The relationship between stress and salutogenic functioning amongst employees in a state owned enterprise
Oosthuizen, Janine Dalnet
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‘Human capital’ is the buzzword of the 21st century and is becoming the core value of organisations. In South Africa it is estimated that more than R500 million is lost annually through absenteeism and loss of productivity as a result of stress. Employees are key contributors to the bottom-line and should be selected, placed and applied in such a way that the company only benefits from their output. Therefore, if the human element is a crucial element it becomes essential for the organisation to nurture, protect and optimise individuals to their full potential. There is a fair degree of agreement on the variables that act as organizational stressors, however, studies on stress and salutogenic functioning in a state owned enterprise have not been found. According to the literature, salutogenic factors function as generalised resistance resources and a high score on sense of coherence, as well as an internal locus of control correlates with low scores on stress. The present research has a general aim of exploring the relationship between stress and salutogenic functioning, within a state owned enterprise. The levels of stress were correlated with the presence of high or low levels of sense of coherence and whether the individuals display an internal or an external locus of control. A sample of 240 employees (N=240) was used from the organisation. The following questionnaires were utilised to measure the range of variables. Levels of stress were measured by the Experience of Work and Life Circumstances Questionnaire (WLQ). Whereas the salutogenic construct, sense of coherence was measured by the Orientation to Life Questionnaire (OLQ) and the second salutogenic construct, locus of control, was measured by the Locus of Control Inventory (LCI). The statistical analyses included inferential (correlation, t-test and analysis of variance) and descriptive statistics. The results demonstrated significant relationships between low stress levels, sense of coherence and internal locus of control. As such, salutogenic functioning in terms of sense of coherence and locus of control, had a significant correlation with levels of stress.