Original Research

Is there a relationship between ethical climate, work engagement and job satisfaction in the public sector?

Mpolokeng G. Ramajoe, Estelle Bruhns, Dina van Vuuren Marais, Cecile M. Schultz
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 22 | a2499 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v22i0.2499 | © 2024 Mpolokeng G. Ramajoe, Estelle Bruhns, Dina van Vuuren Marais, Cecile M. Schultz | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 24 November 2023 | Published: 16 April 2024

About the author(s)

Mpolokeng G. Ramajoe, Business and Information Management Services, Faculty of Management Sciences, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa
Estelle Bruhns, Business and Information Management Services, Faculty of Management Sciences, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa
Dina van Vuuren Marais, Business and Information Management Services, Faculty of Management Sciences, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa
Cecile M. Schultz, People Management and Development, Faculty of Management Sciences, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa

Abstract

Orientation: Understanding the relationship between ethical climate, work engagement and job satisfaction in the South African public sector.

Research purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine whether there was a relationship between ethical climate, work engagement and job satisfaction in the South African public sector.

Motivation for the study: Ethical climate, work engagement and job satisfaction have been studied in different contexts, yet it is not clear how these three variables relate to one another in the South African public sector.

Research approach/design and method: A survey was conducted among a nonprobability convenience sample of 708 employees from a population of 17 676 employees. A quantitative research approach was applied, and correlation analysis, multiple regression analysis and structural equation modelling were used to analyse data.

Main findings: The study established that there was a relationship between ethical climate, work engagement and job satisfaction. The findings further showed that work engagement and ethical climate predicted job satisfaction and that ethical climate partially mediated the relationship between work engagement and job satisfaction.

Practical/managerial implications: This research endeavour has the potential to assist managers within the public sector of South Africa in comprehending the mediating and predictive implications of ethical climate and work engagement on job satisfaction.

Contribution/value-add: The study may assist employees to understand and promote the importance of ethical climate, work engagement and job satisfaction and the impact of this unique relationship in the public sector context.


Keywords

ethical climate; work engagement; job satisfaction; South Africa; public sector

JEL Codes

L20: General; L21: Business Objectives of the Firm; L32: Public Enterprises • Public-Private Enterprises

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions

Metrics

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Total article views: 440


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