Coping in die Suid-Afrikaanse geheime diens : 'n fortigene-benadering
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Since the change in the political dispensation in South Africa in 1994, South Africans are under increasing pressure to accept the new, changing order as a given. The institution where the research was carried out, the South African Secret Service (SASS), has also not escaped these changes and there have been various developments which indicate that some employees are not adjusting to these changes. The purpose of this research has been to determine to what extent a relationship exists between the presence or absence of certain psychological forces in individuals and the coping strategies which they use. The psychological forces were researched and analysed from the fortigenic paradigm, which is aimed at focusing on the origin of certain forces/strengths within man that are of cardinal importance for effective functioning. In the literature study the main focus was on aspects such as coping with change, after which the coping process and the various coping types and strategies were addressed. An important element of the literature study consisted of the profiles of copers and non-copers, which focused on the cognitive, emotional and conative fields/areas. Three different psychological approaches, namely pathogenesis, salutogenesis and fortigenesis were addressed, with emphasis on the latter. The fortigenic approach was analysed from the perspective of a number of forces, as identified by Strümpfer. A combination of a quantitative survey design and a qualitative research design (the phenomenological method) was used, with a sample population of 50 persons from the research environment within the SASS. In the research five qualitative measuring instruments (the Locus of Control Questionnaire of Scheepers, the Life Orientation Questionnaire of Antonovsky, the Personal Views Survey of Kobasa, the Self-Efficacy Questionnaire of Sherer & Maddux and the Self-Control Scale of Rosenbaum) and a qualitative instrument (the phenomenological interview) were used to determine the presence or absence of the fortigenic forces in the respondents. The measuring instruments were applied to the whole population, after which a stanine scale was used to identify persons with low and high scores according to the fortigenic construct. An interview based on the phenomenological approach was done with five persons with low and five with high scores. According to the results of the empirical study a statistically significant difference exists between the stanine scores of the five respondents with the highest scores and the five with the lowest scores and it is possible to subject these respondents to the qualitative measuring instrument. According to the qualitative measuring instrument (interview) there is a moderate to strong relationship between the strength of the employees' fortigenic forces and their ability to cope with organisational change. Three of the five employees with low stanine scores showed a strong resemblance to the profile of a non-coper, while two of the respondents showed a moderate resemblance. All five the respondents who achieved high stanine scores showed a strong resemblance to the profile of a coper. Recommendations are made for future study.