Original Research

Job demands and job resources and well-being of judges in South Africa

Elsie Rossouw, Sebastiaan Rothmann
SA Journal of Industrial Psychology | Vol 46 | a1801 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajip.v46i0.1801 | © 2020 Elsie Rossouw, Sebastiaan (Ian) Rothmann | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 31 March 2020 | Published: 23 September 2020

About the author(s)

Elsie Rossouw, Optentia Research Focus Area, Faculty of Humanities, North-West University, Vanderbijlpark, South Africa
Sebastiaan Rothmann, Optentia Research Focus Area, Faculty of Humanities, North-West University, Vanderbijlpark, South Africa

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Orientation: Research has been conducted regarding job demands, job resources and well-being of individuals in a variety of jobs. However, no studies have focused on the work experiences of judges in an African context.

Research purpose: This study aimed to explore job demands and job resources, and the effects thereof, on the well-being of judges in South Africa.

Motivation for the study: Some stressors and demands that judges face are universal. However, the situation in each country, division and type of court differs, and thus the factors affecting judges’ well-being also vary.

Research approach/design and method: The research employed an exploratory study design. South African judges (n = 25) from various courts of different jurisdictions participated in this qualitative study. Semi-structured interviews were used to gather data. Conformability was established by using the ATLAS.ti 8 software program.

Main findings: The results showed that job resources such as autonomy, positive relationships with senior judges and opportunities for training and development, contributed to judges’ flourishing. Despite job demands such as work pressure and time constraints, emotional demands and hassles experienced at work, judges generally chose to use the available opportunities for well-being to reach their goals, to feel good and to function well at work. Some judges, however, noted that their heavy workload and limited time contributed to their stress and burnout.

Practical/managerial implications: Interventions should be employed to alleviate the job demands of judges whilst increasing their job resources at the same time. This will boost their flourishing.

Contribution/value-addition: This study adds to scientific knowledge regarding the job demands, job resources and flourishing of judges in the South African context.


judges; job demands; job resources; flourishing; burnout.


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Crossref Citations

1. Where stress presides: predictors and correlates of stress among Australian judges and magistrates
Carly Schrever, Carol Hulbert, Tania Sourdin
Psychiatry, Psychology and Law  vol: 29  issue: 2  first page: 290  year: 2022  
doi: 10.1080/13218719.2021.1904456