ORIENTATION: Psychological ownership emerged recently as a positive psychological resource
that could be measured and developed and that could affect the performance of organisations.
PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to develop an instrument to measure psychological
ownership in a South African context.
MOTIVATION FOR THE STUDY: It was found that previous instruments for the measurement of
psychological ownership lacked the ability to grasp the extensive reach of psychological
RESEARCH DESIGN, APPROACH AND METHOD: A quantitative cross-sectional survey was conducted
on a non-probability convenience sample of 713 skilled, highly-skilled and professional
employees from various organisations in both the private and public sectors in South Africa.
MAIN FINDINGS: Although a 69-item measurement instrument was developed in order to capture
the proposed seven-dimensional psychological ownership construct, it became evident when
analysing the data that a four-factor model comprising 35 items was suitable.
PRACTICAL/MANAGERIAL IMPLICATIONS: If a sense of psychological ownership toward an
organisation could be established amongst its employees by addressing the factors as measured
by the South African Psychological Ownership Questionnaire, organisations could become
enhanced workplaces and, as a result, sustainable performance could be promoted and staff
could be retained. CONTRIBUTION/VALUE-ADD: The instrument for measuring psychological ownership in a South
African context could serve as a diagnostic tool that would allow human resource professionals
and managers to determine employees’ sense of psychological ownership regarding their
organisation and to focus specifically on weak dimensional areas that could be improved.