The effects of psychological capital and job satisfaction on work engagement of support staff at a holdings establishment (Meridian Holdings)

Ramsden, Kelly-Anne (2019-04)

Thesis (MCom)--Stellenbosch University, 2019.


ENGLISH SUMMARY : Psychological Capital and job satisfaction have shown to influence certain behavioural and attitudinal outcomes of employees in the workplace and have consequently been identified to have a large influence on components such as work engagement. In short, work engagement refers to how involved employees are within their working environment in terms of certain levels of energy, interaction and commitment. Positive work engagement is extremely important for the well-being and productivity of employees as well as for organisational effectiveness. With Positive work engagement, employees can strongly identify with the work that they do. When it comes to a South African setting, positive behaviour is valuable when pushing for organisational effectiveness where emphasis is strongly placed on the development of equality, cross cultural relationships, skill and competency. We find ourselves in a societal shift that is pushing us to face prevalent social challenges such as discrimination, racism, sexism and poverty. As a result, the purpose of this paper was to address the influence of certain components on work engagement. Ultimately, two variables, namely psychological capital and job satisfaction, were chosen to be tested amongst support staff at a Holdings Establishment (Meridian Holdings). This paper further reported on how gender played a role in employees experience of work engagement and why these gender effects were evident. Data was collected by means of an on-line self-administered composite questionnaire. A total of 118 permanent support staff completed the questionnaire. The questionnaire comprised of scales measuring work engagement (Utrecht Work Engagement Scale), job satisfaction (Job Description Index), psychological capital (Psychological Capital Questionnaire) and certain demographic variables. The postulated effect studied was empirically tested using various statistical methods. Reliability analysis was done on all the measurement scales. The content of the measured constructs were investigated by means of confirmatory factor analyses. Subsequently, a Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) was used to determine the extent to which the conceptual model fitted the data obtained from the sample and to test the relationships between the constructs. Contrary to literature, the results indicated a significant negative relationship between job satisfaction and work engagement, meaning that as score in one variable increased scores in the other decreased; and no relationship between psychological capital and work engagement was found. This potentially indicates that these variables alone are not necessarily the only influencing factor of levels of work engagement. Even though the results of this study were contrary to what previous literature provided, the study contributes to existing literature on work engagement, psychological capital and job satisfaction by providing insights into the nature of these constructs and their effects on one another within specific contexts. Furthermore, this paper identified practical implications to be considered within organisations in order to enhance and encourage positive work engagement. The limitations and recommendations present additional insights and possibilities that could be explored through future research studies. These results should empower Human Resources and other relevant departments within the Holdings’ team to formulate and streamline a strategy specifically focused on the well-being and engagement of all their support staff, based on the variables that significantly contribute to work engagement.

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