Abstract

Orientation: Quality education is dependent on the well-being, engagement, performance and retention of teachers. Meaningful work might affect these employee and organisational outcomes.Research purpose: The aim of this study was to investigate antecedents and outcomes of meaningful work among school teachers.Motivation for the study: Meaningful work underpins people’s motivation and affects their well-being and job satisfaction. Furthermore, it is a significant pathway to healthy and authentic organisations. However, a research gap exists regarding the effects of different antecedents and outcomes of meaningful work.Research approach, design and method: A cross-sectional survey was used with a convenience sample of 513 teachers. The Work-Life Questionnaire, Revised Job Diagnostic Survey, Co-worker Relations Scale, Work and Meaning Inventory, Personal Resources Scale, Work Engagement Scale, Turnover Intention Scale and a measure of self-rated performance were administered.Main findings: A calling orientation, job design and co-worker relations were associated with meaningful work. A low calling orientation and poor co-worker relationships predicted burnout. A calling orientation, a well-designed job, good co-worker relationships and meaningful work predicted work engagement. Job design was moderately associated with self-ratings of performance. The absence of a calling orientation predicted teachers’ intention to leave the organisation.Practical/managerial implications: Educational managers should consider implementing interventions to affect teachers’ calling orientation (through job crafting), perceptions of the nature of their jobs (by allowing autonomy) and co-worker relations (through teambuilding) to promote perceptions of meaningful work. Promoting perceptions of meaningful work might contribute to lower burnout, higher work engagement, better self-ratings of performance and retention of teachers.Contribution/value-add: This study contributes to scientific knowledge regarding the effects of three antecedents, namely a calling orientation, job design and co-worker relationships on meaningful work. It also contributed to knowledge about the effects of meaningful work on employee and organisational outcomes.
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SA Journal of Industrial Psychology
ISSN: (Online) 2071-0763, (Print) 0258-5200
Page 1 of 10 Original Research
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Authors:
Elmari Fouché1
Sebasaan (Snr) Rothmann1
Corne van der Vyver2
Aliaons:
1Optena Research Focus
Area, North-West University,
Vaal Triangle Campus,
South Africa
2School of Educaon Studies,
North-West University,
Potchefstroom Campus,
South Africa
Corresponding author:
Sebasaan Rothmann,
ian@ianrothmann.com
Dates:
Received: 17 July 2016
Accepted: 09 Nov. 2016
Published: 24 Mar. 2017
How to cite this arcle:
Fouché, E., Rothmann, S. &
Van der Vyver, C. (2017).
Antecedents and outcomes
of meaningful work among
school teachers. SA Journal of
Industrial Psychology/SA
Tydskrif vir Bedryfsielkunde,
43(0), a1398. hps://doi.
org/10.4102/sajip.v43i0.1398
Copyright:
© 2017. The Authors.
Licensee: AOSIS. This work
is licensed under the
Creave Commons
Aribuon License.
Introducon
South Africa has a high-cost, low-performance education system that does not compare well with
education systems in other developing countries, for example, Finland (Prew, 2011). Poor teacher
well-being and performance in South Africa lead to poor educational outcomes (National
Planning Commission, 2011). Some teachers spend too little time in contact with learners, possess
inadequate subject knowledge and lack basic pedagogical ability. Several efforts to upgrade
teachers’ skills (i.e. teacher education programmes) have been largely ineffective (National
Planning Commission, 2011).
The provision of quality education is a significant challenge that must be addressed in South
Africa (Statistics South Africa, 2013). Quality education depends on the motivation, well-being
and retention of teachers and school leaders (Louw, George & Esterhuyse, 2011). In fact, teachers
and school leaders (as opposed to systems) are crucial to driving change and shaping the teaching
profession (Eyre, 2016). Schools are often the only formal service provider for young people
living in socio-economically marginalised communities, uniquely positioning teachers to support
positive psychosocial outcomes of youth living in adverse contexts (Liebenberg et al., 2016).
Orientation: Quality education is dependent on the well-being, engagement, performance
and retention of teachers. Meaningful work might affect these employee and organisational
outcomes.
Research purpose: The aim of this study was to investigate antecedents and outcomes of
meaningful work among school teachers.
Motivation for the study: Meaningful work underpins people’s motivation and affects their
well-being and job satisfaction. Furthermore, it is a significant pathway to healthy and
authentic organisations. However, a research gap exists regarding the effects of different
antecedents and outcomes of meaningful work.
Research approach, design and method: A cross-sectional survey was used with a convenience
sample of 513 teachers. The Work-Life Questionnaire, Revised Job Diagnostic Survey, Co-
worker Relations Scale, Work and Meaning Inventory, Personal Resources Scale, Work
Engagement Scale, Turnover Intention Scale and a measure of self-rated performance were
administered.
Main findings: A calling orientation, job design and co-worker relations were associated with
meaningful work. A low calling orientation and poor co-worker relationships predicted
burnout. A calling orientation, a well-designed job, good co-worker relationships and
meaningful work predicted work engagement. Job design was moderately associated with
self-ratings of performance. The absence of a calling orientation predicted teachers’ intention
to leave the organisation.
Practical/managerial implications: Educational managers should consider implementing
interventions to affect teachers’ calling orientation (through job crafting), perceptions of the
nature of their jobs (by allowing autonomy) and co-worker relations (through teambuilding)
to promote perceptions of meaningful work. Promoting perceptions of meaningful work
might contribute to lower burnout, higher work engagement, better self-ratings of performance
and retention of teachers.
Contribution/value-add: This study contributes to scientific knowledge regarding the effects
of three antecedents, namely a calling orientation, job design and co-worker relationships on
meaningful work. It also contributed to knowledge about the effects of meaningful work on
employee and organisational outcomes.
Antecedents and outcomes of meaningful
work among school teachers
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Teachers in African countries are facing poor job conditions
and high job demands (Jackson & Rothmann, 2006; Willemse &
Deacon, 2015), and poor job conditions (Janik & Rothmann,
2015) might lead to negative attitudes towards work as well
as experiences of meaninglessness. As a result, teachers show
high incidences of burnout (Fernet, Guay, Senécal & Austin,
2012), and disengagement (Jackson, Rothmann & Van de
Vijver, 2006), and might think of leaving the education
profession (Janik & Rothmann, 2015).
In studying the functioning of teachers in secondary schools
in South Africa, the emphasis could be on containing the
damage and fixing weaknesses (e.g. poor performance and
burnout) from a disease (negativity) model, or on actualising
human potential from a positivity model (Youssef-Morgan &
Bockorny, 2014). A construct that is in line with the notion of
positive functioning is meaningful work (May, Gilson &
Harter, 2004; Wrzesniewski, 2012). Matuska and Christiansen
(2008) posited that meaningful work is highly relevant for
functioning well under stressful conditions. Meaningful
work underpins people’s motivation and affects their well-
being (Rosso, Dekas & Wrzesniewski, 2010), flourishing
(Keyes & Annas, 2009) and work engagement (Kahn &
Heaphy, 2014), even when people are not disposed to
experience positive affect (Steger, Littman-Ovadia, Miller,
Menger & Rothmann, 2013). Furthermore, it is a significant
pathway to authentic organisations (Ryde & Sofianos, 2014).
People seek meaning and purpose in their lives and work
(Steger, Kawabata, Shimai & Otake, 2008). However, a lack of
information exists on how teachers could work in ways that
are meaningful and intrinsically motivating. Previous studies
of meaningful work (e.g. Jackson et al., 2006; Janik &
Rothmann, 2015; Rothmann & Hamkangandu, 2013) had
limitations. Firstly, the conceptualisation and measurement
of meaningful work did not include all the components of
meaningful work, for example, meaning making and greater
good motivations in addition to psychological meaningfulness
(see Steger, Dik & Duffy, 2012). Secondly, studies did not
focus on different antecedents and outcomes of meaningful
work for teachers in the African context.
Meaningful work
Steger et al. (2012) state that meaningful work comprises
more than that which their work means to people (i.e.
meaning). Their definition of meaningful work includes
meaningfulness because it is significant and positive in
valence. The positive valence of meaningful work has ‘a
eudaimonic (growth- and purpose-oriented) rather than
hedonic focus’ (p. 2). Steger et al. (2012) conceptualised
meaningful work in terms of three dimensions, namely
psychological meaningfulness, meaning making and greater
good motivations. Psychological meaningfulness in work is a
subjective experience that one’s work matters and is
significant. Meaning making through work captures the idea
that work is a primary source of meaning in one’s life. In this
regard, meaningful work helps people in understanding
their selves and the world around them. Greater good
motivations reflect the desire to make a difference and to
have a bigger impact on others.
Four factors could contribute to meaningful work (Pratt &
Ashforth, 2003). Firstly, work is meaningful when there is a
fit between individuals and the organisation’s values and
mission. Secondly, the nature of the task (e.g. the significance,
purposefulness and comprehensibility thereof) contributes to
meaningful work. Thirdly, the camaraderie people experience
in their workplace relationships results in experiences of
meaningful work. Fourthly, meaningful work is associated
with work beliefs, for example, whether work is believed to
be a calling (Wrzesniewski, 2012; Wrzesniewski, McCauley,
Rozin & Schwartz, 1997). A strong effect of work role fit on
teachers’ experiences of meaningful work has been shown in
the study of Janik and Rothmann (2015). Therefore, this study
focused on the last three variables, namely the nature of the
task, co-worker relationships and calling as a work orientation
as antecedents of meaningful work.
Calling as a work belief
Beliefs about the role or function of work in life can shape the
meaning of work (Wrzesniewski & Tosti, 2005). Individuals
with a calling orientation find that their work is inseparable
from their life. A calling implies that people see their work as
socially valuable, involving activities that may, but need not,
be pleasurable. Wrzesniewski, Dekas and Rosso (2009)
described callings as meaningful activities with significance
for the person on a moral, social and personal level.
Work contributes to a greater good and makes the world a
better place when people have a calling orientation towards
their work. Work as a calling can be regarded as fulfilling a
kind of duty and seeing work as a destiny (Bunderson &
Thompson, 2009). Inherent to the construct of calling is a
sense of personal fulfilment and the desire to make a social
contribution (Wrzesniewski, 2012). Studies confirmed that a
calling orientation contributes to perceptions of meaningful
work (Rothmann & Hamukangandu, 2013) and work
engagement (Van Zyl, Deacon & Rothmann, 2010).
Job design
According to the job characteristics model (Hackman &
Oldham, 1980), various job characteristics, namely autonomy,
task identity, skill variety, task significance and feedback,
might affect experienced meaningfulness. Autonomy refers
to using personal initiative and judgment to perform tasks.
Task identity entails doing an entire piece of work from
beginning to end. Skill variety relates to the complexity of
competencies that an individual has to master at work. Task
significance refers to the opportunity to perform significant
tasks. Feedback entails knowing whether individuals perform
well. High levels of these characteristics lead to experiences
of meaningful work.
Research by May et al. (2004) as well as Janik and Rothmann
(2015) confirmed that the above-mentioned job characteristics
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had direct positive effects on teachers’ experiences of
psychological meaningfulness. Also, Grant (2008) pointed
out that a job that positively impacts the lives of others
(which is possible in teaching jobs) will enhance its
significance. Job characteristics could affect the significance
of teachers’ jobs as well as deepened purposes that underlie
greater good motivations (Kahn & Heaphy, 2014). Specific job
characteristics might allow individuals to deepen the
meaning of their work. For example, by allowing autonomy,
teachers can change the quality and amount of interaction
with others in their work context (Wrzesniewski, Berg &
Dutton, 2010).
Co-worker relaonships
Relationships with co-workers affect individuals’ experiences
of meaningfulness (Dutton & Ragins, 2007). According to Kahn
and Heaphy (2014), relationships deepen the meaningfulness
of work through a process of social identification. This happens
when individuals’ preferred identities are confirmed by their
participation in desired relationships. The acceptance of the
individuals by their fellow workers, which make them feel that
they belong, has a significant influence on the meaningfulness
individuals experience at work (Steger & Dik, 2009). Caring
and satisfying relationships with co-workers encourage a
sense of connectedness, which might lead to psychological
meaningfulness.
Outcomes of meaningful work
Meaningful work (or the lack thereof) has specific
consequences for the individual (e.g. burnout and work
engagement) as well as for the organisation (intention to
leave and performance).
Burnout is a negative state of mind in working people,
characterised by a lack of physical, emotional and cognitive
resources (May et al., 2004; Schaufeli, 2003). Cherniss (1995, p.
185) linked burnout to the quest for meaning. Burnout can be
regarded as a response to stress, but the cause thereof is a lack
of meaning for suffering (Pines, 1993). Lambie (2006) found
that the susceptibility to burnout is reduced in supportive
environments where employees are respected and where
bureaucratic hassles and administrative interference are
minimised. Such an environment enables highly motivated
employees to reach their goals and expectations and to
achieve meaning (Pines, 1993). In contrast, a stressful
environment may contribute to a sense of meaninglessness
and burnout. When meaningfulness in work disappears,
an existential crisis can arise, which results in burnout
(Lambie, 2006).
Meaningful work has been linked to higher engagement
levels (Janik & Rothmann, 2015; May et al., 2004; Richardson &
Watt, 2006). Engagement refers to the ‘harnessing of
organisational members’ selves to their work role by which
they employ and express themselves physically, cognitively
and emotionally during role performance’ (Kahn, 1990,
p. 694). According to the relational model of Kahn and
Heaphy (2014), deepened purposes (resulting from collective
efforts, belongingness and contact with beneficiaries) lead
to meaningful work, which results in work engagement.
Therefore, high work engagement occurs because employees
attach themselves to their work roles when they experience
meaningful work.
Intention to leave refers to the conscious and planned
willingness of an employee to leave an organisation (Chang,
Wang & Huang, 2013). Intention to leave occurs because of
mental withdrawal behaviour. Humphrey, Nahrgang, and
Morgeson (2007) found that workplace attributes predict
intention to leave. Studies confirmed that job design (Searle &
Parker, 2013) and relationships with co-workers (Rothmann,
Diedericks & Swart, 2013) affect employees’ intention to
leave the organisations. An enriched job, supportive co-
worker relationships and having a calling will reduce the
intention to leave by encouraging and sustaining a sense of
meaningful work.
Self-rated performance is defined as an individual’s reflection
on their efficacy using an evaluation of their thoughts and
actions (Bandura, 2008). Employees experiencing their jobs
as negative and less meaningful will be less prone to believe
in their ability to achieve challenging work goals and as a
result not perform at their best (Searle & Parker, 2013). If
employees perceive their work as meaningful, it is more
likely that they will perform better (Drach-Zahavy & Erez,
2002).
Aim and hypotheses
The objective of this study was to investigate the relations
among calling as a work belief, job design, co-worker
relations, meaningful work and outcomes such as burnout,
work engagement, performance and intention to leave. The
following hypotheses were set for this study:
Hypothesis 1: A calling orientation, good job design, co-worker
relations are positively associated with meaningful work.
Hypothesis 2: A calling orientation, job design, co-worker
relations, and meaningful work predict burnout.
Hypothesis 3: A calling orientation, job design, co-worker
relations, and meaningful work predict work engagement.
Hypothesis 4: A calling orientation, job design, co-worker
relations, and meaningful work inversely predict intention to
leave.
Hypothesis 5: A calling orientation, job design, co-worker
relations, and meaningful work predict self-rated performance.
Hypothesis 6: A calling orientation, job design, and co-worker
relations indirectly affect burnout, work engagement, intention
to leave and self-rated performance via meaningful work.
Research design
Research approach
We used a quantitative research approach to achieve the
study objectives. More specifically, we used a cross-sectional
survey design to collect data on the experiences of work
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orientation, job design, co-worker relationships, meaningful
work, burnout, work engagement, intention to leave and
self-ratings of performance.
Method
Parcipants and seng
The setting for this study was public secondary schools
within the North West Province in South Africa. There are
334 secondary schools located in 109 cities and towns in the
province. A total of 800 teachers employed in public schools
in specific districts were approached to participate in this
study. The number of respondents varied from 8 to 20
educators per school. A final number of 513 respondents
representing 40 schools completed the survey – a response
rate of 64.13%. Table 1 provides a description of the
characteristics of the participants.
Men comprised 38.99% of the sample and women 61.01%.
Participants’ ages varied from 19 to 65 (mean = 42). The
length of service in the various schools varied from 1 year to
38 years. Black people and white people represented,
respectively, 54.4% and 28.8% of the total sample. A total of
7.9% of the total sample did not want to indicate their ethnic
background.
Measuring instruments
The Work-Life Questionnaire (WLQ; Wrzesniewski et al.,
1997) was used to measure calling as a work belief. The
WLQ is a self-report measure that aims at classifying an
individual’s orientation to work into three categories,
namely a job, a career and calling orientation. Only eight
items measuring a calling orientation were used in this
study. An example item is: ‘I enjoy talking about my work
to others’. The items are rated on a Likert scale varying
from 1 (not at all) to 4 (completely). Van Zyl et al. (2010) found
support for the validity and reliability of the WLQ. The
internal consistency of the scale which measures a calling
orientation was 0.74.
The Revised Job Diagnostic Survey (JDS; Idaszak & Drasgow,
1987) was used to measure individuals’ reactions to job
characteristics. The JDS consists of nine items. It measures
autonomy (e.g. ‘The job gives me a chance to use my personal
initiative and judgment in carrying out the work’), task
identity (e.g. ‘The job is arranged so that I can do an entire
piece of work from beginning to end’), skill variety (e.g. ‘The
job requires me to use a number of complex or high-level
skills’), task significance (e.g. ‘The job itself is very significant
and important in the broader scheme of things’) and feedback
(e.g. ‘After I finish a job, I know whether I performed well’).
It uses a Likert-type scale anchored at extreme values of 1
(very inaccurate) and 7 (very accurate). In this study, the
reliability coefficient for the JDS was 0.85.
Co-worker relations were measured using the Co-worker
Relations Scale (CRS; May et al., 2004). Six items were used
(e.g. ‘My interactions with my co-workers are rewarding’).
The items are rated on a seven-point Likert scale ranging
from 1 (strongly disagree) to 7 (strongly agree). Rewarding co-
worker relations can create an experience of belonging and
care, which can lead to experiences of feeling safer at work
(Olivier & Rothmann, 2007). May et al. (2004) found a
Cronbach’s alpha coefficient of 0.93 for the CRS.
The Work and Meaning Inventory (WAMI; Steger et al., 2012)
was used to measure meaningful work. The WAMI consists
of 10 items which measure three subscales, namely positive
meaning (four items, e.g. ‘I understand how my work
contributes to my life’s meaning’), meaning making through
work (three items, e.g. ‘I view my work as contributing to my
personal growth’) and greater good motivations (three items,
e.g. ‘The work I do serves a greater purpose’). Reliabilities
varying from 0.82 to 0.89 were obtained for the subscales and
0.93 for the total score. Steger et al. (2012) found strong
evidence for the construct validity of the inventory.
Burnout was measured using nine items from the Personal
Resources Scale (PRS; May et al., 2004). The PRS measures
three dimensions of burnout, namely cognitive weariness
(three items, e.g. ‘I find it difficult to focus my attention while
at work’), physical exhaustion (three items, e.g. ‘I feel
emotionally drained from my work’) and emotional
exhaustion (three items, e.g. ‘I tend to postpone discussing
touchy topics’). Olivier and Rothmann (2007) found support
for the validity and reliability of the PRS. The internal
consistency of the scale which measures burnout was 0.99.
The Work Engagement Scale (WES; Diedericks & Rothmann,
2013) was applied to measure work engagement. The WES
has 13 items. A seven-point frequency scale varying from 1
(almost never or never) to 7 (always or almost always) was used
for all items. The three components of Khan’s (1990)
conceptualisation of engagement are reflected in the items,
TABLE 1: Characteriscs of parcipants (N = 513).
Item Category Frequency %
Gender Men 200 38.99
Women 313 61.01
Age Below 23 9 1.96
23–30 97 21.23
31–39 70 15.32
40–45 113 24.73
46–55 118 25.82
Over 55 50 10.94
Job level Student teacher 19 3.91
Junior teacher 67 13.79
Senior teacher 330 67.90
Head of Department 70 14.40
Years in teaching 1–2 36 9.16
3–5 44 11.20
6–10 77 19.59
11–20 121 30.79
21–30 84 21.37
More than 30 years 31 7.89
Home language Afrikaans 222 57.66
English 31 8.05
Setswana 132 34.29
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namely cognitive, emotional and physical engagement.
Evidence for the construct validity of the WES was reported
by Diedericks and Rothmann (2013) and an alpha coefficient
of 0.72 was reported for the WES.
Two items of the Turnover Intention Scale (TIS) (Diedericks,
2012) were used to measure intention to leave. An example of
an item is ‘If I were completely free to choose I would leave
this job’. Response options ranged from 1 (strongly disagree) to
5 (strongly agree). The authors found an alpha coefficient of
0.83 for the TIS. Diedericks (2012) found an alpha coefficient
of 0.79 for the TIS in a study in South Africa.
A questionnaire was compiled to measure self-rated
performance. A 10-point Likert scale varying from 1 (low) to 10
(high) was used. Four items were used: (1) ‘How would you
rate your performance/effectiveness compared to your
peers?’ (2) ‘How would you rate your customer care
compared to that of your peers?’ (3) ‘How would you rate the
quality of the service that you render compared to your
peers?’ (4) ‘How would you rate your competence in your
work compared to your peers?’ The self-rated job performance
scale had an internal consistency of 0.93.
Research procedure
Ethical approval for this study was obtained from the Ethics
Committee at the university where the research was
undertaken. Permission for the study was granted by the
director of the district and the school principals where
participants were employed. A cover letter explaining the
purpose of the survey, emphasising the confidentiality of the
research project, accompanied the questionnaire. The survey
included a consent letter, which was completed by all
participants. Participation in the project was voluntary.
Participants completed the questionnaires in hard copy format
and the researcher captured responses in an Excel sheet, after
which it was prepared for analysis with Mplus 7.31.
Data analysis
We performed latent variable modelling using Mplus version
7.31 (Muthén & Muthén, 1998–2014) to test the measurement
and structural models. Latent variable modelling reduces
bias that originates from measurement error and makes it
possible to test direct and indirect effects (Wang & Wang,
2012). A weighted least squares with mean and variance
adjustment (WLSMV) estimator was used to test the models.
This estimator is robust; it does not assume normally
distributed variables, and it provides the best option for
modelling categorical data. The following Mplus fit indices
were used in this study: absolute fit indices, which included
the chi-square statistic (the test of absolute fit of the model),
the weighted root mean square residual (WRMR) and the
root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA);
incremental fit indices, which included the Tucker-Lewis
index (TLI); and the comparative fit index (CFI) (West, Taylor
& Wu, 2012). Criticism against the use of χ2 is that it is a strict
test that detects trivial differences between the hypothesised
model and the data. The χ2 test is often not of general interest
when the fit of models is tested. Various practical fit indices
have been developed to evaluate model fit. The CFI compares
the hypothesised and independent models but takes sample
size into account. The TLI is a relative measure of co-variation
explained by the hypothesised model. CFI and TLI values
higher than 0.90 are acceptable (Wang & Wang, 2012).
Moreover, Hu and Bentler (1999) recommended a cut-off
value of 0.95. The RMSEA provides an indication of the
overall amount of error in the hypothesised model-data fit,
relative to the number of estimated parameters in the model.
The RMSEA should be 0.05 or less and should not exceed 0.08
(West et al., 2012). Cut-off values recommended by Hu and
Bentler (1999) were based on simulation studies and should
be used as rough indicators only, especially when models
and data further away from confirmatory factor analysis
(CFA) models with complete data are studied (West et al.,
2012). Raykov’s (2009) CFA-based estimate of scale reliability
(r) was computed for each scale.
In assessing the practical significance of the percentage of
variance explained (R2) by regression equations, Cohen’s
(1988) guidelines were used: R2 = 0.25 – large effect, R2 = 0.09 –
medium effect, and R2 < 0.09 – small effect.
Results
Firstly, the results of tests of competing measurement models
are reported. Secondly, the results of alternative structural
models are analysed.
Tesng the measurement model
We used CFA to test three non-nested measurement models,
namely a five-factor model, as well as two alternative models
specified on theoretical grounds. We used WLSMV as an
estimator (Muthén & Muthén, 1998–2014). Wang and Wang
(2012) recommended that the Akaike Information Criterion
(AIC) and the Bayesian Information Criterion (BIC) be used
to decide on the best-fitting model when non-nested models
are compared. However, AIC and BIC values cannot be
computed when WLSMV is used as an estimator. Therefore,
we only analysed the fit of each model without directly
comparing the models.
Survey items were used as indicators of first-level latent
variables. Model 1 consisted of eight latent variables, namely:
(1) Calling orientation (measured by means of eight items);
(2) Job design (measured by means of seven items); (3) Co-
worker relations (measured by six items); (4) Meaningful
work (measured by means of 10 items); (5) Burnout (measured
by means of nine items); (6) Engagement, which consisted of
three first-order latent variables: cognitive, emotional and
physical engagement (each measured using three items); (7)
Performance (measured by means of four items); and (8)
Intention to leave (measured by means of two items). Latent
variables in model 1 were allowed to correlate. Model 2 was
specified with the eight observed variables measuring calling
orientation as part of meaningful work (in total 18 items).
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The rest of the model was identical to model 1. Model 3 was
identical to model 1, except that all the engagement items
loaded on a single factor. Model 4 was specified with 48
observed variables, measuring one latent factor.
Table 2 presents fit statistics for the test of the various models.
Table 2 shows that although the chi-square value of model 1
was statistically significant (χ2 = 3127.90, df = 1399, p < 0.001),
model 1 showed good fit on four of the five fit indices: TLI =
0.96, CFI = 0.96, RMSEA = 0.05 and WRMR = 1.41. The
standardised regression weights varied from 0.40 (for item 7
of the WLQ) to 0.93 (for item 3 of the self-rated performance
measure).
Tesng the structural model
Table 3 shows the reliabilities and correlations of the latent
variables.
Table 3 shows scale reliabilities ranging from 0.74 to 0.93,
which indicate acceptable internal consistency of all the
scales. The structural model was tested based on the
measurement model. Given our interest in possible mediating
effects of meaningful work, three competing models were
tested. Model 1 (the direct and indirect effects model)
included paths from calling orientation, job design and
co-worker relations to meaningful work, burnout, work
engagement, performance and intention to leave. Model 2
(the direct effects model) included paths from calling
orientation, job design and co-worker relations, and
meaningful work to burnout, work engagement, performance,
and intention to leave. However, the paths from calling
orientation, job design and co-worker relations to meaningful
work were constrained to zero. Constraining paths to zero
implies that no relationships are allowed between the specific
variables. Model 3 (the indirect effects model) included
paths from meaningful work to burnout, work engagement,
performance, and intention to leave. However, the paths
from calling orientation, job design and co-worker relations
to burnout, work engagement, performance and intention to
leave were constrained to zero. Correlations were allowed
between burnout, work engagement, performance and
intention to leave in all three models.
Given that the three models were nested, we used the
DIFFTEST procedure available for the WLSMV estimator to
test the statistical significance of the change in chi-square
(∆χ2) in Mplus (Muthén & Muthén, 1998–2014). Table 4 shows
the fit statistics and standardised regression coefficients for
the three competing structural models. Table 4 indicates
that model 1 was the best-fitting model compared to model
2 (∆χ2 = 474.33, df = 3, p < 0.001) and model 3 (∆χ2 = 255.75,
df = 12, p < 0.001).
Next, the obtained relations of the best-fitting and most
parsimonious structural model (model 1) are discussed
regarding the hypotheses of this study. For the portion of the
model predicting meaningful work, Table 4 confirms that the
direct effects of a calling orientation (β = 0.49, p < 0.01), job
design (β = 0.23, p < 0.01) and co-worker relations (β = 0.21,
p < 0.01) were statistically significant and had the expected
signs. These three independent variables explained a large
proportion of the variance in meaningful work (R2 = 0.49).
Hypothesis 1 is accepted. For the portion of the model
predicting burnout, Table 4 demonstrates that the direct
effects of a calling orientation (β = -0.25, p < 0.01) and co-
worker relations (β = -0.19, p < 0.01) were statistically
significant and had the expected signs. These two independent
variables explained a moderate proportion of the variance in
burnout (R2 = 0.21). These findings provide partial support
for Hypothesis 2.
For the portion of the model predicting work engagement,
Table 4 explicates that the direct effects of meaningful work
(β = 0.18, p < 0.01), a calling orientation (β = 0.39, p < 0.01),
TABLE 3: Reliability coecients and correlaons of the scales (N = 513).
Variable Mean SD ρ1234567
1. Calling orientaon 2.06 (4) 0.60 0.74 - - - - - - -
2. Job design 5.57 (7) 0.98 0.85 0.57*------
3. Co-workers 5.47 (7) 1.13 0.93 0.43*0.63*-----
4. Meaningful work 3.82 (5) 0.72 0.93 0.66*0.57*0.45*----
5. Burnout 3.39 (7) 1.30 0.88 -0.41*-0.34*-0.36*-0.36*---
6. Work engagement 5.19 (7) 1.11 0.90 0.72*0.67*0.59*0.65*0.48*- -
7. Performance 7.60 (10) 1.35 0.91 0.33*0.46*0.29*0.27*-0.25*0.42*-
8. Intenon to leave 2.49 (5) 1.21 0.84 -0.66*-0.44*-0.38*-0.50*0.48*-0.53*-0.16*
*, p < 0.01.
The number in brackets indicates the maximum scale score. Calling orientaon was reverse-scored so that a high score reects a high calling orientaon.
Table 2: Fit stascs of compeng measurement models (N = 513).
Model χ2df TLI CFI RMSEA WRMR
1 3127.90*1399 0.96 0.96 0.05* [0.047, 0.051] 1.41
23611.65*1406 0.95 0.95 0.06* [0.053, 0.057] 1.60
3 3918.63*1402 0.95 0.95 0.06* [0.057, 0.061] 1.65
4 15940.90 1430 0.70 0.69 0.14* [0.138, 0.142] 4.29
*, p < 0.01.
χ2, chi-square stasc; df, degrees of freedom; TLI, Tucker-Lewis index; CFI, comparave t index; RMSEA, root mean square error of approximaon; WRMR, weighted root mean square residual.
Page 7 of 10 Original Research
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job design (β = 0.21, p < 0.01) and co-worker relations (β = 0.21,
p < 0.01) were statistically significant and had the expected
signs. These four independent variables explained a large
proportion of the variance in work engagement (R2 = 0.67).
These findings provide partial support for Hypothesis 3. For
the portion of the model predicting performance, Table 4
depicts that the direct effects of job design (β = 0.42, p < 0.01)
were statistically significant and had the expected sign. Job
design explained a moderate proportion of the variance in
performance (R2 = 0.22). These findings provide partial
support for Hypothesis 4. For the portion of the model
predicting intention to leave, it can be seen from Table 4 that
the direct effect of a calling orientation (β = -0.55, p < 0.01)
was statistically significant and had the expected sign.
A low calling orientation explained a large proportion of
the variance in intention to leave (R2 = 0.45). These findings
provide partial support for Hypothesis 5.
Indirect eects
To determine whether any relations in the model were
indirectly affected by meaningfulness, the mediation
procedure explained by Hayes (2013) was followed.
Bootstrapping (with 10 000 samples) was used to construct
two-sided bias-corrected 95% confidence intervals (CIs) so as
to evaluate indirect effects. Lower and upper CIs are reported
(see Table 5).
The indirect effect of a calling orientation on work engagement
was 0.09, p < 0.01 [0.04, 0.13]. Furthermore, the indirect effect
of job design on work engagement was 0.04, p < 0.01
[0.01, 0.07]. These findings provide support for Hypothesis 6
regarding two indirect effects, namely a calling orientation
and job design (via meaningful work) on work engagement.
In terms of effect sizes (Cohen, 1988), the direct and indirect
effects model accounts for the following percentages of the
variance: Meaningful work = 51% (large effect); burnout =
39% (large effect); work engagement = 67%; performance = 22%
Table 4: Fit indices and standardised path coecients of the structural models.
Measures Direct and indirect
eects (Model 1)
Direct eects
(Model 2)
Indirect eects
(Model 3)
Fit Indices χ23127.90** 8682.02** 4059.99***
df 1399 1402 1411
TLI 0.96 0.85 0.95
CFI 0.96 0.84 0.94
RMSEA 0.06** 0.10** 0.06**
RMSEA 90% CI [0.049, 0.051] [0.098, 0.102] [0.058 , 0.062]
WRMR 1.41 3.11 1.82
Direct eects on meaningful work Calling orientaon 0.49** - 0.56**
Job design 0.23** - 0.28**
Co-worker relaons 0.21** - 0.20**
Direct eects on burnout Meaningful work -0.08 -0.36** -0.45**
Calling orientaon -0.25** -0.30** -
Job design -0.04 -0.05 -
Co-worker relaons -0.19** -0.19** -
Direct eects on work engagement Meaningful work 0.18** 0.65** 0.81**
Calling orientaon 0.39** 0.48** -
Job design 0.21** 0.26** -
Co-worker relaons 0.21** 0.22** -
Direct eects on performance Meaningful work -0.05 0.27** 0.40**
Calling orientaon -0.13 0.10 -
Job design 0.42** 0.41** -
Co-worker relaons -0.01 -0.02 -
Direct eects on intenon to leave Meaningful work -0.09 -0.50** -0.61**
Calling orientaon 0.55** -0.59** -
Job design -0.03 -0.05 -
Co-worker relaons -0.08 -0.09*-
*, p < 0.05; **, p < 0.01.
df, degrees of freedom; TLI, Tucker-Lewis index; CFI, comparave t index; RMSEA, root mean square error of approximaon; WRMR, weighted root mean square residual.
TABLE 5: Indirect eects on burnout, work engagement, performance and intenon
to leave.
Variable Indirect eect
Esmate SE 95% BC CI
Burnout
 Calling orientaon 0.05 0.04 [-0.03, 0.13]
 Job design -0.02 0.02 [-0.07, 0.01]
 Co-worker relaons -0.01 0.01 [-0.03, 0.00]
Work engagement
 Calling orientaon 0.09*0.03 [0.04, 0.13]
 Job design 0.04*0.02 [0.01, 0.07]
 Co-worker relaons 0.01 0.01 [0.00, 0.03]
Performance
 Calling orientaon 0.03 0.04 [-0.09, 0.17]
 Job design -0.01 0.02 [-0.09, 0.03]
 Co-worker relaons -0.01 0.01 [-0.03, 0.01]
Intenon to leave
 Calling orientaon 0.04 0.03 [-0.05, 0.19]
 Job design -0.02 0.02 [-0.12, 0.01]
 Co-worker relaons -0.01 0.01 [-0.04, 0.00]
*, p < 0.01.
SE, Standard error; CI, condence interval
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(moderate effect); intention to leave = 56% (large effect).
These results lend empirical support for the model’s fit.
Discussion
This study investigated the antecedents and outcomes of
meaningful work among secondary school teachers in South
Africa. The nature of the job, good co-worker relations and a
calling orientation to work were related to meaningful work
(Wrzesniewski et al., 1997; Wrzesniewski, 2012). A low calling
orientation and poor co-worker relations predicted a
moderate percentage of the variance in burnout. A calling
orientation, a well-designed job, good co-worker relationships
and meaningful work predicted work engagement. Job
design was moderately associated with self-ratings of
performance. The absence of a calling orientation predicted
teachers’ intention to leave the organisation.
Having a calling orientation had a direct effect on meaningful
work in this study. Rothmann and Hamukangandu (2013)
also found that a calling orientation contributed to perceptions
of meaningful work. When teachers have a calling orientation,
they will perceive their work as meaningful and impact the
greater good (Willemse & Deacon, 2015). Job design was
positively associated with meaningful work. This finding is
supported by Hackman and Oldham’s (1980) job characteristics
model. Janik and Rothmann (2015) also found a link between
job design and meaningful work. Good co-worker relations
were positively related to meaningful work. Steger and Dik
(2009) and Wrzesniewski et al. (2003) found that employees
have an interpersonal sense-making process which is the
driving force for their behaviour. Good interpersonal relations
enhance a person’s sense of belongingness and lead to
experiences of meaningfulness.
Meaningful work was negatively associated with burnout.
Employees who perceive their work as meaningful are
‘protected’ against burnout, and it might serve as a buffer
against stress. Lambie (2006) found that burnout is reduced
in supportive environments where people respect each
other. Meaninglessness in work results in burnout (Lambie,
2006). Meaningful work was positively associated with
work engagement. The relational model of Kahn and Heapy
(2014) predicts that meaningful work will contribute to the
engagement.
Meaningful work was positively associated with self-rated
performance. Bandura’s (2008) social cognitive theory draws
definite links between meaningful work and performance.
According to his theory, employees act as the ‘examiners’ of
their functioning. Employees who perceive their jobs as
meaningful will be more likely to take on more challenging
tasks. Thus, by expecting a positive outcome they motivate
themselves to achieve their goals and, as a result, to perform
better (Searle & Parker, 2013). Drach-Zahavy and Erez
(2002) found that positive self-rated performance leads to
positive emotions, which in turn result in positive workplace
behaviour.
A low calling orientation and poor co-worker relations
predicted burnout in this study, although the effect was
moderate. Teachers with a calling orientation regard their
work as an inseparable part of their lives and view their jobs
as significant. Therefore, if they do not have such an
orientation, they lack the mechanisms to realise the
significance of their jobs, a meaning making mechanism
helping them to understand events in context and greater
good motivations, which might result in burnout. A lack of
social support from co-workers implies that they might
experience a lack of care, which results in burnout (Schaufeli,
2003). Individuals who suffer from burnout might reinforce a
pattern of weak support from co-workers because they might,
because of their cynicism, distance themselves from others’
support at work (Barkhuizen, Rothmann & Tytherleigh, 2008).
A calling orientation, an enriched job, good co-worker
relations and meaningful work predicted work engagement.
Teachers with a calling orientation connect with their true
selves and feel that they work for a purpose, which results in
the attachment of their selves to their work roles (Kahn &
Heaphy, 2014). The effects of a calling orientation are fortified
if their jobs are challenging and allow variety and autonomy,
they experience co-worker support and they experience their
jobs as meaningful (Richardson & Watt, 2006). In line with
the relational model of Kahn and Heaphy (2014), relationships
with co-workers also predicted work engagement.
The absence of a calling orientation was strongly associated
with high intention to leave. Having a calling will reduce the
intention to leave by encouraging and sustaining a sense of
meaningful work. Teachers wanting to make a difference in
the lives of others and their learners will be less likely to leave
the profession if they experience a sense of personal fulfilment
in their work (Wrzesniewski & Tosti, 2005). Teachers who see
their jobs as socially valuable and derive personal satisfaction
from their work will have a calling orientation and be less
inclined to think of leaving an organisation.
Managerial implicaons and recommendaons
Different methods are available to employees for enhancing
the meaningfulness they experience in their work. Job
crafting can be a path to meaningfulness in work contexts
(Wrzesniewski et al., 2010). Employees can make adaptions
in their interactions with others at work so that it can
foster meaningfulness. Relationships are critical sources of
meaningfulness that can be unlocked through job crafting.
The primary focus of the top-down redesign approach is
that of job enrichment and having fixed roles within specific
jobs. To the contrary, the bottom-up job crafting perspective’s
primary focus is that of individual role innovation and more
flexible and dynamic processes at work.
Limitaons of the study
This study provided significant insights into the relationship
between a calling orientation, job design, co-worker relations,
meaningful work and work outcomes. However, longitudinal
research is needed to understand the interplay and dynamics
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among the different constructs better. Furthermore, this study
used a quantitative approach to study meaningful work.
More qualitative studies regarding teachers’ experiences of
meaningful work and meaning making are necessary. Finally,
the data used in this study were based on self-reports. More
research is needed to investigate how meaningful work
manifests in the behaviour of teachers.
Conclusion
The study confirmed that a calling orientation, job design, co-
worker relations and meaningful work affected intention to
leave. From the above, it is clear that meaningful work (or the
lack thereof) can have significant consequences for teachers
as well as for schools. Some outcomes can be negative, for
example, burnout and intention to leave. Positive results
include high levels of work engagement and good performance.
Acknowledgements
Compeng interests
The authors declare that they have no financial or personal
relationship(s) that may have inappropriately influenced
them in writing this article.
Authors’ contribuons
The authors contributed equally to this article.
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... Jackson et al. (2006) examined the effects of job demands and resources on secondary school teachers' burnout and work engagement. Janik and Rothmann (2015) and Fouché et al. (2017) studied the relationship between meaningful work and secondary school teachers' intention to leave. Furthermore, Janik and Rothmann (2016) investigated the effects of the relational context of secondary school teachers on their work engagement. ...
... Concerning functionings, studies have shown that a chain consisting of elevated job demands, burnout, and ill-health can lead to powerlessness or refusal of teachers to perform and that job resources can lead to work-related well-being and organizational commitment (Jackson et al., 2006;Fouché et al., 2017). Therefore, the envisaged outcome of the CA-based sustainable employability model -perceived individual wellbeing in the form of work-life quality -can assist in garnering a greater understanding of how individuals function on a scale from flourishing to languishing at work. ...
... The capabilities of being involved in important decisions, setting own goals, contributing to something valuable, and having a good income did not significantly affect secondary school teachers' intentions to leave. Whilst various studies (e.g., Jackson et al., 2006;Fouché et al., 2017) have linked intentions to leave to a lack of job resources, this study suggests that teacher capabilities matter. In this regard, resources that affect knowledge and skills use and development probably matter most. ...
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This study aimed to identify the capabilities of secondary school teachers-valued aspects of work that are enabled and can be realized-and investigate the effects of these capabilities on three functionings: flourishing at work, organizational citizenship behavior, and intention to leave. A convenience sample of secondary school teachers (N = 144) in the Gauteng province in South Africa participated in the study. The teachers responded to the Capability Set for Work Questionnaire, Flourishing-at-Work Scale-Short Form, Organizational Citizenship Behavior Questionnaire, and Intention to Leave Scale. The results showed that three capabilities were most likely to form part of the capability set of teachers: using knowledge and skills, building and maintaining meaningful relationships at work, and contributing to something valuable. Capabilities least likely to form part of the capability set included having a good income, involvement in important decisions, and developing knowledge and skills. The capability set was a strong predictor of emotional, psychological, and social well-being, and a moderate predictor of organizational citizenship behavior and intention to leave. A capability set for work, rather than single work capabilities, seemed to be critical for the sustainable employability of secondary school teachers.
... Job engagement is critical in enhancing teachers' work performance and maintaining school effectiveness (Bakker & Bal, 2010;Klassen et al., 2012). Additionally, meaningful work has significant implications for teachers and schools (Fouché et al., 2017;Kun & Gadanecz, 2019;Lavy & Bocker, 2018). ...
... On the other hand, some studies examined teachers' level of meaningful work (Akar, 2020;Toptaş, 2018) and how they make sense of the work (Demirkasımoğlu, 2015;Fourie & Deacon, 2015;Koşar, 2019;Willey, 2016). Moreover, studies were conducted on the association between meaningful work and teacher motivation (Fourie & Deacon, 2015), intention to leave (Janik & Rothmann, 2015), work behaviors (Willemse & Deacon, 2015), job satisfaction, and well-being (Fouché et al., 2017;Lavy & Bocker, 2018;Minkkinen et al., 2020). Akar (2020) and Toptaş (2018) found that teachers find their work highly meaningful. ...
... Many studies conducted on organizations other than educational organizations emphasized that meaningful work leads to job engagement (Albrecht, 2013;Fairlie, 2011;May et al., 2004;Van Wingerden & Van der Stoep, 2018). Studies conducted on educational organizations (Fouché et al., 2017; Van Wingerden & Poell, 2019) indicated a positive and significant relationship between meaningful work and job engagement. Moreover, relevant studies suggest that meaningful work leads to job engagement. ...
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Ensuring teachers' job engagement is critical in achieving educational goals. This study examined the relationship between meaningful work and job engagement using the data collected from 452 teachers in Turkey. The data collected by using Meaningful Work Scale and Job Engagement Scale Turkish Form were analyzed by descriptive statistics, confirmatory factor analysis, multivariate regression analysis, and moderation analyses. We found a positive, moderate, and significant relationship between meaningful work and job engagement. We tested the predictive effects of meaningful work and demographic variables (gender, seniority, and educational status). Meaningful work explained 47% of the variance in teachers' job engagement in the first model. All subdimensions of meaningful work except for the search for meaning at work and work relations were found to be significant predictors of job engagement. With the inclusion of demographic variables, the second model again explained 47% of the variance in teachers' job engagement. Furthermore, we found that seniority was a significant and positive predictor of job engagement. Moderation analyses indicated gender and educational status did not have a moderator role in the relationship between meaningful work and job engagement. We found that seniority had a moderator effect on the relationship between work relationships and job engagement. This study contributes to meaningful work and job engagement literature in the context of teachers.
... The institution's supportive ambiance cultivates self-confidence, positive attitude, and motivation necessary for the academic to achieve set goals (Ross, 2014). An educational environment can motivate academics to achieve their goals and feelings of meaningfulness by bestowing them with respect, competence, autonomy, and relatedness and eradicating bureaucratic hassles in their work (Frenkel, 2021;Fouch e et al., 2017;Stirling, 2016). ...
... In the same vein, an autocratic management can demoralise academics' motivation and performance. Additionally, such a work environment can contribute to academics feeling disengaged, meaningless, stressed, and burnt out (Fouch e et al., 2017;Stirling, 2016). ...
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Background: Although working in an academic environment can be rewarding and fulfilling, there are instances when nurse academics are exposed to situations that can negatively affect their motivation to teach. Few studies have been conducted regarding how motivational factors can facilitate self-leadership in nurse academics at academic nursing institutions. This study is aimed at developing guidelines to facilitate nurse academics' self-leadership. Methods: The study employed an exploratory sequential mixed methods design with nurse academics teaching at higher education institutions in two provinces of South Africa. The findings of an integrative literature review, qualitative data from four focus group interviews with nurse academics, quantitative data from 265 nurse academics, field notes, and supportive literature were used to develop the guidelines. The guidelines were validated by field experts using set criteria. Results: Phase 1 and Phase 2 results were integrated and discussed as a narrative. Concluding statements were subsequently drawn from the data. Guidelines that could facilitate nurse academics' self-leadership were generated from the concluding statements. This article focuses on two validated guidelines related to the factors that motivate nurse academics in developing self-leadership characteristics. The influence of intrinsic and extrinsic factors was a strong motivator for self-leadership development. Conclusion: Nurse academics are discouraged from relying on extrinsic factors for motivation, instead they are encouraged to utilise intrinsic factors that encourage deep fulfilment, knowledge, feelings of meaningfulness and competence.
... Several research results related to co-workers show that relationships or ties with colleagues have a related influence on meaning (Fouché et al., 2017). Social interaction can deepen meaning. ...
... Jobs that have a positive impact on others will increase the importance of meaningful work (Hulshof et al., 2020). Job design influences meaningful work where organizations need to regulate work assignments according to organizational behavior and needs that encourage individuals to interpret meaningful work in their work (Fouché et al., 2017). http://www.webology.org ...
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This paper conducts a theoretical review of meaningful work at the individual level, organizational level, and society contribution by identifying the limitations of previous research. The Systematic literature review (SLR) was used in this research design using the PRISMA protocol, which systematizes various conceptualizations of meaningful work into a coherent business, management and accounting and psychology study in the 2000-2020 period from 57 relevant articles. The research findings are the first body of literature in this field, the second is the antecedent and consequences variables in previous research and the third is the perspectives harmonization of meaningful work at multi levels that are formed among individual level, organizational levels and contribution to society. The research implication is to identify important issues that can be used in future research about meaningful work studies by replicating new or existing variables. This study is expected to provide a basis consideration for future researchers regarding the antecedents and consequences variables of meaningful work by developing concepts at different levels of analysis but interrelated to provide an in-depth and complementary perspective on the phenomenon of meaningful work with regard to benefits to society.
... The findings indicated that meaning at work is an important variable in reducing burnout. Meaning at work is influenced by the existence of a calling orientation, where someone works because they perceive the calling (Fouché et al., 2017). Increased meaning at work intensified awareness in daily work (Lavy and Bocker, 2018). ...
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The influence of teachers’ commitment and burnout on student learning outcomes and their performance requires astute research to identify the antecedent factors of these two variables. Commitment and burnout are peremptorily related to the positive and negative aspects of performance, respectively. Most of the previous research showed inconsistency; therefore, a new assay is needed to produce more convincing findings. This study aims to identify the antecedent variables of teachers’ commitment and job burnout by using meaning at work as a mediating variable. Based on the convenience sampling technique, 304 respondents were selected among the teachers in private primary and secondary education levels in the East Kalimantan Province, Indonesia. A structural equation model (SEM) was used in the data analysis. The results showed that school support, self-actualization, and meaning at work were antecedent variables for teachers’ commitment and burnout. The meaning at work also mediates the relationship between school support and self-actualization. Meanwhile, the remaining four mediating roles were not proven in this research. These findings offer a framework for principals to increase commitment and reduce teachers’ burnout by increasing school support and self-actualization through meaning at work.
... Work engagement studies are surging in Africa. Some studies in the African context have shown that demographic factors, need for achievement and workaholic behavior (Burke and El-Kot, 2010), organizational justice (Kumasey et al., 2021), job crafting, proactive personality, meaningful work, and autonomy (Fouch e et al., 2017;Radstaak and Hennes, 2017;Vermooten et al., 2019) are important antecedents of work engagement in Egypt, Ghana and South Africa, respectively (Fouch e et al., 2017;Radstaak and Hennes, 2017;Vermooten et al., 2019). These studies have provided the theoretical and empirical basis for more studies on work engagement in the African context. ...
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Purpose Drawing on the self-extended and regulatory focus theories, the present study examined the mechanism as well as the boundary condition under which psychological ownership might relate positively to the work engagement of employees working in public sector organizations in Ghana. Design/methodology/approach Data were collected from employees ( n = 313) working in public sector organizations in Ghana at a single point in time with a survey questionnaire. Findings The results indicated that psychological ownership and self-regulatory focus behaviors (i.e. prevention and promotion focus behaviors) were beneficial for work engagement; and that while prevention focus mediated psychological ownership-work engagement relationship, that relationship was positive and stronger for employees who performed less promotion focus behaviors. Practical implications Managers in public sector organizations should understand that employees with strong psychological ownership would feel more engaged if they perform less promotion focus behaviors. Originality/value The authors’ study contributes uniquely to the nascent work engagement literature in the Ghanaian context, and by testing boundary conditions and underlying mechanisms increased the authors’ understanding of work engagement among public sector employees in Ghana.
... Many researchers claimed that job design has a negative effect on employee turnover intention (Fouché et al., 2017;Joo et al., 2015;Raub, 2018). Meanwhile, Ghosh, Rai, Chauhan, Gupta, and Singh, (2015) and Sok, Blomme, De Ruiter, Tromp, and Lub, (2018) assure that job design is not a significant issue for turnover intention. ...
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This conceptual paper is developed to determine the effects of job design and self-efficacy on turnover intention among doctors in the Algerian public hospitals. Additionally, this conceptual paper proposes to test career commitment as a moderator between the relationship of job design and self-efficacy towards turnover intention among the doctors in Algeria due to the inconsistent findings of the relationship between job design and self-efficacy towards turnover intention. These inconsistent findings based on the empirical evidence do not permit much information to the existing literature; thereby, requiring a further empirical exploration. This study refers to the Social Exchange Theory (SET) and Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) to explain the relationship among all variables. Empirical evidences reported a significant effect of job design on employees' turnover intention. Also, past authors presented significant effects of other variable such as self-efficacy on turnover intention. Not only that, the role of career commitment as a moderator is expected can enhance the relationship between the predictors (e.g., job design and self-efficacy) and the criterion (e.g., turnover intention) in this study. Furthermore, SET has been referred to explain the relationship between job design and turnover intention. Meanwhile, SCT has been used as a theory to explain the relationship of self-efficacy and turnover intention. At the end of this study, several actions can be proposed in order to let doctors can be retained the Algerian healthcare sector. By taking the appropriate actions in the aspects of job design and self-efficacy the level of turnover intention among the Algerian doctor can be decreased. Thus, this may help to solve the shortage of medical doctors in the country.
... 129) Likewise, Bailey and Madden (2016 p. 13) observe that "There is a widespread agreement that people find their work meaningful in an interactional context in two ways, firstly, when they are in contact with others who benefit from their work, and, secondly, in an environment of supportive interpersonal relationships." There are evidence-based studies that indicate how harmonious interpersonal relationship in the workplace, perception that one's job benefits some greater good, and work-life balance are positively connected with meaningful work (Tommasi, et al. 2020;Yeoman, et al. 2019;Fouche 2017;Fourie & Deacon 2015;Michaelson, et al. 2014;Munn 2013;Lips-Wiersma & Morris 2009). Yet still, few studies have specifically examined interpersonal and relationship virtues, which are called soft skills, as sources of meaningful work, especially in non-Western societies. ...
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A number of paradigms have been proposed to understand the sources of meaningful work, but a non-Western approach has attracted little attention. Because some authors have argued that meaningful work has positive valence that has eudaimonic rather than hedonic content, a virtue-ethics approach to meaningful work has been used. Virtue ethicists acknowledge that our work and places of employment have a profound influence in shaping our character and living a fulfilled life. This study aims to make a theoretical contribution toward an understanding of meaningful work from a virtue-ethics framework that is culturally meaningful and ethically relevant to Filipino realities and their distinct national heritage. It develops a conceptual model for a Filipino view of meaningful work that could guide both researchers and practitioners in business ethics by explaining what makes work meaningful, justifying why this is important, and presenting some examples of concrete measures that management can utilize to promote meaningful work in the Philippine workplace. By integrating Filipino virtues in conceptualizing meaningful work, I believe that a theoretical advancement is made toward a pluralistic and multicultural understanding of the concept, especially through the lens of virtue-ethics.
... Furthermore, teacher well-being affects choices in relation to effective teaching styles and behaviour, as well as the transmission of positive emotions, enthusiasm and motivation in the classroom (e.g., Buonomo et al., 2019;Burić & Frenzel, 2020;Keller, Chang et al., 2014;Kunter et al., 2013;Moè et al., 2010). Consequently, teacher well-being impacts important student outcomes, such as student well-being, academic motivation, achievement and performance (Caprara et al., 2006;Collie et al., 2012;Fouché et al., 2017). Finally and correspondingly, there is evidence that teacher well-being contributes to the effectiveness of the school (Bajorek et al., 2014). ...
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Teachers’ well-being is important for the optimal functioning of schools and educational systems. Contextual and individual factors influencing teachers’ work-related well-being have been identified but rarely investigated concurrently. This study examined contributions of school climate and job crafting to teacher well-being. Time-lagged survey data from 564 German teachers was analysed. The hypothesised model whereby school climate and job crafting were separate predictors of well-being fitted the data well. Analyses further revealed that the effect of school climate and job crafting is additive. Teachers who reported the highest rates of school climate and the highest scores in job crafting experienced the highest well-being. Results of this study highlight the importance of both school climate and job crafting for supporting teacher well-being.
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Meaningful work promotes the professional development of individuals and organizations. This study aimed to translate, adapt, and present additional evidence of the validity of the Work as Meaning Inventory - WAMI for the Brazilian population. It addressed 2,111 workers (67% women) aged between 18 and 77. The results indicate that the inventory’s Brazilian version has a linguistic structure appropriate to the Brazilian Portuguese and satisfactory goodness of fit indices for the one-factor structure, in addition to invariance across sexes. Additionally, evidence of external convergent validity was found with life satisfaction and job satisfaction, which was negative for exhaustion. The conclusion is that meaningful work benefits the well being of workers and organizations. Thus, we recommend that this adapted version be used in the Brazilian context, as it meets the psychometric requirements for adapting instruments across cultures.
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Schools that want to be world class are now paying attention to the findings from neuroscience and psychology that tell us we can build better brains. They are changing their mindset, expecting success for far more students and no longer being constrained by ideas of genetic potential. High Performance Learning provides readers with a ground-breaking and approachable model for achieving high levels of academic performance for all students and schools. It takes what is known about how people reach advanced cognitive performance and translates it into a practical and user-friendly framework, which can be used with all students to systematically build the cognitive thinking skills and learner behaviours that will deliver success in school, in the workplace and in later life. Flexible and adaptable, High Performance Learning can be used in any context, with any curriculum and at any age. It does not require separate lessons but rather becomes the underpinning pedagogy of the school. Drawing on the author's 40 years of research into how the most able students think and learn, this book provides a framework that has been extensively trialled in schools in eleven countries. . Themes include: • Creating world class schools. • The High Performance Learning environment. • The High Performance Learning framework. • Advanced Cognitive Performance characteristics (ACPs). • Values, Attitudes and Attributes (VAAs). • Creating and leading a High Performance Learning school. • The role of parents, universities and employers. This invaluable resource will help schools make the move from good to world class and will be essential reading for school leaders, teachers and those with an interest in outstanding academic performance.
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Schools are often the only formal service provider for young people living in socio-economically marginalized communities, uniquely positioning school staff to support positive psychosocial outcomes of youth living in adverse contexts. Using data from 2,387 school-going young people [Canada (N = 1,068), New Zealand (N = 591), and South Africa (N = 728)] living in marginalized communities and who participated in the Pathways to Resilience study, this article reviews how student experiences of school staff and school contexts moderated contextual risks and facilitated resilience processes. Findings of these analyses affirm that school staff play an important role in moderating the relationship between resilience resources and community/family risk in both global North and global South contexts. Findings hold important implications for school psychologists, including the need to champion the ways in which teachers can scaffold resilience resources for young people through the quality of the relationships they build with students.
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The study investigates the relations between secondary school teachers' work-role fit, job enrichment, supervisor relationships, co-worker relationships, psychological meaningfulness of work and intention to leave. A cross-sectional survey was used. The participants were 502 secondary school teachers in Namibia. The following measuring instruments were used: Work-role Fit Scale, Job Enrichment Scale, Co-worker and Supervisor Relationships Scales, Psychological Meaningfulness Scale and Turnover Intention Scale. Work-role fit and job enrichment both had direct positive effect on experiences of psychological meaningfulness at work, while poor work-role fit and low psychological meaningfulness both had a direct effect on teachers' intentions to leave. An analysis of the indirect effects showed that poor work-role fit and poor job enrichment affected intention to leave due to the concomitant experience of low psychological meaningfulness. These findings have implications for the retention of teachers in secondary schools.