Article Information

Melinde Coetzee1
Llewellyn E. van Zyl1

1Department of Industrial and Organisational Psychology, University of South Africa, South Africa

Correspondence to:
Melinde Coetzee


Postal address:
PO Box 392, University of South Africa, Pretoria 0003, South Africa

How to cite this article:
Coetzee, M., & Van Zyl, LE. (2014). South African Journal of Industrial Psychology: Annual editorial overview 2014. SA Journal of Industrial Psychology/SA Tydskrif vir Bedryfsielkunde, 40(1), Art. #1245, 5 pages.

Copyright Notice:
© 2014. The Authors. Licensee: AOSIS OpenJournals.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

South African Journal of Industrial Psychology: Annual editorial overview 2014
In This Editorial...
Open Access
Focus and scope of the contributions to the South African Journal of Industrial Psychology's 2014 publications
Volume 40(1)
Volume 40(2)
The evolution of the South African Journal of Industrial Psychology
   • Design and implementation (1974–1985)
   • Growth and stabilisation (1985–1994)
   • Continuous improvement (1994–2013)
   • Transformation (2013–2014)
   • Conclusion

The annual overview of the two 2014 editions (volumes 40[1/2]) of the South African Journal of Industrial Psychology (SAJIP) evaluates the scholarly contributions of the publications in terms of the focus and scope of the journal and outlines the evolution of the SAJIP since the journal's inception in 1974.

Although the focus and scope of the SAJIP relate to publishing quality research in all areas of specialisation in the field of industrial and organisational psychology in the South African (SA) context (Coetzee & Van Zyl, 2013), the 2014 editions of the SAJIP have witnessed some contributions from international scholars (cf. Flint-Taylor, Davda, & Cooper from the United Kingdom on stable personality traits and resilience in work and career and Minjoo, Mpofu, Brock, Milington, & Athanasou from Australia on cognitive-behavioural therapy effects on employment-related outcomes). These contributions serve as a valuable benchmark for evaluating the relevance and scope of dominant research themes in I-O psychology in both local and international contexts. The contribution of international manuscripts could be attributed to the journal's indexing in various international research repositories and international visitors to the SAJIP website.

The SAJIP mid-year report for 2014 (AOSIS, 2014) shows that the visitors to the journal originated mostly from the following countries: South Africa (14 865 visitors), United States (5301 visitors), India (3904 visitors), United Kingdom (3111 visitors), Netherlands (1867 visitors), Australia (1799 visitors), Malaysia (1656 visitors), Philippines (1369 visitors), Indonesia (1225 visitors) and Pakistan (1201 visitors). This acts as a testament of the span and impact of the SAJIP's influence and contribution. As the SAJIP is currently in the evaluation process for a Web-of-Science listing, these will surely impact upon the journal's eventual rating.

Focus and scope of the contributions to the South African Journal of Industrial Psychology's 2014 publications

As the only industrial and organisational (I-O) psychology publication in Africa, the SAJIP focuses on serving as a reputable, accredited publication medium for scholars (scientists) and practitioners who are interested in publishing original research of relevance and interest to the development of concepts pertaining to organisational success and performance, leader and group effectiveness and the well-being of people in the organisation (SAJIP, 2013, p. iii). These concepts of focus underpin the scope of the SAJIP and relate to the various areas of specialisation in the field of industrial and organisational psychology. As duly pointed out in the review published in the 2014/40(1) edition by Coetzee and Van Zyl on a decade's scholarly publications (2004–2013) in the SAJIP, the acknowledged areas of I-O psychology specialisation in South Africa include research contributions from organisational psychology, psychometrics, employee well-being, personnel psychology, career psychology, coaching psychology, labour relations, consumer psychology and, more recently, neuro-psychology as applied to the work context. Coetzee and Van Zyl found the SAJIP publication themes over the past decade (2004–2013) to be in agreement with the focus and scope of the SAJIP and to predominantly contribute to research in the fields of organisational psychology, psychological assessment (psychometrics) and employee well-being in I-O psychology. Again, true to the focus and scope of the SAJIP, the 2014 publications appear to contribute mostly to the following areas of specialisation in I-O psychology in the two editions.

Volume 40(1)

Organisational psychology: Dominant themes include job resources, the use of organisational and individual strengths and work engagement (Botha & Mostert); servant leadership, organisational citizenship behaviour and team effectiveness (Mahembe & Engelbrecht); leadership and organisational climate (Eustace & Martins); meaningful work, work engagement and organisational commitment (Geldenhuys, Łaba, & Venter); extrinsic motivation, job satisfaction and life satisfaction (Mafini & Dlodlo); self-efficacy, emotional intelligence and leadership style or effectiveness (Ramchunder & Martins); emotional intelligence, trust and servant leadership (Du Plessis, Wakelin-Dannhauser, & Nel); relationships in an institutional career setting for older people (Roos & Du Toit) and ethical leadership, trust and work engagement (Engelbrecht, Heine, & Mahembe).

Personnel psychology: Dominant themes include recruitment strategies and response rates (Khamisa, Peltzer, Ilic, & Oldenburg), effects of motor-vehicle accidents on the career and work performance of victims (Diedericks), factors in academic turnover and retention (Theron, Barkhuizen, & du Plessis) and motivational and coping resources in selection (De Beer & Van Heerden).

Psychometrics: Dominant themes include factorial invariance of the Adult Hope Scale (Nel & Boshoff), construct validity of the Basic Traits Inventory and the Ten-Item Personality Inventory in the SA context (Metzer, De Bruin, & Adams) and psychometric properties of a burnout scale (Asiwe, Jorgensen, & Hill) and the Emotional Quotient Inventory 2.0 in South Africa (Van Zyl).

Career psychology: Dominant themes include personality attributes and resiliency in work and career (Taylor, Davda, & Cooper) and work-family enrichment amongst female workers (Marais, De Klerk, Nel, & De Beer).

Coaching psychology: Dominant themes include ethical challenges in coaching psychology (Simon, Odendaal, & Goosen), the role of the industrial-organisational psychologist as counsellor (Barkhuizen, Jorgensen, & Brink) and coaching and training guidelines for managers on mental-health issues across cultures (book review by Viviers).

Consumer psychology: Dominant themes include mail shopping preferences and the patronage of mature shoppers (Rousseau & Venter) and transformative consumer research in South Africa (Ungerer).

Employee well-being: Dominant themes include burnout, vigour, the big-five personality traits and social support (the late Louw) and mental health and salutogenesis (book review by Viviers).

Labour relations: Dominant themes include racial hierarchies of skill in the affirmative-action context (Reuben & Bobat).

Volume 40(2)

Volume 40(2) of the SAJIP endeavoured to broaden an understanding of African perspectives on traditional and non-traditional applications of concepts of work psychology within African and ‘multicultural’ contexts. The ‘Call for papers’ (SAJIP, 2013) suggested, in line with the reasoning of Dawes (1998), a need to systematically develop an Africa-specific work psychology due to the need for the Africanisation of psychological knowledge and theory and its application within African contexts. The continued internationalisation of the world economy necessitates an understanding of work-related psychology concepts in all regions (emerging and developed economies) of the world (Ituma, 2011). Although the annual publications of the SAJIP predominantly contribute to research on work psychology in the diverse and multi-cultural South African context, Africa as a region appears to be under-researched (cf. Dawes, 1998, Ituma, 2011). As the second largest continent in the world, Africa evidences 54 sovereign countries with a diverse range of political, economic, historical and societal structures. Research increasingly suggests that the continent-unique institutional environments have a profound influence on individual behaviour and management practices in African-based organisations and communities (Ituma, 2011).

Dawes (1998) argues for a perspective that moves beyond the ‘racial’ or cultural source of the psychological frameworks embedded in the African versus European (emerging vs. developed economy countries) dichotomy to one that draws on the well-researched ideas or conceptual frameworks of European scholars and evaluates which framework best describes and explains phenomena of interest in African-based communities. Albeit Dawes (1998), in a globalised economy, dialogue between local and foreign perspectives is therefore seen as essential for the production of African-based psychological frameworks. This approach, Dawes argues, allows for locally developed psychological knowledge which is not necessarily a feature of a specific culture but rather an account of similarities in mentalities and social practices across local and foreign languages and ethnic and cultural communities as these manifest in Africa as unique eco-cultural systems.

Although the SAJIP continued to witness an extensive reader list from Africa-based countries in 2014, the contributions from these countries are unfortunately still limited. The top ten African countries on the 2014 SAJIP reader list (AOSIS, 2014) are South Africa (14865 readers), Kenya (1068 readers), Nigeria (836 readers), Ghana (395 readers), Zimbabwe (318 readers), Uganda (235 readers), Namibia (202 readers), Tanzania (175 readers), Egypt (147 readers) and Ethiopia (146 readers). The smaller number of readers from non-South-African countries could be attributed to the strong South African focus of the SAJIP. Similarly, apart from the contribution by Minjoo, Mpofu, Brock, Milington and Athanasou (Australia) and Akoto and Akoto (Ghana), only contributions from South Africa succeeded to be published in the special edition on work psychology in the African context. Although some manuscript contributions were received from countries such as Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya, these manuscripts unfortunately did not comply with the SAJIP standards.

The publications showcased in the special edition on work psychology in the African context (volume 40/2) therefore endeavour to emulate a snapshot of some important and under-researched themes in the field of I-O psychology. These themes highlight constructs and special populations that are often understudied in the context of work psychology. It is trusted that the publications will stimulate further debate and continue to receive consideration in future research endeavours. The publications also appear to contribute mostly to the following areas of specialisation in I-O psychology:

Organisational psychology: Dominant themes include the employee-life satisfaction nexus amongst academics (Mafini), a configural approach to organisational commitment as applied in Ghana (Akoto & Akoto) and intrinsic rewards and work engagement (Jacobs, Renard, & Snelgar). Although widely researched, these themes are highlighted in the special edition on work psychology in the African context because of their continued importance in the 21st-century workplace.

Neuro-psychology as applied to the work context: Dominant themes include cognitive-behavioural therapy effects on employment-related outcomes for individuals with mental illness (Minjoo, Mpofu, Brock, Milington, & Athanasou) and national security psychology in the South African National Defence Force (book review by Martin). These two publications focus on special populations from an under-researched domain in the field of I-O psychology.

Psychometrics: Dominant themes include the test-retest reliability of career-path appreciation (Oosthuizen, Coetzee, & Kruger). This publication highlights the importance of validating the reliability of assessment tools for diverse population groups in the employment-equity context.

Career psychology: Dominant themes include factors influencing the career success of managers (Koekemoer). This publication highlights an under-researched theme in the African and South African contexts that is deemed important when considering individuals’ career development in the light of the retention challenges faced by organisations both locally and globally.

Coaching psychology: Dominant themes include coaching in business context (book review by Struwig). This publication emphasises an under-researched theme that continues to be important in the local and global business contexts.

In terms of both editions, 40(1) and 40(2), quantitative and cross-sectional research approaches continue to dominate the contributions. A similar trend was observed by Coetzee and Van Zyl (2014) in their decade review of the SAJIP publications.

The evolution of the South African Journal of Industrial Psychology

This year marks the 40th year of existence for the South African Journal of Industrial Psychology (SAJIP). As we celebrate this significant milestone, it is important to reflect upon the SAJIP's rich history and contribution to the development of industrial and organisational psychology (I-O psychology) as an independent discipline within South Africa.

Design and implementation (1974–1985)

In South Africa, the early 1970's saw the rise of independent and focused research on concepts associated with industrial and organisational psychology. This rise in academic research sparked the interest in establishing a local journal focused on the development of the discipline within the confines of South Africa. Professor I. van W. Raubenheimer (former head of the Department of Industrial Psychology at the University of Stellenbosch) and a group of fellow scholars identified this need in 1974 (Raubenheimer, 1994).

During 1974, the viability of a journal solely focused on industrial psychology, the editorial board (comprised of Profs I van W. Raubenheimer, J.C.D Augustyn, W.S. de Villiers, L.J. Fick, A.J. van Wyk), the advisory committee (Profs I.J. van Biljon, C.J. Calitz, L.C. de Jager and G. van der M. Sieberhagen) and the publication house (University of Stellenbosch) was established. Prof Raubenheimer extended an invitation to prominent South African scholars of the time to contribute to the first volume which was to be published the following year.

The founding editor, Prof Raubenheimer (1994, p. 22), indicated that the journal was to serve as an ‘… independent publication medium for scientific contributions to the field of industrial psychology’ and its sub-fields (i.e. organisational behaviour, personnel psychology, career psychology, ergonomics and consumer psychology). Further, the journal was to provide a platform for the publication of theoretical, empirical and applied research within these fields. From the outset, the journal was positioned as an apolitical, non-ideological publication, aimed at a wide audience (Pietersen, 2005; Raubenheimer, 1994) where no preference was expressed in favour of a particular viewpoint, language or scientific orientation in the compilation of any edition. The only pre-requisite for publication was (and still is) that the content be of the highest scientific quality and that it should meet the typological and reference guidelines of the American Psychological Association. Manuscripts would always be subjected to blind peer review by at least two field-related experts before publication.

The 6th of November 1975 saw the launch of the A5-format journal Perspectives in Industrial Psychology/Perspektiewe in die Bedryfsielkunde with its distinctive light-yellow cover. It was comprised of five original research-based articles and a brief editorial clarifying the scope and focus of the journal. The journal was dispatched by mail, at no cost, to various academic institutions in South Africa that had an industrial psychology department.

For the first 10 years of its existence, the journal was published annually (or, depending on the number of articles received, biannually) and was disseminated free of charge to various stakeholders. The costs of publication were covered by Departments of Industrial Psychology at numerous South-African universities (Raubenheimer, 1994). This later changed as a result of the high demand for the journal due to its accreditation with the Department of Higher Education (South Africa) and the subsidy received by authors upon publication (Raubenheimer, 1994). From 1985, a small subscription fee was charged for the journal.

Growth and stabilisation (1985–1994)

In 1985, the journal was accredited by the South African Department of Higher Education (DoHE) for the first time. This brought about new changes to the journal. Firstly, the name was to be changed to the Journal for Industrial Psychology/Tydskrif vir Bedryfsielkunde to be in line with the DoHE's requirements in 1986. Secondly, the publication type was changed from the traditional A5 format to the new (and current) A4 format. Thirdly, according to Raubenheimer (1994), a set of core operational and survival guidelines were established and implemented. Raubenheimer indicated that the journal should (1) be hosted by a university to ensure consistency and congruence, (2) maintain an ethos of action, (3) be non-ideological and (4) always be independent and neutral.

The 30th of April 1986 saw the publication of the inaugural edition of the Journal for Industrial Psychology/Tydskrif vir Bedryfsielkunde under the editorship of Prof Raubenheimer. The inaugural edition of the journal comprised of one volume (12) and two issues, each with five scientific articles. From this volume, the review board was faced with new challenges. Given the nature of the requirements of the DoHE, stricter blind peer-review processes were to be introduced (e.g. reviewers may not be affiliated to the same institution as the author). Emeritus Prof A. Barnard, an editorial board member at the time, indicated that, for future editions, the editorial team would contact a potential reviewer via telephone in order to determine his or her availability to review a particular manuscript (personal comm., September 11, 2014). Should a reviewer indicate that he or she was able to review, the manuscript would be posted to his or her office in order to be reviewed. In some cases, manuscripts or review reports would be ‘lost in the mail’, which posed further burdens on the publication process. These challenges were to be overcome with the introduction of courier services, ‘registered mail’ and eventually electronic mail.

In his final sole article as editor, Professor Raubenheimer (1994) is quoted as saying:

[N]ew circumstances bring forth new challenges. Amendments to the editorial functioning and process would probably be needed in the future. Whatever these circumstances may be, the journal can only be successful if the operational/survival principles are adhered to. (p. 24)

With these farewell words, Professor Raubenheimer stepped down as editor (1975–1994) and nominated Professor Gert Roodt (Randse Afrikaanse Universiteit) as the new editor-in-chief for the Journal of Industrial Psychology.

Continuous improvement (1994–2013)

The change in editors brought about an era of rapid growth, development and transformation of the journal. Strictly adhering to the founding principles of the journal during his editorship, Prof Roodt developed and implemented various initiatives to enhance the impact, stature and scientific credibility of the journal. Some of his major contributions to the journal are listed below:

  1. In 2001, the journal started to publish in dual media: both in a hardcopy (traditional A4 format) as well as in an electronic format via the website of the Randse Afrikaanse Universiteit.

  2. With the online medium, a name change was again brought about. In 2002, the Journal of Industrial Psychology's name was changed to the SA Journal of Industrial Psychology/SA Tydskrif vir Bedryfsielkunde.

  3. In 2002, Professor Roodt developed, implemented and refined the new guidelines and standards for scientific articles (in line with international standards) that were to be published in the journal.

  4. In 2008, Professor Roodt entered into an agreement with Open Journals Publishing such that the journal was to be published on an open access, rolling publication basis with one hard copy issue published each year. The open access platform resulted in exponential growth in national and international exposure for both the journal and its contributors. The relationship with the new publisher also led to the introduction of the journal's own website and publication platform in 2008.

  5. As a result of the open access platform, the journal was indexed in various international research repositories, the most prolific being:

    • Gale, Cengage Learning

    • Elsevier's Scopus

    • ProQuest

    • Google Scholar

    • SciELO SA

    • SA ePublications, Sabinet

    • Directory of Open Access Journals

    • EBSCO Host

    • AOSIS OpenJournals Harvester

  6. The culmination of all of the above resulted in an increase in the Global Impact Factor (GIF) of the journal. In 2011, the journal's GIF was 2.48, and in 2013, it increased to 3.66.

  7. The journal was submitted for accreditation by various international bodies such as the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI). (The journal is currently being evaluated for an ISI listing.)

  8. Professor Roodt ensured that the editorial committee of the journal is representative of academic departments of universities in South Africa and involves international scholars with high standing in the field of industrial and organisational psychology.

Transformation (2013–2014)

In 2013, Professor Roodt was promoted to become the Vice Dean of Research at the University of Johannesburg and stepped down as editor of the journal. Professor Roodt served as editor of the journal for 19 years. Upon his resignation from the journal, Professor Roodt nominated Professor Melinde Coetzee (University of South Africa) as the new editor-in-chief and Professor Llewellyn E. van Zyl (University of South Africa) as associate editor.

Since Professor Coetzee's editorship, new initiatives have been introduced to ensure the sustainability of the work and impact of Professors Raubenheimer and Roodt. In a relatively short period, she managed to introduce a number of initiatives to enhance the national and international stature of the journal. The most significant initiatives which were implemented were:

  1. Repositioning the editorial committee and board for broader international exposure.

  2. Implementing initiatives to enhance customer relations with authors and reduce the turn-around time for publications.

  3. Instituting capacity building of ‘junior’ researchers and reviewers.

  4. Formalising the charter of the journal and in effect also the relationships between key stakeholders.

  5. Refining the publication guidelines for quantitative and qualitative research

  6. Introducing guidelines for book reviews.

  7. Providing continuing professional development (CPD) incentives to peer reviewers and section editors.

  8. Employing two specialist statistical consulting editors.

These initiatives act as a foundation for positioning the SAJIP as a leading international journal in the field of I-O psychology.


Despite the rapid growth in the field of industrial and organisational psychology, the journal has stayed, and will always stay, true to the founding principles of Professor Raubenheimer. All of these initiatives and the contributions of the publisher (AOSIS), editors, section editors, editorial board and reviewers aim to ensure that the SAJIP will continue to be true to its focus and scope and to be seen as a scientific publication with international merit and of scientific excellence. The editors would therefore like to express their sincere gratitude toward these colleagues for their high-quality contributions to the 2014 editions of the SAJIP.


AOSIS (2014). Journal report mid-year SAJIP. Durbanville: AOSIS OpenJournals.

Coetzee, M., & Van Zyl, L.E. (2013). Advancing research in industrial and organisational psychology: A brief overview of 2013. SA Journal of Industrial Psychology/SA Tydskrif vir Bedryfsielkunde, 39(1), 1–4.

Coetzee, M., & Van Zyl, L.E. (2014). A review of a decade's scholarly publications (2004–2013) in the South African Journal of Industrial Psychology, SA Journal of Industrial Psychology/SA Tydskrif vir Bedryfsielkunde, 40(1), Art. #1227, xx pages.

Dawes, A. (1998). Africanisation of psychology: Identities and continents. Psychology in Society, 23, 4–16.

Ituma, A. (2011). Africa: A fertile but ‘unchartered’ territory for career studies. African Journal of Economics and Management Studies, 2(2), 243–254.

Pietersen, H.J. (2005). Knowledge development in industrial/organisational psychology (South Africa). SA Journal of Industrial Psychology/SA Tydskrif vir Bedryfsielkunde, 31(2), 78–85.

Raubenheimer, I. van W. (1994). Die Tydskrif vir Bedryfsielkunde 20 jaar in bedryf. Journal of Industrial Psychology, 20(3), 22–24.

SAJIP (2013). Call for papers – Special issue theme: Work psychology in the African context: Advances, issues, trends and challenges. Durbanville: AOSIS OpenJournals.

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