Emotion work and well-being of secondary school educators
Visser, Christelle Alfrida
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Emotions play a profound role in the workplace, especially in the human service profession. Service agents, for example educators, are expected to express socially desired emotions in a service interaction with learners. This direct face-to-face contact with learners requires a lot of emotions and in order to advance educational goals, teachers perform Emotion Work. Factors like the individual factor Emotional Intelligence and organisational factors like Job Autonomy, Supervisor- and Co-worker Support have a profound impact on how Emotion Work is experienced. Emotion Work has an influence on the experience of Well-Being. The objective of this research is to determine the relationship between Emotion Work, Emotional Intelligence, Organisational Factors and Well-Being within secondary schools in South Africa. The research method consists of a literature review and an empirical study. A cross-sectional survey design was used to collect the data. A non-probability convenience sample was taken from 257 educators in high schools in the Gauteng Province. The Schutte Emotional Intelligence Scale (SEIS), The Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (UWES), Oldenburg Burnout Inventory (English version) (OBLI). Scale from the Frankfurt Emotion Work Scales (FEWS) and Organisational Factor Scale were used as measuring instruments. The statistical analysis was carried out with the SPSS-programme. The statistical methods utilised in the article consisted of descriptive statistics, Cronbach alpha coefficients, factor analysis (using a principle components analysis), Pearson product-moment correlation coefficients and multiple regression analyses were used to analyse the data. A factor analysis confirmed two factors for Burnout, consisting of Exhaustion and Mental Distance; Emotion Work also consists of two factors namely Positive Emotion Work and Negative Emotion Work, Emotional Intelligence (four factors) consisting of Mood Regulation/Optimism, Emotion Management/Social Skills, Emotion Appraisal and Emotion Detachment. The OF (Organisational Factors) and UWES both showed acceptable internal consistencies. The analysis of Pearson correlations in this study showed that Exhaustion is negatively correlated with Job Autonomy, Supervisory Support and Engagement, while positively correlated with Negative Emotion Work and Mental Distance. Mental Distance is negatively correlated with Job Autonomy, Supervisory Support and Engagement and positively correlated with Negative Emotion Work. Engagement is positively correlated to Mood Regulation/Optimism, Emotion Management/Social Skills, Co-worker Support and Supervisory Support. Emotion Management/Social Skills is positively correlated to Emotion Appraisal and lastly Supervisor Support is positively correlated to Co-worker Support. A regression analysis with Engagement as dependent variable indicated that Positive Emotion Work, Negative Emotion Work, Mood Regulation/Optimisrn and Supervisor Support in an educator environment were the best predictors of Engagement. With Exhaustion as the dependent variable, Negative Emotion Work, Job Autonomy and Supervisor Support were the best predictors of Exhaustion and with Mental Distance as the dependent variable, Negative Emotion Work, Job Autonomy and Supervisor Support were the best predictors of Mental Distance. Recommendations are made for the educators' profession and for future research purposes.
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