Original Research

Happiness, work engagement and organisational commitment of support staff at a tertiary education institution in South Africa

Lyndsay K. Field, Johanna H. Buitendach
SA Journal of Industrial Psychology | Vol 37, No 1 | a946 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajip.v37i1.946 | © 2011 Lyndsay K. Field, Johanna H. Buitendach | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 03 December 2010 | Published: 19 September 2011

About the author(s)

Lyndsay K. Field, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Johanna H. Buitendach, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa


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Abstract

Orientation: Support staff members play a vital role in tertiary education institutions. With this in mind, the institutions must address their particular needs. In the context of positive psychology, issues of happiness and work engagement could lead to increased positive organisational outcomes like the commitment of support staff.

Research purpose: The purpose of the research was to determine the relationship between happiness, work engagement and organisational commitment and to determine whether happiness and work engagement hold predictive value for the organisational commitment of support staff.

Motivation for the study: This study aims to enable the identification of a link between happiness, work engagement and organisational commitment and to identify a predictive value of the model.

Research design, approach and method: The researchers used a cross-sectional survey design. They used a sample of 123 (N = 123) support staff members from a tertiary education institution in South Africa. The researchers used four demographic questionnaires for the research. These were the ‘Satisfaction with Life Scale’ (SWLS), the ‘Well-Being Questionnaire’ (WBQ), the ‘Utrecht Work Engagement Scale’ (UWES) and the ‘Organisational Commitment Questionnaire’ (OCQ).

Main findings: The researchers found a significant positive relationship between affective organisational commitment and work engagement, as well as between affective organisational commitment and happiness (as the SWLS and WBQ measure). They found a significant positive relationship between work engagement and happiness. Finally, the results showed that happiness and work engagement have predictive value for affective organisational commitment.

Practical/managerial implications: Happiness and work engagement have predictive value for affective organisational commitment. Therefore, institutions should carefully tailor any implementation programme or initiative to address this relationship.

Contribution/value-add: The findings will benefit both managers and workers. Institutions should consider evaluating the levels of happiness and work engagement of their support staff to address the issue of the organisational commitment of their employees.


Keywords

Positive psychology; wellness; satisfied workers; individual outcomes; organisational outcomes

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