Original Research

Investigating strengths and deficits to increase work engagement: A longitudinal study in the mining industry

Pule Mphahlele, Crizelle Els, Leon T. De Beer, Karina Mostert
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 16 | a900 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v16i0.900 | © 2018 Pule Mphahlele, Crizelle Els, Leon T. De Beer, Karina Mostert | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 14 December 2016 | Published: 27 February 2018

About the author(s)

Pule Mphahlele, WorkWell Research Unit for Economic and Management Sciences, North-West University, South Africa
Crizelle Els, WorkWell Research Unit for Economic and Management Sciences, North-West University, South Africa
Leon T. De Beer, WorkWell Research Unit for Economic and Management Sciences, North-West University, South Africa
Karina Mostert, WorkWell Research Unit for Economic and Management Sciences, North-West University, South Africa


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Abstract

Orientation: The motivational process of the Job Demands-Resources (JD-R) model indicates that job resources are the main predictors of work engagement. Previous research has found that the two job resources perceived organisational support (POS) for strengths use and POS for deficit correction are also positively related to work engagement. However, the causal relationships between these variables have not been investigated longitudinally.

Research purpose: To determine if POS for strengths use and POS for deficit correction are significant predictors of work engagement over time.

Motivation for the study: In the literature, empirical evidence on the longitudinal relationships between work engagement and specific job resources, namely POS for strengths use and POS for deficit correction, is limited.

Research design, approach and method: A longitudinal design was employed in this study. The first wave elicited a total of 376 responses, while the second wave had a total sample size of 79. A web-based survey was used to measure the constructs and to gather data at both points in time. Structural equation modelling was used to investigate the hypotheses.

Main findings: The results indicated that both POS for strengths use and POS for deficit correction are positively related to work engagement in the short term. However, only POS for deficit correction significantly predicted work engagement over time.

Practical and managerial implications: The results provide valuable insights to organisations by providing knowledge regarding which approach influences work engagement levels of their employees in the short and long term.

Contribution or value-add: The study contributes to the limited research on what job resources predict work engagement over time.

Keywords

positive psychology; deficit correction; strength use; perceived organisational support for strength use; perceived organisational support for deficit correction; work engagement

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