Original Research

Promoting talent through managing mental health: The role of decent work and organisational citizenship behaviour

Willie Chinyamurindi, Motshedisi Mathibe, Chioneso S. Marange
SA Journal of Industrial Psychology | Vol 49 | a2057 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajip.v49i0.2057 | © 2023 Willie Chinyamurindi, Motshedisi Mathibe, Chioneso S. Marange | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 09 September 2022 | Published: 03 August 2023

About the author(s)

Willie Chinyamurindi, Department of Business Management, Faculty of Management and Commerce, University of Fort Hare, East London, South Africa
Motshedisi Mathibe, Gordon Institute of Business Science, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Chioneso S. Marange, Department of Statistics, Faculty of Science and Agriculture, University of Fort Hare, East London, South Africa


Orientation: Calls exist to understand how talent can be managed especially within the public service.

Research purpose: The research sought to determine the determinants of employee mental health accounting for the role of decent work and organisational citizenship behaviours within the South African public service environment.

Motivation for the study: Talent management within the public service has become a crucial focus area. Further, there is a need to explore how such efforts of talent management relate with the promotion of employee well-being.

Research approach/design and method: A survey approach utilising a convenience sample was used with the South African public service employees with a sample of 289 respondents. The location of the study was Bisho, in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. The Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) was used for the purpose of analysis with multiple regression and partial least squares (PLS) also utilised.

Main findings: The results do not show support for the influence of organisational citizenship behaviour on employee mental health. Further, decent work predicted employee mental health and also had a full mediation on the relationship between organisational citizenship behaviours and mental health.

Practical/managerial implications: Managers, particularly in the public service, where work engagement is so intense, should prioritise decent work and organisational citizenship behaviour when promoting employee mental health. Managers should also take a closer look at how these two constructs influence talent promotion. A focus on these constructs will not only nurture talent but will also produce a highly engaged and committed workforce that will provide the sector with a competitive advantage.

Contribution/value-add: The findings inform an important conversation around addressing the challenges of employee mental health within the organisation. The theoretical and practitioner press could potentially benefit from these findings in addressing such a challenge.


public service; South Africa; mental health; decent work; organisational citizenship behaviour.

JEL Codes

I12: Health Behavior; J24: Human Capital • Skills • Occupational Choice • Labor Productivity

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth


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