Work-related well-being of employees in a South African parastatal
Phale, Matthews Mbangwa
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The mandates for government-owned enterprises (parastatals) have drastically changed in light of the changes in the government's post-democratic dispensation. There are more pressures and obligations related to governance, business operations, sustainability and financial viability prescribed for these institutions. Parastatals have moved from fully utilising government subsidies and incurring more debts at the expense of government, to income-generating entities. This change has exposed parastatals to global challenges, experienced by all organisations related to human capital management. Employees are the most critical assets that assist organisations to fulfil their mandates and drive their competitive advantage. While organisations experience challenges and pressures in the market, employees are also positively and adversely affected, depending on their dispositions and general functioning. The extent of employee participation and involvement in their work roles impacts on the success of the institution. Thus, work-related well-being of employees is an integral part of any organisational functioning and this relates to interplay between constructs of job demands, job resources, psychological conditions at work, health, work engagement, self-efficacy and organisational commitment. The general objective of this research was to study work engagement and its relationship with various other antecedents, mediators and outcomes of employees within a parastatal in the South African context. Furthermore, the study aimed to understand the relationships between factors of job demands, job resources, psychological conditions, self-efficacy and work engagement. In addition to the above, this study also aimed to determine relationships between psychological conditions, job demands, job resources, work engagement, self-efficacy, health and organisational commitment. The findings are presented in three articles, each consisting of a brief literature review and an empirical study. A cross-sectional survey design was used. The study included 288 participants in a parastatal in different job categories and levels. The questionnaires used in the empirical study comprised of the Work Engagement Scale, the Antecedents Scale, the Job Demands-Re sources Scale, the Organisational Commitment Questionnaire, the Psychological Conditions Questionnaire, the Self-Efficacy Scale, the General Health Questionnaire and a biographical questionnaire. Exploratory factor analyses were carried out to determine the construct validity of the measuring instruments. Pearson-product moment correlation coefficients were used to assess the relationships between the variables, while multiple regression analyses were used to investigate the predictive value of factors on each other. The results showed that psychological meaning fulness and psychological availability were significant predictors of work engagement, with person-environment fit and growth opportunities in the job as strongest predictors of psychological meaningfulness. Person-environment fit was the strongest predictor of work engagement and psychological availability was best predicted by physical resources. Overload and psychological meaningfulness were the best predictors of work engagement. Growth opportunities in the job and organisational support were the best predictors of psychological meaningfulness, which also strongly predicted work engagement. Psychological availability was found to be positively related to organisational support and self-efficacy. Low psychological availability predicted physical and psychological ill health, while low psychological meaningfulness predicted psychological ill health. Work engagement was the strongest predictor of normative and affective commitment, while psychological meaningfulness strongly predicted normative commitment. Recommendations for future research are made.