Empirical evaluation of the Steyn-Boers structural model of psychological well-being at work

Boers, Maritsa (2014-12)

Thesis (MCom)--Stellenbosch University, 2014.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study recognised the importance of well-being of employees in today’s turbulent working environment. It departed from the notion that the sustainability of organisations is determined by the quality of its workforce and therefore employee well-being is a major priority. The well-being of employees is not a random occurrence, but rather a complex phenomenon. Any attempt to influence or change the well-being of employees should be grounded in a firm understanding of the complexity of the well-being phenomenon. Steyn (2011) developed a Salotogenic Model of Occupational Well-being in an attempt to depict how positive psychological variables can be combined in a dynamic depiction of the nomological net of variables underlying the phenomenon of well-being in the workplace. The rationale for her study was that state-like Optimism and Self-efficacy will have a significant and direct positive effect on their Occupational Well-being, partly because of these psychological resources’ ability to foster positive expectations about the future, and partly because of the heightened sense of Organisational Commitment and Work Engagement facilitated by higher levels of Optimism and Self-efficacy. As a first adaption to the Steyn (2011) study, this study attempted to explicate the arguments that motivated the adaption and expansion of the original Steyn (2011) Salutogenic Model of Occupational Well-being, into the Steyn-Boers Structural Model of Psychological Well-being at Work. Set within the theoretical frameworks of Positive Organisational Behaviour (POB), the Broaden-and-Build theory (Fredrickson, 2001), as well as Hobfoll’s (1989) Conservation of Resource (COR) theory, the focus in this study was on explicating the nomological net ofariables underlying Subjective Well-being (SWB) and Psychological Well-Being at Work (PWBW), as two contemporary constructs well integrated into the Occupational Well-being literature. SWB was defined as both Hedonic Well-being (HWB) and Eudaimonic Well-being (EWB). HWB was further defined as Positive Affect (PA) and Negative Affect (NA). Well-being was contextualised in the work domain with Dagenais-Desmarais and Sovoie’s (2012) Psychological Well-being at Work (PWBW) construct. Hope, Resilience and Gratitude were included as additional psychological resources. Work Engagement was retained in the current study due to its central role in well-being. It was argued that Perceived Organisational Support (POS) and Psychological Ownership should further translate into better well-being and were therefore included in this study. A non-experimental research design (i.e. survey study) was used to explore the relationships between the various constructs. A convenience sample of 199 respondents was recruited via a social media network platform, Facebook, (i.e. non probability sampling technique). The measurement instruments included were the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS) (Watson, Clark & Tellegen, 1988); Ryff’s (1989) Psychological Well-being Scale; and the Index of Psychological Well-Being at Work, developed by Dagenais-Desmarais and Savoie (2012). The four constructs that constitute Psychological Capital (Hope, Optimism, Self-efficacy and Resilience) were measured with the Psychological Capital Questionnaire (Luthans, Avey & Avolio 2007a). Gratitude was measured with the Gratitude Questionnaire-Six-Item form (GQ-6), (McCullough, Emmons & Tsang, 2002) and Work Engagement was measured with the 9-item Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (UWES-9) (Schaufeli & Bakker, 2003). Perceived Organisational Support was measured by the Perceived Organisational Support Scale, (Eisenberger, Huntington, Hutchinson & Sowa, 1986) and Psychologocal Ownership was measured with the Psychological Ownership Questionnaire (Pierce, O’Driscoll & Coghlan, 2004). Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and item analysis were conducted to evaluate the reliability and validity of the measurement instruments. SEM was used to fit the structural model to the data to investigate the extent to which the abovementioned constructs were significant predictors of SWB and PWBW. The results of the study revealed that different positive psychological resources predicted different aspects of well-being. For example, Hope had an indirect effect on both PA and PWBW, whilst Optimism had a direct effect on EWB and NA, with an indirect effect on PA and PWBW. Self-efficacy had a direct effect on EWB and Resilience a direct effect on PA. Optimism, as found in the Steyn (2011) study, thus played a very central role in overall well-being. Gratitude, although it had no direct effect on any of the well-being constructs, affected NA, PA, EWB and PWBW indirectly by working mainly through Optimism. Strong support that Work Engagement and Perceived Organisational Support contribute to the well-being of employees emerged. Psychological Ownership was the only construct that had no direct or indirect effect on well-being. It was argued that a possible explanation for this may be that Psychological Ownership might not be an antecedent to well-being, but rather a dimension thereof. The importance of this study was thus condensed in the knowledge that there are certain important antecedents to the management of PWBW. The results provide a probable explanation of the complex nomological net of variables and their interrelationships with each other, which influence Psychological Well-being at Work.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie studie herken die belangrikheid van werknemer welstand in vandag se ontwrigtende werksomgewing. Dit het vertrek vanaf die idee dat die volhoubaarheid van organisasies bepaal word deur die gehalte van sy werksmag en dus is werknemer welstand ‘n belangrike prioriteit. Die welstand van werknemers is nie ‘n ewekansige gebeurtenis nie, maar eerder ‘n komplekse verskynsel. Enige poging om die welstand van werknemers te beïnvloed of te verander, moet gegrond wees in ‘n ferm begrip van die kompleksiteit van die welstand verskynsel. Steyn (2011) het ‘n Salutogeniese Model van Beroepswelstand ontwikkel in ‘n poging om uit te beeld hoe positiewe sielkundige veranderlikes gekombineer kan word in ‘n dinamiese voorstelling van die nomologiese net van veranderlikes, onderliggend aan die verskynsel van welstand in die werksplek. Die rasionaal vir haar studie was dat Optimisme en Self-doeltreffendheid ‘n beduidende en direkte positiewe effek op Beroepswelstand sou hê, deels as gevolg van die sielkundige hulpbronne se vermoë om positiewe verwagtinge vir die toekoms te bevorder, en deels as gevolg van die verhoogte gevoel van Organisasieverbintenis en Werksbetrokkenheid wat gefasiliteer word deur hoër vlakke van Optimisme en Self-doeltreffenheid. As ‘n eerste aanpassing tot die Steyn (2011) studie, het hierdie studie gepoog om die argumente wat die aanpassing en uitbreiding van die oorspronklike Steyn (2011) Salutogeniese Model van Beroepswelstand tot die Steyn-Boers Strukturele Model van Sielkundige Welstand by die Werk, te verduidelik. Met inagneming van die teoretiese raamwerke van Positiewe Organisasie Gedrag (POG), Uitbrei-en-Bou teorie (Fredrickson, 2001) en Hobfoll (1989) se Bewaring van Hulpbronne (BH) teorie, was die fokus van die studie op die uitspel van die nomologiese net van veranderlikes onderliggende aan Subjektiewe Welstand (SW) en Sielkundige Welstand by die Werk (SWW) as twee kontemporêre konstrukte goed geïntegreer in die Beroepswelstand literatuur. SW was omskryf as beide Hedoniese Welstand (HW) en Eudimoniese Welstand (EW). HW was verder gedefinieer in terme van Positiewe Affek (PA) en Negatiewe Affek (NA). Welstand is gekontekstualiseerd in die werk domein met Dagenais-Desmarais en Savoie (2012) se konstruk van Sielkundige Welstand by die Werk (SWW). Hoop, Veerkragtigheid en Dankbaarheid is ingesluit as addisionele Sielkundige Kapitaal. Werksbetrokkenheid is in die huidige studie behou oor sy sentrale rol tot welstand. Dit is aangevoer dat Waargenome Organisasie Ondersteuning (WOO) en Sielkundige Eienaarskap werkers se welstand verder sal bevorder en was dus ingesluit in die studie. ‘n Nie-eksperimentele navorsingsontwerp (d.w.s. ‘n vraelys studie) was gebruik om die verwantskappe tussen die verskillende konstrukte vas te stel. ‘n Gerieflikheidsteekproef van 199 respondente was gewerf via ‘n sosiale media netwerk platvorm, Facebook (d.w.s. ‘n nie waarskynlikheidsteekproefneming tegniek). Die meetinstrumente het ingesluit die Positiewe en Negatiewe Affek Skedule (PANAS) (Watson et al., 1988); Ryff (1989) se Sielkundige Welstand Skaal en die Indeks vir Sielkundige Welstand by die Werk wat ontwikkel is deur Dagenais-Desmarais en Savoie (2012). Die vier konstrukte waaruit Sielkunidge Kapitaal bestaan (Hoop, Optimisme, Self-doeltreffendheid en Veerkragtigheid) was gemeet met die Sielkundige Kapitaal Vraelys-24 (Luthans et al., 2007a). Dankbaarheid was gemeet met die Dankbaarheid Vraelys–Ses-Item vorm (DV-6) (McCullough et al., 2002) en Werksbetrokkenheid was gemeet met die 9-item Utrecht Werksbetrokkenheid Skaal (UWBS-9) (Schaufeli & Bakker, 2003). Waargenome Organisasie Ondersteuning is gemeet deur die Waargenome Organisasie Ondersteuning Skaal (Eisenberger et al., 1986) en Sielkundige Eienaarskap is gemeet met die Sielkundige Eienaarskap Vraelys (Pierce et al., 2004). Bevestigende faktorontleding en item analise is gebruik om die betroubaarheid en geldigheid van die meetinstrumente te evalueer. Strukturele vergelyking modellering was gebruik om die strukturele model op die data te pas om vas te stel tot watter mate die bogenoemde konstrukte beduidende voorspellers van SW en SWW is. Die resultate van die studie het getoon dat die verskillende positiewe sielkundige hulpbronne, verskillende aspekte van welstand voorspel. Hoop het, byvoorbeeld, ‘n indirekte uitwerking op beide PA en SWW gehad; terwyl Optimisme n direkte invloed op EB en NA, met ‘n indirekte effek op PA en SWW getoon het. Self-doeltreffendheid het ‘n direkte invloed op EB, en Veerkragtigheid ‘n direkte invloed op PA, gehad. Optimisme, soos gevind in die Steyn (2011) studie, het ‘n baie sentrale rol in algehele welstand gespeel. Alhoewel Dankbaarheid geen direkte invloede op enige van die welstand konstrukte gehad het nie, het dit wel ‘n indirekte effek op PA, NA, EB en SWW gehad, meestal deur Optimisme. Sterk steun het na vore gekom dat Werksbetrokkenheid en Waargenome Organisasie Ondersteuning tot die welstand van werknemers bydra. Sielkundige Eienaarskap was die enigste konstruk wat geen direkte of indirekte invloed op welstand gehad het nie. Dit was geargumenteer dat ‘n moontlike verduideliking hiervoor mag wees dat Sielkundige Eienaarskap moontlik nie ‘n voorspeller van welstand is nie, maar eerder ‘n dimensie daarvan. Die belangrikheid van hierdie studie is dus gekonsentreerd in die wete dat daar sekere belangrike voorspellers tot die bestuur van SWW is. Die resultate verskaf ‘n moontlike verduideliking van die komplekse nomologiese net van veranderlikes en hul onderlinge verbande met mekaar, wat sodoende Sielkundige Welstand by die Werk beïnvloed.

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