Masters Degrees (Industrial Psychology)

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    Interpersonal conflict handling and employee engagement
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2023-12) Engelbrecht, Herman; Boonzaier, Michèle; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences. Dept. of Industrial Psychology.
    ENGLISH SUMMARY: The way organisations operated has changed dramatically in recent years. One of these changes is the increasingly interactive nature of work. In many instances, the organisation may require employees to work in teams or groups to produce a product or provide a service, as such teams are said to be capable of outperforming the most brilliant of individuals. For an organisation to benefit from such interactions, the organisation needs to have a highly competent and engaged workforce. However, whenever individuals are required to interact with each other, interpersonal conflict is most prevalent. Interpersonal conflict is the source that accounts for most of the workrelated stressors experienced by employees. Interpersonal conflict at work evokes negative emotions which contribute to low employee engagement and job dissatisfaction. Thus, interpersonal conflict at work, if not resolved, could also harm employee engagement and job satisfaction. In conflict situations, people tend to handle interpersonal conflict in different ways. These differences may be due to a variety of factors, including personality and emotional intelligence. Some conflict-handling styles are associated with more favourable outcomes regarding engagement than others. It is therefore important to investigate how these factors account for variance in an individual’s preferred conflict-handling style and the effect of these conflict-handling styles on employee engagement. An ex post facto design was used to test the hypotheses that were formulated in this research study. The data that were collected from 206 participants was quantitative in nature and was collected through means of snowball sampling. The online survey consisted of a test battery measuring engagement, conflict-handling styles, personality and emotional intelligence. This survey was administered online via a URL link. Employees were informed of the purpose of this study and were asked to participate in this study on a voluntary basis. Once questions on the survey had been completed and submitted, data were captured on an Excel spreadsheet ready to be analysed. Eight out of the 12 path coefficient relationships were shown to be statistically significant. Based on the results from the study, these include hypotheses 1, 3, 4, 5, 9, 10, 11 and 12. According to these findings, individuals who make use of a problem-solving style of handling conflict will be more engaged in their work, while those who make use of a non-confrontational style of handling conflict are more likely to have low employee engagement. The results also show that a competing/confrontational style of handling conflict will have no significant effect on an employee’s engagement levels.
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    An investigation of adult learner engagement in a blended learning environment
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2023-12) Segoe, Mbalenhle Tshiamo; Adams, Samantha; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences. Dept. of Industrial Psychology.
    ENGLISH SUMMARY: The Fourth Industrial Revolution, the rapid change in the economy and social realm, and most recently the COVID-19 pandemic, have drastically altered the workplace. This actual and paradigmatic shift has emphasised the importance of adult working professionals taking responsibility for the development of their current skills, knowledge, and competencies. This may require them to become adult learners when participating in employment development programmes that are often presented in a blended learning format. To ensure that adult learners have a deep meaningful learning experience in the course, the learning programme must be designed, developed, and executed with adult learners in mind. The purpose of this research was to investigate adult learners’ (working professionals) experiences of engagement in a blended learning programme and to explore which elements of the programme were supportive of and or challenged their engagement experience. To explore the extent to which adult learners experience engagement in a blended learning environment, a qualitative research design, guided by an interpretive paradigm, was employed to elicit and examine adult learners’ experiences of engagement. Data were collected through open-ended semi-structured interviews, from a convenience sample of n = 10 adult learners partaking in blended learning programmes at a Higher Education Institution in the Western Cape. The data were analysed using reflexive thematic analysis (Braun & Clark, 2013), which yielded that the factors that influenced, supported and challenged the adult learners', specifically the working professionals, engagement experience were a) learning interest, b) interacting with their peers and instructors through various platforms online and face-to-face, c) receiving support from family and external tutors, d) having a sense of community, e) technology such as WiFi and online learning platforms, as well as technological issues such as software updates and having loads-shedding, and f) time to balance their careers and personal life and to prioritise their studies accordingly. The results of this research study offer programme developers and educators insight into the factors that bring about adult learner engagement, as well as how to ensure that blended programmes are designed, developed, and implemented effectively into the course. This will further ensure that future adult learners are provided with learning experiences that will guarantee deep meaningful engagement.
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    Investigating differences between subcontracted and in-house employees in terms of safety-related variables
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2023-12) Linde, Christin; Goosen, Susan; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences. Dept. of Industrial Psychology.
    ENGLISH SUMMARY: Subcontracting formed the focus of this study as these practices have been shown in research to have significant implications for occupational health and safety (Quinlan et al., 2001). Moreover, subcontracting is widely manifest in the South African context (Kenny & Bezuidenhout, 1999). Valluru et al. (2017) reported that the prevalence of subcontracting is increasing even though accident rates amongst subcontracted employees are higher than those of in-house employees. It is further noted that existing research has not extensively investigated those variables that could possibly cause subcontracted employees to continue to experience higher rates of serious injury in comparison to in-house employees, even when safety, health, and environmental management systems are in place in, specifically high-risk work environments. This study, therefore, aimed to identify these variables in the literature and construct a model based on the variables identified. Then, in a preliminary comparative study, the aim was to examine the differences between two groups, namely subcontracted and in-house employees, on those safety-related variables identified. The study employed a self-report composite questionnaire adapted for use in a South African, Paterson bands A and B operational-level sample (N = 98). Data collected from the two groups of employees were analysed by means of multivariate analysis of variance using Wilks’s lambda statistic where the independent variable is subcontracted status and the dependent variables are (1) perceived management safety commitment, (2) perceived production pressure, (3) attitude towards safety behaviour, (4) safety behaviour intention, and perceived safety behaviour measured as (5) safety compliance and (6) safety participation. While good internal consistency was found for the measure adapted for use for the study, null hypotheses of no statistically significant differences between the two groups could not be rejected at a confidence interval of 95%. Notably, however, in post-hoc one-way analyses of variance conducted, small, statistically insignificant differences were observed in the variables perceived production pressure (p = 0.13) and safety participation (p = 0.05). Therefore, a tendency for the groups to differ slightly on these two variables is noted. Although these differences were not statistically significant (p > 0.05), the differences observed, albeit small, have implications in practice. In the context of the field of safety management, a small improvement or a small mishap could determine the difference between life and death for the numerous individuals affected by the outcomes of safety incidents. Therefore, these differences noted can be further explored in internal diagnostic procedures where these groups of employees work, as well as in safety-related interventions implemented within organisations and as such find application in practice.
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    An operationalisation of disproportional pay differentials across seven occupational levels
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2023-12) Liebenberg, Willem Albertus; Giles, Graham; Theron, Callie; Visser, Michelle; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences. Dept. of Industrial Psychology.
    ENGLISH SUMMARY: The Employment Equity Act (EEA) (1998) calls for South African designated employers to extend their commitment towards fair remuneration practices beyond the internationally principled standard of equal pay for work of equal value. Designated employers are also required to eliminate disproportional income differentials among the prescribed six occupational levels. This raises the question of how the construct ‘disproportional income differentials’ should be interpreted and applied to ensure all disproportionality in income differentials are eliminated. The EEA (1998) and its accompanying forms fall short in providing a clear conceptualisation or operationalisation of the construct. The general understanding derived from the EEA4 form used to report on income differentials seems to mix the construct up with unfair pay discrimination based on group membership, a construct governed by a different EEA (1998) section. It is, consequently, considered how the construct should be conceptualised and operationalised to equip the Employment Conditions Commission (ECC), who monitor income differentials, with proper and clear guidelines of what constitutes proportional pay differentials. Various definitions and understandings of the construct of ‘remuneration/pay/income’ are considered and two criteria are proposed to discern which benefits/aspects of remuneration should be included in the definition of ‘remuneration/pay/income.’ A variety of job evaluation approaches are considered to determine what would be an appropriate occupational level framework within which organisations can be expected to maintain proportional pay differentials. A conclusion is drawn on what would constitute a fair occupational level framework. Additionally, a thorough review is conducted to offer clear conceptualisations and operationalisations of remuneration fairness and proportionality within the context of pay differentials. These definitions and operationalisations are ultimately used as a foundation from where regression analysis methods and hypothesis tests are proposed that may be applied to individual employee remuneration data sets to measure an organisation’s degree of adherence to the principle of proportional income differentials. Additional measures are proposed to identify outlier employees considered to be prima facie evidence of individual unfair pay discrimination based on arbitrary grounds. Ultimately, a framework is proposed that the ECC can use and build on to develop standards of adherence to the principle of proportional income differentials.
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    Identifying the shortcomings of an employee value proposition for African females in an energy company operating in South Africa
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2023-03) Sibenya, Aphiwe; Bussin, Mark; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences. Dept. of Industrial Psychology.
    ENGLISH SUMMARY: The shortage of females in operations, one perceived as a male-dominated environment, has resulted in a deficit supply of African females in industries such as the mining industry. African females, referred to in the current study as the targeted audience have since become a minority, resulting in a need for organisations to investigate ways in which the scarce talent can be retained within the job market. The Corporate Leadership Council Employee Value Proposition model was used in the current study as a framework to help identify the components that composite an organisation’s offerings. There were five components that were identified namely, 1) financial rewards, 2) People (referring to association), 3) Organisational culture, 4) Development and Career opportunities, and 5) Work content. The study followed a quantitative research design using selected questions from a Master’s study conducted by Van der Merwe (2012) on the EVP. The population included females working in a mine plant situated in the Mpumalanga province. The targeted employees were electronically surveyed, attracting 101 African female participants who successfully completed the questionnaire. The researcher was comfortable with the response rate as the surveyed employees accounted for 12.88% of the employees in the plant. The Statistics Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) was used to process the data. The analysis of the results revealed a discrepancy from what was expected from the literature that was reviewed. The results however revealed that on an individual basis, the current organisation largely meets the expectations of participants per EVP component, except for financial rewards, which happens to be the most important component. Development and career development was rated the second most important component, with people (referring to association) component perceived as the least important component.