiple regression and structural equation modelling (variance and covariance-based) were employed. All the independent variables were significantly related to the dependent variable, subjective career success, except for objective career success (past). Job resources, psychological capital and supportive organisational climate, however, were the only significant predictors of career success. In order to evaluate the appropriateness of the proposed sequential model, both variance and covariance-based structural equation modelling were used. Model exploration was facilitated by the use of variance-based structural equation modelling. Both non-significant paths, as well as significant, but weak paths, were removed during the exploration process. The covariance-based approach allowed the utilisation of modification indices to arrive at an optimal model. A model consisting of only the significant paths were subjected to covariance-based structural equation modelling. The modification indices suggested adding three direct paths between subjective career success and transformational leadership, job resources, as well as supportive organisational climate. However, in the optimal model, the direct path between transformational leadership and subjective career success was excluded due to not being statistically significant. In the optimal model all the proposed paths were significant. Acceptable goodness-of-fit was obtained for this optimal model. The results of Phase 3 provided evidence supporting the majority of the thirteen propositions that guided the current study. With the unique combination of variables, this study can be seen as making a contribution to the existing theory and literature by explicating the interrelationships between transformational leadership, job resources, supportive organisational climate, psychological empowerment, psychological capital (PsyCap), and subjective career success. The researcher made recommendations for future research, as well as for scientific and practical interventions regarding the development of subjective career success.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie studie is gegrond in loopbaansielkunde met implikasies vir loopbaanbestuur. Hierbenewens het die studie op verskeie velde gesteun, insluitend, en veral, die positiewe organisatoriese gedragsparadigma. Die onderliggende aanname in die studie was dat die ervaring van subjektiewe loopbaansukses onder swart werknemers in die Suid-Afrikaanse werkomgewing deur sekere organisatoriese en individuele faktore beïnvloed word. Ten einde hierdie aanname te evalueer, is gepoog om ’n begrip te vorm van die aanleidende oorsake van subjektiewe loopbaansukses. ’n Literatuuroorsig het die navorser tot die slotsom gebring dat transformasionele leierskap, werkhulpbronne, ondersteunende organisatoriese klimaat, sielkundige bemagtiging en sielkundige kapitaal (PsyCap) as oorsaaklike faktore van subjektiewe loopbaansukses beskou kan word. ’n Teoretiese model wat op die literatuur gebaseer was, is ontwikkel om ’n opeenvolgende proses waarin die geïdentifiseerde veranderlikes wissellende rolle ten opsigte van prominensie speel, weer te gee. ’n Gemengde-metodes-ontwerp is in die navorsing gebruik om die ondersoek te rig. Meer besonderlik het die studie ’n kwalitatiewe fase behels, wat deur twee kwantitatiewe fases gevolg is. In die kwalitatiewe fase (Fase 1) is semigestruktureerde onderhoude met 30 swart gesalarieerde werknemers in drie verskillende Suid-Afrikaanse organisasies gevoer om inligting oor die faktore wat loopbaansukses beïnvloed, in te win. Die doel van die kwalitatiewe fase was tweeledig: eerstens om bevestiging te verkry dat die instrumente wat gebruik is, die mees belangike kwessies gedek het. Tweedens was die doel om uit te vind hoe om die konstrukte wat nie behoorlik gedek is nie, aan te vul voordat daar met die daaropvolgende kwantitatiewe fases voortgegaan word. Die uitkoms van Fase 1 het getuienis gelewer dat daar, soos op die literatuuroorsig gebaseer, voldoende dekking van die veranderlikes was. Daar is egter besluit om drie vrae by die meetinstrument vir die meet van werkhulpbronne by te voeg, sowel as om twee items by die meetinstrument vir die meet van ondersteunende organisatoriese klimaat by te voeg. Opname-navorsing is gedurende beide kwantitatiewe fases gebruik. ’n Elektroniese web-gebaseerde vraelys is opgestel om die opname-navorsing te vergemaklik. Gestandaardiseerde vraelyste is gebruik om elk van die tien konstrukte te meet. Die doel van Fase 2 was om ’n voortoetsing met die saamgestelde vraelys uit te voer. Twee honderd en twintig bruikbare vraelyste is gedurende Fase 2 ontleed met betrekking tot die psigometiese eienskappe wat met elk van die konstrukte geassosieer was. Getuienis omtrent die psigometriese eienskappe van die meetinstrumente is deur middel van interne konsekwentheid, en bevestigende en ondersoekende faktorontleding verkry. Al die instrumente wat in Fase 2 gebruik is, het aanvaarbare betroubaarheid en goeie passing getoon, met die uitsondering van die sielkundige kapitaal (PsyCap) instrument, meer spesifiek, minder aanvaarbare vlakke van betroubaarheid is gevind in die geval van veerkragtigheid (α= .60) en optimisme (α= .48). Daar is egter geen veranderinge vir gebruik in Fase 3 aan die inhoud van die instrumente aangebring nie. Aannames ten opsigte van die faktoriale struktuur van die werkhulpbronneskaal moes egter hersien word. Die uitkoms van Fase 2 was ’n betroubare en geldige stel meetinstrumente wat met vertroue gebruik kon word. Die doel van Fase 3 was om die dertien hipoteses wat die huidige studie gerig het, te evalueer. Hiervoor is 418 bruikbare vraelyste tydens Fase 3 ontleed. Verdere bevestiging dat al die instrumente aanvaarbare betroubaarheid, asook goeie passing getoon het, is tydens Fase 3 verkry. Daarbenewens is korrelasie-ontleding, stapsgewyse meervoudige regressie en strukturele vergelykingsmodellering (variansieen kovariansie-gebaseerd) gebruik. Behalwe vir objektiewe loopbaansukses (vorige), was al die onafhanklike veranderlikes beduidend verwant aan die afhanklike veranderlike, naamlik subjektiewe loopbaansukses. Werkhulpbronne, sielkundige kapitaal en ondersteunende organisatoriese klimaat was egter die enigste beduidende voorspellers van loopbaansukses. Beide variansie- en kovariansie-gebaseerde strukturele vergelykingsmodellering is gebruik om die toepaslikheid van die voorgestelde konseptuele model te evalueer. Verkenning van die model is met gebruik van variansie-gebaseerde strukturele vergelykingsmodellering bewerkstellig. Beide nie-beduidende bane, sowel as beduidende, maar swak bane, is tydens die verkenningsproses verwyder. Met die benutting van modifikasie-indekse het die kovariansie-gebaseerde benadering dit moontlik gemaak om ’n optimale model daar te stel. Die model, wat slegs uit die beduidende bane bestaan het, is aan kovariansie-gebaseerde strukturele vergelykingsmodellering onderwerp. Die modifikasie-indekse het die toevoeging van drie direkte bane tussen subjektiewe loopbaansukses en transformasionele leierskap, werkhulpbronne, en ondersteunende organisatoriese klimaat voorgestel. In die optimale model is die direkte baan tussen transformasionele leierskap en subjektiewe loopbaansukses egter uitgeskakel omdat dit nie statisties beduidend was nie. Al die voorgestelde bane was in die optimale model beduidend en goeie passing is vir hierdie optimale model verkry. Die resultate van Fase 3 het bewys gelewer vir die aanvaarding van die meerderheid van die dertien hipoteses wat die huidige studie gerig het. Vanweë die ontwikkeling van die onderlinge verband tussen transformasionele leierskap, werkhulpbronne, ondersteunende organisatoriese klimaat, sielkundige bemagtiging, sielkundige kapitaal (PsyCap), en subjektiewe loopbaansukses, kan hierdie studie, met hierdie unieke samestelling van veranderlikes, as bydraend tot die bestaande teorie en literatuur beskou word. Die navorser doen aanbevelings vir toekomstige navorsing, sowel as vir wetenskaplike en praktiese intervensies ten opsigte van die ontwikkeling van subjektiewe loopbaansukses.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/95813
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