Work engagement, organisational commitment, job resources and job demands of teachers working within two former model C high schools in Durban North, KwaZulu-Natal.
Field, Lyndsay Kristine.
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Orientation: Teachers have a vital role to play within any society. Of late, it can be seen that, generally, teachers within South African schools are becoming increasingly unhappy and dissatisfied with their work. This can be seen as a result of the various strikes and protests over the recent years. Since the South African education system is still very much fragmented and unequal, a legacy of the apartheid era, teachers working within former model C schools, in particular, can be seen as having numerous job demands placed on them in spite of low levels of job resources with which to cope. It is thus important to determine the impact that certain job resources and job demands have on the levels of work engagement and organisational commitment of teachers working within former model C schools in particular. Research Purpose: The purpose of this research was three-fold. Firstly, to determine the relationship between work engagement, organisational commitment, job resources and job demands. Secondly, to determine whether a differentiated approach to job demands (challenge demands and hindrance demands) impacted on positive organisational outcomes, such as work engagement. Thirdly, to determine the mediating role of work engagement in the relationship between certain job resources and organisational commitment; and between challenge job demands and organisational commitment. Motivation for the Study: This study was aimed at enabling an identification of the relationship between work engagement, organisational commitment, job resources and job demands. Further, the study was aimed at identifying the impacting role that specific job resources and job demands have on positive organisational outcomes, such as work engagement and organisational commitment. Research Design, Approach and Method: A cross-sectional survey design was used. A sample (n= 117) was taken from teachers working at former model C high schools in Durban North, KwaZulu-Natal. A demographic questionnaire, Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (UWES), Organisational Commitment Questionnaire (OCQ) and Job Demands-Resources Scale (JDRS) were used to collect data from the sample. Main Findings: The findings of the study suggest that job resources are positively related to work engagement. The differentiated classification of job demands within the study was tested in terms of its relationship with work engagement. Interestingly it was found that overload (a challenge job demand) was both statistically as well as practically significantly related to work engagement; while job insecurity (a hindrance job demand) was not. Further, it was found that the job resources of organisational support and growth opportunities held predictive value for work engagement. Lastly, findings suggested that work engagement mediated the relationship between job resources and the positive organisational outcome of organisational commitment. The hypothesised mediating role that work engagement could play in the relationship between overload (a challenge job demand) and organisational commitment could not be tested in the present study. Practical/Managerial Implications: Job resources play a vital role in harnessing positive organisational outcomes such as work engagement and organisational commitment. Further, some job demands are positively related to work engagement. Therefore, managers and heads of schools need to look seriously at evaluating the state of the job demands and resources that are available to their teaching staff, and implement interventions that could increase various job resources and decrease major hindrance demands faced by teachers. These interventions could go a great way in developing more work-engaged as well as organisationally committed teachers. Contribution/Value-Add: The present research study contributes greatly to the knowledge pertaining to teachers working within former model C high schools within South Africa. Further the present study can be seen to extend the existing literature with regards to the Job Demands-Resource Model by adopting a differentiated approach to job demands and thus consequently investigating the positive relationships that certain job demands may have in terms of organisational outcomes.