“We designed the job we love”: investigating job crafting behaviors and work stress amongst public and private school teachers in Durban, South Africa.
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Education in South Africa is in a transitional phase. Economic deficiencies and inequality arising from apartheid have impacted significantly on the provision of education for learners and have consequently placed immense pressure on school educators to overcome these barriers within the classroom. Job crafting refers to proactive, agentic change whereby employees seek to foster meaning in their work or view their work differently. However, occupational stress remains a critical factor in many organizations, contributing to sickness absence, alcoholism, mental distress, amongst others. However, little is known about how levels of job crafting and occupational stress differ amongst private and public school educators, and whether any relationship exists between the two variables. A comparative study was conducted on a sample of school educators (N=196) employed at public (n=110) and private schools (n=86) in Durban to address the identified research gap. The research instruments used to determine job crafting behavior of school teachers were the Job Crafting Questionnaire (JCQ) and the Job Demands-Resources model (JD-R). The Pressure Management Indicator (PMI) was used to determine the levels of occupational stress experienced by school teachers in the workplace. The results revealed that there were no significant differences between job crafting behavior and occupational stress amongst the samples. The results revealed a significantly small, negative correlation between the age of the participant and occupational stress. There was no significant prediction of total stress by job crafting behavior. Insights gained from this study may be useful in assisting education departments and school governing bodies with reviewing the existing and impending structure of teaching jobs with the intent of encouraging these employees to seek satisfaction and meaning in their current occupations.