Original Research

‘Committed, motivated and joyful?’ Job satisfaction and organisational commitment of managers at a South African public utility

Claude-Hélène Mayer, Lynette Louw, Jeremy Baxter
Acta Commercii | Vol 15, No 1 | a291 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ac.v15i1.291 | © 2015 Claude-Hélène Mayer, Lynette Louw, Jeremy Baxter | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 October 2014 | Published: 04 August 2015

About the author(s)

Claude-Hélène Mayer, Department of Management, Rhodes University, South Africa
Lynette Louw, Department of Management, Rhodes University, South Africa
Jeremy Baxter, Department of Statistics, Rhodes University, South Africa


Objective: This study focuses on an assessment of managerial job satisfaction and commitment in the context of a vibrant and rapidly changing public utility from a positive organisational behaviour (POB) perspective. It aims at contributing towards an in-depth understanding of positive micro-organisational behaviour.

Problem investigated: The aim of this study was to gain deeper insights into the relationship between job satisfaction (JS) and organisational commitment (OC) in terms of the ‘how and why’ at a selected public utility in the Eastern Cape Province.

Design: This single case study uses a mixed-method approach within the pragmatism research paradigm.

Findings: Findings show that managers across cultures share a positive organisational psychology approach on JS and OC. The JS of managers is mainly influenced by their satisfaction with working with colleagues and supervisors, and with strategies of motivation, as well as their dissatisfaction with the use of power, pay and promotion. OC was mainly influenced by positive collegial relationships, the organisation’s positive influence on the environment and on others, the enabling work environment and the location of the organisation.

Originality/value: The article introduces new ideas in positive organisational behaviour research and reconstructs the image of South African organisational behaviour based on qualitative and quantitative data.

Conclusion: This article shows that post-modern African organisations are opening new frontiers to building positive-oriented organisational cultures whilst creating constructive and future-orientated mindsets, which may spill over into society.


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