Academic journal article SA Journal of Human Resource Management

Psychological Capital, Subjective Well-Being, Burnout and Job Satisfaction Amongst Educators in the Umlazi Region in South Africa

Academic journal article SA Journal of Human Resource Management

Psychological Capital, Subjective Well-Being, Burnout and Job Satisfaction Amongst Educators in the Umlazi Region in South Africa

Article excerpt


Teachers often occupy a role far beyond that of an educator to their students, as they aim to understand the plethora of factors affecting the learning abilities of their students and thereby promote a positive and enriching environment for optimal learning of their students (Govender, 2011). Hammett and Staeheli (2009) are of the view that many teachers lack the skills to promote an expected effective and relevant learning environment for their students. Hammett and Staeheli further posit that the challenges and demands teachers face in South Africa are unique, overwhelming and increasing constantly due to the vast socioeconomic disparities teachers find themselves facing. Access to adequate resources has been cited as problematic by many educators in South Africa, which in turn affects the motivation and enthusiasm teachers possess for their jobs and eventually the quality of education students receive (Hammett & Staeheli, 2009). In recent years, the South African basic education sector witnessed the introduction of different systems of curriculum (such as Outcome-Based Education), which is believed to have placed a significant amount of stress on teachers as they have had to adapt to the changing curricula (Ladbrook, 2009).

Despite the demands placed on teachers, there is a consensus that teachers often concern themselves with trying to fix the problems encountered by their learners, whilst neglecting the need to focus on developing their own strengths and qualities (Hammett & Staeheli, 2009). Enhancing the positive attributes and strengths of educators leads not only to a positive impact on their performance, commitment and satisfaction, but also to an increase in satisfaction amongst students, which enables them to achieve higher academic results (Luthans, Norman, Avolio & Avey, 2008). One of the fundamental purposes of teachers is not only enriching the educational needs of the youth, but also inspiring and encouraging students to flourish and live a positive and rewarding life. It is imperative that educators in South Africa achieve job satisfaction to enhance commitment to their jobs and performance improvement (Luthans et al., 2008). In order for educators to transfer positive outlook to students and cultivate a generation of positive, flourishing, committed and satisfied youth, who are able to excel in all spheres of life, it is imperative for teachers to become aware of their strengths and positive attributes.

A shared consensus exists amongst researchers (e.g. Clark, 2000; Rothmann & Barkhuizen, 2008) that education institutions worldwide are developing an imbalance with their environments arising because schools face an overload of demands and are equipped with an undersupply of response capabilities. This is taxing and often contributes to the depletion of internal resources teachers possess for their valuable work. In this regard, it is necessary for a positive approach to be taken in the study of educators and how certain positive capacities can aid in the development and flourishing of educators. It should be noted that in the current study, the terms learners and students as well as the terms teachers and educators are used interchangeably. In light of the above, the study sought to investigate the potential link between psychological capital, subjective wellbeing, burnout and job satisfaction. Psychological capital (PsyCap) and the tremendous potential value it can provide in the work arena were explored. The effect of PsyCap was assessed to determine whether its positive capacities play a role in increasing job satisfaction amongst teachers, whilst decreasing the levels of burnout. In order to address the objective of the study, the following research questions were asked:

* How have psychological capital, subjective well-being, burnout and job satisfaction been conceptualised in the literature?

* What is the relationship between psychological capital, subjective well-being, burnout and job satisfaction? …

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