Browsing by Author "Steyn, Carly"
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- ItemServing up the self : role identity and burnout in client service environments(AOSIS Publishing, 2015) Steyn, Carly; De Klerk, J. J.Orientation: Whilst the limited investigations into the relationship between identity and burnout have made an important contribution to our understanding of the development of burnout, further research is required to gain a deeper understanding of how the processes associated with the construction and enactment of a specific identity could contribute to burnout amongst client service employees. Research purpose: The purpose of this research was to explore whether levels of burnout amongst client service employees are associated with the manner in which they define and enact the client service role identity. Motivation for the study: The negative effects of burnout amongst client service employees can be particularly devastating for client service organisations. A deeper understanding of the causes of burnout amongst client service employees is therefore essential if we wish to reduce the significant costs associated with burnout in this environment. Research approach, design and method: The research strategy comprised a qualitative design consisting of semi-structured interviews. Main findings: The results of the study indicate that the role identities of higher burnout client service employees differ from the role identities of lower burnout client service employees. Lower burnout employees view the client relationship as a partnership and experience a high level of self-verification when dealing with their clients. Higher burnout employees, on the other hand, describe themselves as subordinate to the client and exhibit strong feelings of defeat and failure when interacting with their clients. Practical implications/managerial implications: The study shows that if client service organisations wish to reduce the detrimental effects of burnout in the workplace, they need to pay careful attention to the way in which their client service employees perceive themselves in relation to the client. Since client service employees construct role identities in response to the dominant discourse of the organisation, client service organisations should exercise caution in how they define and refer to the client-employee interaction through this discourse. Contribution/value-add: The article makes a number of practical recommendations, which, if implemented by client service organisations, should result in lower levels of burnout, increased productivity and improved client relations. One such recommendation requires client service organisations to reframe their client discourses in such a way that client service employees are referred to as knowledge experts that are valued by their organisations.
- ItemWork value change in South Africa : its nature, direction and distribution between 1990 and 2001(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2002-12) Steyn, Carly; Kotze, H. J.; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of Political Science.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Recent literature on values suggests that advanced, industrial societies are displaying a marked shift away from traditional values that stress material prosperity, physical and economic security towards values that are more expressive of individual freedom, autonomy and growth. According to Inglehart, forces of modernisation and globalisation have initiated a number of systemic level changes, that have ushered in processes of objective and subjective individualisation, dramatically altering the nature and structure of human value orientations and societal norms. Work values, as expressions of general life values in the work context, are no exception to this process. In the new world of work, intrinsic work values that stress personal growth, development and self-determination should gradually replace extrinsic work values such as good pay, job security and status. An understanding of the nature, direction and distribution of such value change could prove invaluable to the organizational practitioner and policy maker, since work values playa pivotal role in shaping organisational structure, process and policy. According to Inglehart, a number of developing countries are displaying similar shifts towards individualised values. Although classified as a middle-income, developing economy, South Africa has undergone a number of prolific economic, political and cultural changes over the last decade that would undoubtedly have altered the nature, direction and distribution of work values in the country. It is in the light of these political, economic and cultural developments that the current study embarked on an analysis of the nature, direction and distribution of work value change in South Africa between 1990 and 2001. The analysis was informed by the proposition that the work values of South Africans citizens should reflect a shift in the direction of individualised work values between 1990 and 2001. South Africans have, however, been exposed to and socialized within vastly different social, economic and political environments. The study has therefore taken cognisance of the fact that work value change in South Africa should reflect the stark cleavages and differences that exist within the population, and attempted to plot the differences in the nature and direction of work values between the various social categories defined by race, gender, educational and occupational level. The secondary analysis of survey data from the South African components of the 1990, 1995 and 2001 World Values Survey was performed in order to fulfil the objectives of the study. Work values of South African citizens were measured in terms of four dimensions, namely work centrality; work values relating to the distribution of power in the organization; work values relating to work preferences; and work values relating to authority systems in the workplace. Use was made of simple uni-variate and bi-variate analysis, as well as the comparison of means where appropriate. The results of the analysis suggest that work values relating to work centrality and the distribution of power in the organisation have become increasingly individualised. Work values relating to work preferences and authority have, however, displayed a trend in opposition to individualisation. Comparisons of work value change across the various sub-groups of the population reflect the changing economic, social and political landscape of South Africa. The data suggests that as various sub-groups of the population are exposed to the systemic level changes characteristic of the new South Africa, traditional value differences informed by race, gender, educational and occupational level will be gradually transformed and replaced by new value patterns untainted by the inequalities of the apartheid era. The analysis concludes by examining a number of explanations for the value changes described, and attempts to infer implications for the formulation and implementation of workplace policy and practice in South Africa. The high and increasing levels of unemployment and the increasing participation of women and previously excluded racial groupings into the South African labour market have increased perceptions of job insecurity in South Africa and have resulted in an expanding number of South Africans placing increased emphasis on traditional work preferences and systems of authority. Should this trend persist, the development of individualised work values will continue to be hindered, rendering the South African business environment less competitive and increasingly fraught with high levels of distrust and uncertainty. We suggest, therefore, that human resource practitioners and policy makers embark on the challenging task of reframing individual perceptions surrounding the meaning of work in South Africa, so as to better prepare South Africans for the challenges brought about by the new world of work