Psychological ownership is the state in which a person feels that the target of ownership – whether material or immaterial – is theirs (Pierce et al. 2001, p.299). In the workplace, having staff take psychological ownership of their work is desirable as they are more likely to work towards a successful outcome if they feel accountable as the owners of their work.
At the North-West University (NWU) library most staff work on the library system which is adaptable to workflows and offers staff a range of customisation options; a distinction was therefore made in this study between taking ownership of the system on which staff work, and taking ownership of the work they do (the processes). The aim of this study was therefore to test whether staff perceive themselves to be the owners of not only their processes, but also of the system on which they do their work.
The study population was 28 library staff members working on the library system at the Potchefstroom campus of the NWU. A questionnaire consisting of the standardised Psychological Ownership Questionnaire (Avey et al. 2007) along with questions which focus on system and process ownership which was developed for this study was administered to participants and responses were captured using Google Forms. Data analysis was done by the Statistical Consultation Services of the NWU.
The following constructs were discussed based on the data analysis: preventative and promotive ownership, system and process ownership, the Information Systems (IS) section of the NWU library and their perceived role in system ownership, and the technical behaviour of staff. It was found that library staff take more promotive than preventative ownership measures in their respective departments, and that they perceive themselves to be both system and process owners. System ownership is not perceived to be the sole responsibility of the IS section, but is rather perceived to be shared between that section and the library staff. Generally, library staff report exhibiting positive technical behaviour, and rate their technical abilities above average which was found to have a positive relationship with their perceived system ownership.
Mini Dissertation (MIT)--University of Pretoria, 2014.