Original Research

Bias and equivalence of the Strengths Use and Deficit COrrection Questionnaire in a South African context

Symen A. Brouwers, Karina Mostert, Sanelisiwe V. Mtshali
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 15 | a889 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v15i0.889 | © 2017 Symen A. Brouwers, Karina Mostert, Sanelisiwe V. Mtshali | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 23 November 2016 | Published: 22 November 2017

About the author(s)

Symen A. Brouwers, WorkWell Research Unit for Economic and Management, North-West University, South Africa
Karina Mostert, WorkWell Research Unit for Economic and Management, North-West University, South Africa
Sanelisiwe V. Mtshali, WorkWell Research Unit for Economic and Management, North-West University, South Africa

Abstract

Orientation: Developing personnel into skilled employees is a major focus of managers and companies. Doing this in a valid way in a cross-culturally diverse working environment may be challenging. It is, therefore, important to investigate the cultural consistency of new tools that assist managers in reaching these personnel development goals.

Research purpose: Determine whether the Strengths Use and Deficit COrrection (SUDCO) questionnaire is universally applicable across the Nguni, Sesotho and West-Germanic language groups in South Africa by evaluating it statistically for bias and equivalence.

Motivation for the study: South African personnel management could gain valuable insights and outcomes when they aim to improve both strengths and weaknesses.

Research design, approach and method: The study employed semi-stratified sampling. A sample (N = 658) of employees in the banking sector participated in the study. The research focused on psychometric properties relating to bias, structural equivalence and reliability.

Main findings: A four-factor model fitted the data best. This model described perceived organisational support (POS) for strengths use, POS for deficit correction, strengths-use behaviour and deficit-correction behaviour. A multi-group confirmatory factor analysis for the direct comparison of the SUDCO’s fit across the language groups (Nguni, Sesotho and WestGermanic) showed the 33 were unbiased against any of the three language groups and structured into the same four latent constructs.

Practical implications: In personnel development, employees and managers should understand the benefits of a combined strengths and deficit approach as relating to different language groups.

Contribution: The study contributes to literature a cross-culturally validated measure for the assessment of strengths and deficits.


Keywords

strength support; deficit correction; strengths-use behaviour; deficit-correction behaviour; positive psychology; cross-cultural psychology; item bias; structural equivalence

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