Does social support moderate between job characteristics, management communication and job satisfaction?
Raboroko, Ntswaki Julia
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The South African mining industry is facing rising levels of skills shortage. According to reports, there are a number of reasons for this, one being the low number of graduates who enrol for engineering related qualifications versus the number of graduates who eventually graduate with an engineering qualification. More emphasis needs to be placed on bursaries for university candidates, as well as training in organisations, to groom graduates in this field. The main purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between job characteristics, communication with the manager, organisational commitment, social support and job satisfaction for a sample of employees in South Africa, and specifically to determine whether social support plays a moderating role in this relationship. The participants were a convenience sample of trainees in a mining training academy, in the North–West Province. Participants’ informed consent was sought by explaining what the general purpose of the study is as well as including on the cover page of the questionnaire information around details of the study. Participants had the option of either posting the questionnaires after completing it in their own time (stamped envelope was supplied) or handing the completed questionnaire into their human resource department. This method allowed everyone to complete the questionnaire in their own time. Regarding the relationship between job characteristics (i.e. job autonomy, job challenge, and communication with the manager); all were positively correlated to the outcome variable, namely job satisfaction. None of the interaction terms were significant predictors of the outcome variable (job satisfaction). A conclusion can be drawn from this that social support does not have a moderating effect on the relationship between the measured independent variables (job characteristics and manager communication) and the outcome variable (job satisfaction). However, when only social support from supervisor and colleagues and the job characteristics were considered, it was seen that job autonomy, feedback and social support from colleagues are significant predictors of job satisfaction. This finding indicates that it is not only important for trainees to experience autonomy in the execution of their tasks, but that they also need collegial support and good feedback about such performance in order to experience job satisfaction. In conclusion, recommendations for future research were made.