Original Research

Comprehensibility, manageability and meaningfulness at work: Construct validity of a scale measuring work-related sense of coherence

Katharina Vogt, Gregor J. Jenny, Georg F. Bauer
SA Journal of Industrial Psychology | Vol 39, No 1 | a1111 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajip.v39i1.1111 | © 2013 Katharina Vogt, Gregor J. Jenny, Georg F. Bauer | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 20 March 2013 | Published: 16 September 2013

About the author(s)

Katharina Vogt, Public and Organizational Health, Center for Organizational and Occupational Sciences, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
Gregor J. Jenny, Public and Organizational Health, Center for Organizational and Occupational Sciences, ETH Zurich; Division Public and Organizational Health, Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Zurich, Switzerland
Georg F. Bauer, Public and Organizational Health, Center for Organizational and Occupational Sciences, ETH Zurich, Switzerland


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Abstract

Orientation: Work-related sense of coherence (Work-SoC) is defined as the perceived comprehensibility, manageability and meaningfulness of an individual’s current work situation.

Research purpose: The aim of the present study was to investigate the factorial invariance and the construct validity of a scale that measures Work-SoC.

Motivation for the study: It might be useful to specifically apply the concept of sense of coherence to the work context.

Research design, approach and method: Statistical analysis was performed on crosssectional (n = 3412) and longitudinal (n = 1286) questionnaire data collected in eight medium to large Swiss companies from diverse economic sectors (four industrialproduction companies, one food-processing company, one public-administration service and two hospitals). The dataset therefore covers a broad range of different occupational groups.

Main findings: Multiple-group analyses indicated that the scale’s factor structure remains invariant across different employee groups and across time. High values in job resources were related to high values in Work-SoC whereas high values in job demands were related to low values in Work-SoC. Furthermore, Work-SoC acted as a partial mediator between job resources and work engagement.

Practical/managerial implications: It can be concluded that Work-SoC might serve as a practical screening instrument for assessing an employee’s perception of the potential health-promoting qualities of his or her current work situation.

Contribution/value-add: The study advances both the salutogenic theory and the field of positive occupational health psychology by redefining sense of coherence as an interactional and context-specific construct that is useful for intervention research.


Keywords

Job demands-resources model; Exhaustion; Salutogenesis; Sense of coherence; Work engagement

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