Original Research

Variance in employee engagement: A qualitative analysis amongst public school teachers in the Cape Winelands education district

Nicola Vermooten, Johan Malan, Billy Boonzaier
SA Journal of Industrial Psychology | Vol 46 | a1568 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajip.v46i0.1568 | © 2020 Nicola Vermooten, Johan Malan, Billy Boonzaier | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 18 July 2018 | Published: 28 April 2020

About the author(s)

Nicola Vermooten, Department of Industrial Psychology, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa
Johan Malan, Department of Industrial Psychology, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa
Billy Boonzaier, Department of Industrial Psychology, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa


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Abstract

Orientation: The Global Competitiveness Index Report 2017 – 2018, which ranks the quality of 124 countries’ education system, positioned South Africa 114th. Challenges with the quality of basic education offered in many public schools across South Africa are attributed to the lack of employee engagement amongst teachers.

Research purpose: The aim of this study was, firstly, to identify the most salient antecedents of variance in employee engagement amongst teachers and, secondly, to explore the relational dynamics that exist amongst these antecedents.

Motivation for the study: The study was motivated by the intention to inform human resource practices and interventions that can be adopted to facilitate optimal teacher engagement and subsequently performance.

Research approach/design and method: A modified version of the interactive qualitative analysis (IQA) methodology was adopted to generate and collect primary qualitative data, but the data analysis was performed in accordance with the prescribed methodology. Initial (n = 37) and follow-up (n = 28) individual interviews were conducted amongst teachers from 12 mainstream public schools in the Cape Winelands education district.

Main findings: Teacher-level, school-level, community-level and societal-level determinants were identified that explain variance in employee engagement amongst teachers.

Practical/managerial implications: Human resource practices and interventions that may nurture employee engagement amongst teachers are recommended.

Contribution/value-add: This study identified the most salient antecedents of variance in employee engagement amongst teachers in the Cape Winelands District and the findings allow for a number of recommendations regarding interventions to facilitate teacher engagement and ultimately performance.


Keywords

positive psychology; employee engagement; ecological systems theory; job demands–resources theory; public school teachers; interactive qualitative analysis methodology.

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