Marange diamond mining industry : socio-political environment and its role on psychological well-being and organisational citizenship of diamond miners in Marange, Zimbabwe.
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This thesis aimed at finding comprehensive ways through which managers can foster psychological well-being and improve employees’ functionality in a turbulent business environment. The political dynamics and troubling trajectory of diamond mining in Marange are widely acknowledged (Saunders & Nyamunda, 2016). Based on perceptions of selected miners in one diamond mining company in Zimbabwe, the thesis suggests an employee well-being framework that adopts a holistic approach towards understanding the functionality of an individual working in such an environment. The approach avers that the functionality of an employee rests on a company system where managerial practises, organisational culture and values, combined with personal resources such as material resources and respect for employees’ personal values are embedded into the company’s socio-political environment. The study elucidates conditions both within and outside an individual that organisations can leverage on towards the enhancement of employee well-being. A pragmatic approach that utilised both quantitative and qualitative research methods was used in this study as a way of augmenting the inadequacy of the quantitative approaches usually used in psychology to provide a basis from which to infer the direction of the relationship between workplace features and employee well-being. This renders a fresh perspective into the study of employees’ psychological well-being that scholars have established mainly through quantitative means. The study provides a further nuanced rendering by providing, from a local perspective, a comprehensive focus to the global understanding of employee well-being response that the clinical tradition has predominantly studied looking at such factors as depression, distress, anxiety or substance abuse; and how these affect employee wellbeing. The study therefore challenges this arguably limited view of wellbeing that has often resulted in business approaches benchmarking organisational success on cost consciousness, viewing employees as machines fuelled by money, and understanding employees’ behaviours and attitude to work from negative work outcomes, processes and attributes. As with the globalised business economy that has rendered, in today’s world of work, employees as an important instrument in determining the success of an organisation, this study emphasises employees’ involvement in organisational policy formulation and the adoption of managerial practices that are informed by philosophies such as Ubuntu that can account for the local conceptions of wellness. Quantitative findings of this study revealed a positive and practically significant relationship between work engagement, job satisfaction and organisational citizenship. Results further revealed that psychological empowerment does not predict organisational citizenship behaviours. Interestingly, quantitative results further revealed that participants were averagely satisfied, engaged and averagely exhibited citizenship behaviours but are highly empowered psychologically. These quantitative findings sharply differed with the qualitative findings that suggest both management and employees felt that the working environment failed to provide for those conditions that foster engagement, satisfaction, psychological empowerment and citizenship behaviours. Although the study tried to give insight into how organisations can improve effectiveness through cultivating working environments favourable to its employees’ well-being, a lot can be achieved through investigations on the governing laws and agreed business models to understand issues of power relations between government representatives and investor representatives involved. While the study is centred in the industrial psychology, its emphasis on the need for a holistic approach towards the understanding of employee well-being can be useful to other disciplines such as Industrial Relations, Human Resources Management and Talent Management. That the current study was located in the Zimbabwean diamond mining industry brings the Zimbabwean context into the limited business and or psychological understanding of miners’ literature on Zimbabwe. In light of global interests towards diamond mining and processing, employees’ well-being is becoming a major aspect. This study therefore provides areas for consideration for a comprehensive achievement of employees’ well-being. It advances a view that a company’s system that harmoniously interacts with a socio-political environment which incorporates employees’ interests and values provides for business viability. The implication of this to the already established instruments that measure employees’ well-being is the need for inquiry on those aspects that determine the extent to which the socio-political environment affects one’s functionality at work. However, this study is not immune to some limitations. By focusing on one company, the results cannot be generalised. This is not least because what is happening in the studied company may not be the same with what happens in other companies. While the study combined both qualitative and quantitative methods for the purposes of triangulation, the qualitative method relied only on interviews. The use of focus groups could have generated more information and discussion from the participants. This would have helped to address the problem or fear that workers will not be exhaustive and rather be selective with the information they provided for the study.