Original Research

The effects of job crafting on subjective well-being amongst South African high school teachers

Sergio Peral, Madelyn Geldenhuys
SA Journal of Industrial Psychology | Vol 42, No 1 | a1378 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajip.v42i1.1378 | © 2016 Sergio Peral, Madelyn Geldenhuys | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 18 May 2016 | Published: 27 September 2016

About the author(s)

Sergio Peral, Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
Madelyn Geldenhuys, Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management, University of Johannesburg, South Africa


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Abstract

Orientation: Job crafting can result in a number of positive outcomes for teachers, such as increased meaningfulness and engagement at work. Increased work engagement and psychological meaningfulness may yield positive benefits for the practice of teaching, thus highlighting the pivotal role of job crafting.

Research purpose: The study’s aim was to investigate the relationship between job crafting and subjective well-being amongst South African high school teachers. Subjective well-being comprises psychological meaningfulness and work engagement. The potential mediating effect that psychological meaningfulness had on this relationship was further explored.

Motivation for the study: Being in a highly stressful occupation, teachers need to continuously find ways to craft their working practices in order to deal effectively with their job demands and to capitalise on their available job resources. Furthermore, South Africa’s current education system calls for serious proactive measures to be taken to improve and rectify the current status, such as job crafting.

Research approach, design and method: A quantitative, cross-sectional survey design was used and administered to a sample of South African high school teachers situated in Gauteng, South Africa (N = 251).

Main findings: A positive relationship was found between job crafting (increasing structural resources and challenging job demands) and work engagement. Furthermore, psychological meaningfulness mediated the relationship between job crafting and work engagement amongst the sampled high school teachers.

Practical/managerial implications: Teachers who craft their work to better suit their preferences and needs will obtain greater meaning in their work and experience increased levels of work engagement. Training programmes and/or group-based interventions targeted around job crafting techniques may be particularly useful in the South African teaching context.

Contribution/value-add: This study highlights the importance of job crafting to the well-being of teachers. It further contributes to the literature pertaining to job crafting and teaching specifically, as well as to the limited job crafting research that has been conducted in the South African context.


Keywords

Job crafting; teachers; subjective well-being; work engagement; psychological meaningfulness

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