Original Research

Personality and job engagement among municipal workers in the Eastern Cape province, South Africa

Tatenda S. Mhlanga, Themba Q. Mjoli, Shingirayi F. Chamisa
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 17 | a1188 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v17i0.1188 | © 2019 Tatenda S. Mhlanga, Themba Q. Mjoli, Shingirayi F. Chamisa | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 16 March 2019 | Published: 13 November 2019

About the author(s)

Tatenda S. Mhlanga, Department of Industrial Psychology, University of Fort Hare, Alice, South Africa
Themba Q. Mjoli, Department of Industrial Psychology, University of Fort Hare, Alice, South Africa
Shingirayi F. Chamisa, Department of Industrial Psychology, University of Fort Hare, Alice, South Africa


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Abstract

Orientation: Although researchers have discovered many of the beneficial and positive consequences of job engagement, little is known about the multitude of antecedent factors that lead to employee engagement such as personality.

Research purpose: The aim of the study was to investigate the relationship between the big five personality traits and job engagement among municipal workers.

Motivation for the study: The motivation of this study is to examine the relationship between personality and psychological conditions. It was premised on previous research that personality is associated with many employees’ behaviours.

Research approach/design and method: The present study employed a quantitative, cross-sectional research design by using a questionnaire on a sample of 403 district municipal workers in the Eastern Cape province, South Africa.

Main findings: The study findings show that openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion and agreeableness had a positive relationship with job engagement, whereas neuroticism has a negative relationship with job engagement. Municipalities and educational qualifications had an impact of job engagement.

Practical/managerial implications: The study recommends managers to switch from an intervention-based focus to a selection-based focus as municipalities can maximise their resources by being able to better predict job success early in the selection process as opposed to trying to maximise the performance on a continual basis through interventions.

Contribution/value-add: This study adds to an understanding of the influences of personality on work outcomes such as job engagement, giving areas for exploration in coaching or feedback interviews based on personality assessment.


Keywords

personality; job engagement; employee engagement; municipal workers; Eastern Cape

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