Original Research

Job and personal resources as mediators in the relationship between iron-ore mineworkers’ job demands and work engagement

Martina Kotzé, Petrus Nel
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 17 | a1183 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v17i0.1183 | © 2019 Martina Kotze, Petrus Nel | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 04 March 2019 | Published: 27 August 2019

About the author(s)

Martina Kotzé, Business School, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa
Petrus Nel, Department of Industrial Psychology, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa


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Abstract

Orientation: Mining companies are major sources of employment in South Africa. Withstanding the challenges that the mining industry faces, maintaining work engagement of employees is essential to success in this context.

Research purpose: To investigate the mediating effect of job and personal resources (in parallel and serial) in the relationship between the job demands and work engagement of employees at two iron-ore mines in a remote South African locale.

Motivation for the study: Most South African research on work engagement in the mining industry focuses on the role of job resources. There is a lack of research investigating the influence of both job and personal resources in the relationship between job demands and mineworkers’ work engagement.

Research approach/design and method: Data were collected using questionnaires from 238 employees working for two open-pit iron-ore mines. Three mediating relationships were investigated using variance-based structural equation modelling.

Main findings: The results indicate that job and personal resources (in parallel) partially mediated the relationship between job demands and work engagement, with personal resources having a stronger effect than job resources. In addition, job and personal resources (in serial) partially mediated the relationship between job demands and work engagement but not as strongly as personal resources (in parallel).

Practical/managerial implications: Despite job demands, mineworkers’ work engagement can be increased by investing in interventions and a work environment that enhances job and personal resources (such as mindfulness and psychological capital).

Contribution/value add: The study bridges a specific gap in the literature by exploring the role of both job and personal resources (i.e., mindfulness and psychological capital) in the relationship between mineworkers’ job demands and work engagement. No previous studies explored these variables in combination in the South African mining industry.


Keywords

mindfulness; psychological capital; mineworkers; work engagement; job and personal resources in the mining industry

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