Understanding individual workforce resilience of women in selected Durban organisational settings.
Cadete, Núria Leandra de Jesus.
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BACKGROUND: Over the past decades there has been an enormous increase in scientific research publications, targeting resilience of women within the workplace environment. Despite the potentially adverse effects that women may experience following adversities within their environments, many of them thrive through exercising mindfulness, self-efficacy, coping skills, while trying to manage the effects of neuroticism. Given the overall aim and purpose of this study vis-à-vis: to understand individual workforce resilience of women in selected Durban organisational settings; these factors are presented in terms of a ‘Biopsychological Model of Resilience’ indicating their connections to promoting psychological resilience. Further in the thesis, women experiences are discussed in light of feminism tenets to uncover their significance to resilience in the context of experiences of women beyond the workplace settings. METHODOLOGY: The study applied a qualitative approach, supported by the social constructivism paradigm. Ten women were chosen to be an instrumental part in this study, and were sourced based on preliminary set of criteria using purposive and snowballing sampling methods. Participants were interviewed to allow comprehensive collection of baseline insights and experiences on resilience over life history interviews. All interviews were recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analysed thematically. A pilot study was performed to address potential challenges to the achievement of the study prior to the launch of the research process. FINDINGS: The multi-dimensional constructs of resilience and feminism theories reviewed, have indicated a good fit with the analysed findings, regarding the participants’ perceptions toward resilience. Overall, the findings supported the hypothesis that biopsychosocial dimensions influence the development of resilience. By not displaying resilience qualities, adverse experiences had greater undesirable impacts on women. Women reported experiences of different kinds of adversities including domestic violence, divorce, workplace harassment and discrimination, breast cancer, and death of a loved one. Despite experiencing challenges women reported using different strategies which helped them cope with setbacks. The findings revealed that the attribute of resilience can be exhibited by nurturing and applying resilience knowledge toward adverse experiences. Overall, the study facilitates knowledge sharing on resilience of women which may be insightful or increase awareness to different audiences regarding the theoretical underpinning of resilience. CONCLUSION: A biopsychosocial model of resilience was used to understand how factors such as mindfulness, self-efficacy, coping, neuroticism influenced resilience of women. Moreover, the association between resilience of women and feminism is evident in this study, and serves to highlight how the experiences of women from diverse personal and organisational backgrounds fit into the model of resilience. IMPLICATIONS: The study provides initial understandings of the multidimensional nature of psychological resilience which may throw new light into how women in circumstances of adversity can thrive more effectively. The Human Resource Management [HRM] should deepen understanding of individual workforce resilience to develop and implement meaningful policies to encourage resilience. Further studies should be conducted to explore the actual effect size of the individual resilience model toward mitigating the outcomes of adversities.