Original Research

Gender and emotional intelligence as predictors of career adaptability in the Department of Water and Sanitation in South Africa

Nisha Harry, Thapelo Malepane
SA Journal of Industrial Psychology | Vol 47 | a1828 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajip.v47i0.1828 | © 2021 Nisha Harry, Thapelo Malepane | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 July 2020 | Published: 31 August 2021

About the author(s)

Nisha Harry, Department of Industrial and Organisational Psychology, School of Management Sciences, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa
Thapelo Malepane, Department of Industrial and Organisational Psychology, School of Management Sciences, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

Orientation: The Water and Sanitation Department in South Africa has undergone changes resulting in diminished job security, reduced employment and evolving technology, thus compelling employees to adjust to and cope continuously with these changes. Employees are now more responsible than ever before for developing self-regulatory resources, to remain employable.

Research purpose: The study aimed to examine the role of gender and emotional dimensions in career adaptability among employees of the Department of Water and Sanitation, South Africa.

Motivation for the study: There is a paucity of research into the way in which gender and emotional intelligence act as predictors of career adaptability, specifically in a public sector service.

Research approach/design and method: A quantitative, cross-sectional research design was conducted on a convenience sample (N = 160) of staff employed by the Water and Sanitation Department in South Africa.

Main findings: The bivariate correlation revealed significant associations between overall emotional intelligence, with career adaptability and it sub-dimensions. Stepwise hierarchical analysis revealed significant associations between gender, and emotional intelligence with the outcome variable. The Mann–Whitney U test was used to predict the research objective of the study.

Practical/managerial implications: The study results emphasised the importance of emotional intelligence and career adaptabilities as important meta-competencies in helping employees to respond to career changes and to craft sustainable careers.

Contribution/value add: The results also highlighted the strengths of developmental areas for both women and men in developing their emotional intelligence and career adaptability.


Keywords

career adaptability; emotional intelligence; gender; employees; South Africa

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