SA Journal of Industrial Psychology
The journal is an independent publication for scientific contributions to the field of Industrial Psychology, i.e. organisational behaviour, human resource management, employment relations, vocational guidance, career development, ergonomics and consumer behaviour. Theoretical, empirical and applied articles will be considered for publication.
|Coverage||Vol 25 Issue 3 1999 - current|
Best practice guidelines for the use of the assessment centre method in South Africa (5th edition) : original research
Orientation: Assessment Centres (ACs) have a long and successful track record in South Africa when used for selection and development purposes. The popularity of the approach is mainly attributable to the ACs' numerous strengths, which include the perceived fairness, practical utility and strong associations with on-the-job performance. To maintain the integrity of the AC, it is important for practitioners and decision makers to apply the method in a consistent and standardised manner.
Research purpose: The purpose of the report is to provide practitioners and decision makers with practical guidelines and concrete procedures when using ACs as part of the organisation's human resource management strategy.
Motivation for the study: The past decade has seen significant advances in the science and practice of ACs. Now in its fifth edition, the revised Guidelines seek to provide important information to practitioners and decision makers on a number of factors when used in conjunction with the AC method, namely, technology, validation, legislation, ethics and culture.
Main findings: The Guidelines provide specific suggestions and recommendations for using technology as part of the manner of delivery. Issues of culture, diversity and representation are also discussed. New features of the Guidelines include more concrete guidance on how to conduct a validation study as well as unpacking several ethical dilemmas that practitioners may encounter. Of critical importance is a position statement on the use of ACs in relation to new legislation (Employment Equity Amendment Act, Section 8, clause d) pertaining to psychometric testing.
Practical/managerial implications: The Guidelines serve as a benchmark of best practice for practitioners and decision makers who intend on, or are currently, using ACs in their organisations.
Contribution/value-add: In the absence of formal standards governing the use of ACs in South Africa, the Guidelines provide an important step towards establishing standardisation in the use of the AC method. The Guidelines provide (1) guidance to industrial and organisational psychologists, organisational consultants, human resource management specialists, generalists and the Department of Labour, and others designing and conducting ACs; (2) information to managers deciding whether to introduce AC methods; (3) instructions to assessors taking part in the AC; (4) guidance on the use of technology and navigating diverse cultural contexts; and (5) a reference for professionals on best practice considerations in the use of the AC method.
Positives and negatives : reconceptualising gender attributes within the context of the sex role identity and well-being literature : an examination within the South African context : original research
Orientation: There is a lack of research examining both positive and negative sex-based traits and sex role identities. Previous research has predominantly focused on positive sex role identities and their relationship to various outcome variables. Findings for such research have not always been consistent. It has been argued that research that only examines positive identities is methodologically flawed and that the inconsistent findings in such research may be attributable to the fact that the research conducted has not examined the extent to which individuals may have adopted negative sex role identities.
Motivation for the study: With few exceptions, sex role identity (SRI) has been measured exclusively in terms of positive characteristics only. There is a dearth of research investigating both positive and negative sex role identities, particularly within the South African context.
Research purpose: The purpose of this research was to explore the extent to which individuals adopt both positive and negative sex-based traits and sex role identities. A theoretical argument is made for examining positive and negative gender attributes followed by a discussion of seven empirical studies, which demonstrate that significant proportions of samples are adopting negative sex role identities.
Research design, approach and method: This research was conducted using a cross-sectional design and a convenience sampling method across seven different samples. A total of 3462 employees participated in this research. A revised version of the Extended Personal Attribute Questionnaire (EPAQ-R) and a demographic survey were used to collect the data.
Main findings: Across all seven samples, a significant proportion of the respondents adopted negative sex role identities. These findings suggest that there is a need to measure both positive and negative identities in research on SRI. The proportion of respondents across the seven samples that adopted negative identities ranged from 44% to 49% whilst 46% to 54% indicated the adoption of positive identities.
Practical/managerial implications: This research is important as it highlights that investigations of SRI must assess both positive and negative sex role identities. Negative SRIs may have implications for critical individual and organisational outcomes. Furthermore, measures that assess both positive and negative identities may have implications for organisational processes, such as recruitment, selection and training, learning and development.
Contribution/value-add: The findings of this research contribute to the South African body of literature investigating sex role identities. The present study's finding of a high proportion of individuals endorsing negative identities has implications for future research. Future research needs to explore the relationship between both positive and negative identities and a wide variety of individual and organisational well-being indicators.
Antecedents of perceived graduate employability : a study of student volunteers in a community-based organisation : original research
Orientation: There is growing interest in understanding the factors that contribute to graduates' employability, but limited local knowledge. International research has pointed at volunteering as one avenue for enhancing employability, and this study presents results that looked at volunteering in the context of employability in a South African sample.
Research purpose: This study aimed at investigating motivations to volunteer, perceived graduate competencies, extent of participating in volunteering, along with gender and faculty of registration, as antecedents of perceived graduate employability among student volunteers and to compare the relative contributions of these antecedences in predicting perceived employability.
Research approach, design and method: A cross-sectional research design and a quantitative data collection method were used. The relative weights analysis was conducted to answer the research question.
Main findings: Overall, the results demonstrated, firstly, that different sets of predictors statistically significantly predict Perceived External Employability and Perceived Internal Employability, respectively. In the case of Perceived External Employability, a biographical predictor (faculty of registration) is the strongest predictor, whereas in the case of Internal Employability, a questionnaire measurement (of Social Motivation) comes out on top.
Practical implications/managerial implications: The social motivation factor as a predictor of perceived internal employability suggests that the more students valued the social interactions brought about by their volunteering activities, the better they saw themselves equipped for employment. This gives some weight to the argument that engaging in volunteer activities can help equip students with competencies that make them more prepared for the world of work.
Contribution/value-add: The study provided support for the construct validity of the scale for the measurement of perceived employability and evidence that different sets of predictors contribute to perceived internal and external employability.
The psychometric properties of a workplace boredom scale (DUBS) within the South African context : original research
Orientation: Boredom at work has been shown to be a concern for individuals and organisations. At the time of this research, no validated scale was available to measure and investigate workplace boredom within the South African context.
Research purpose: To determine the psychometric properties of the Dutch Boredom Scale (DUBS) within the South African context.
Motivation for the study: No reliable and valid scale for workplace boredom was available in South Africa at the time of the current research. Boredom at work has been found to affect organisations negatively in other countries. Insights are needed into workplace boredom and how it affects the outcomes of organisations in South Africa.
Research design, approach and method: A cross-sectional research approach was utilised. A random convenience sample (N = 490) was obtained from organisations within the manufacturing and logistics sector. In order to validate the DUBS, the factor structure, construct validity (convergent and discriminant validity) and scale reliability were investigated. A mediation model was also tested with structural equation modelling to ascertain predictive validity.
Main findings: The results showed that the one-factor structure of the DUBS could be confirmed and that this factor had acceptable reliability. In terms of convergent validity, all of the item indicators loaded significantly on the workplace boredom construct, and the relationship between workplace boredom and work underload revealed that they were positively correlated with medium effect size. Furthermore, work engagement and organisational commitment were correlated negatively in terms of practical significance with workplace boredom. A structural mediation model showed that work underload was significantly and positively associated with boredom, which in turn had significant negative relations to both work engagement and organisational commitment. No significant direct relations were found from work underload to either work engagement or organisational commitment. Instead, bootstrapping showed that there was an indirect-only relationship from work underload to work engagement and organisational commitment through workplace boredom - indicating full mediation.
Practical/managerial implications: Management should not neglect workplace boredom, as results indicate that it may adversely impact work engagement and organisational commitment. Therefore, workplace boredom should be a concern not only for individuals, but also for the organisation at large.
Contribution/value-add:This study contributes to the limited research available on workplace boredom in South Africa by providing evidence of acceptable psychometric properties for a workplace boredom scale.
The relevance of the psychometrist category as a professional resource : training-related issues : original research
Orientation: The professional status of psychometrists places them in a position where they can provide a specialist function independently and their services should therefore be relevant to a variety of settings.
Research purpose: The aim was to explore if the training of student psychometrists contributes to the relevance of this category in terms of the demographic profile of student psychometrists, the scope of services potentially provided by them and the content of training programmes.
Motivation for the study: There is a paucity of research on training in the psychometrist category.
Research design, approach and method: Data were obtained from the files of a cohort of student psychometrists who were registered in the Department of Psychology at the University of South Africa (UNISA). Follow-up surveys on training and work contexts were conducted amongst these students and their in-practice supervisors to confirm and supplement the data. In addition, a survey on the national availability of training programmes for psychometrists was conducted at South African universities.
Main findings: Gender and racial skewness in terms of the demographic profile of the UNISA students seemed to reflect a national trend. In terms of the scope of services, training opportunities and perceived job opportunities for psychometrists seemed limited and despite the utilisation of the skills area in all the applied contexts, concerns related to the sectors being served were identified. With regard to the content of the training programmes, students and in-practice supervisors expressed a need for greater preparation in test use before related practical experience takes place. The importance of the university's involvement during the practicum was also emphasised.
Practical/managerial implications: Recommendations are made regarding the structure and content of training programmes. This information could be applied in adapting existing programmes and in developing new programmes.
Contribution/value-add: Ultimately, these recommendations could contribute to the value of the psychometrist category as a professional resource relevant to a variety of settings.
The validation of a workplace incivility scale within the South African banking industry : original research
Orientation: Workplace incivility holds consequences for both individuals and organisations. Managers are becoming increasingly aware of this phenomenon. Currently, there is no workplace incivility scale validated for use within the South African context.
Research purpose: To investigate the reliability and validity of the adapted workplace incivility scale by Leiter and colleagues for use within South Africa.
Motivation for the study: As it is currently difficult to measure workplace incivility within the South African context because of the lack of a valid and reliable scale, it is necessary to validate such a scale.
Research design, approach and method: A cross-sectional research approach was used for the study. Convenience sampling (N = 345) was used within the South African banking industry. Specifically, the factor structure, convergent validity, discriminant validity and predictive validity were investigated in order to establish the overall validity of the scale.
Main findings: The results confirmed that the scale showed a three-factor structure as best-fitting with acceptable reliability coefficients. Furthermore, discriminant validity could be shown between workplace incivility and workplace bullying, that is, supporting that these two constructs are not the same phenomenon. In terms of relationships, colleague incivility did not significantly predict any of the outcome variables and instigated incivility only being a negative predictor of job satisfaction and a borderline statistically significant negative predictor of work engagement. However, supervisor incivility predicted all the outcomes negatively.
Practical/Managerial implications: Based on the results, workplace incivility should be addressed because of the harmful effects it can have, not only on employees but also on organisations. It is therefore necessary for managers to create awareness of workplace incivility in order to ensure that it does not integrate within the organisational culture and affect individual and organisational performance.
Contribution/Value-add: The study contributes to the limited research available in South Africa regarding workplace incivility by providing a scale that is valid and reliable.