As a new generation of employees floods the market, loyalty has been redefined. The days of employees staying in one organisation for their entire career are long gone. Loyalty is now shown by the amount of effort and dedication that is put into the job at that moment in time. With that said, organisations need to find ways to retain employees for as long as possible by ensuring that employees feel ownership towards their jobs, are engaged and happy.
In order to achieve this, organisations should shift their focus towards positive organisational behaviour and positive psychology as a preventative approach to retaining employees. The outcome could result in happy, engaged employees who possess psychological ownership towards their jobs. The ideal outcome for organisations is for employees to remain with the organisation for as long as possible.
The purpose of this study was twofold; first, it aimed to investigate if there was a positive relationship between psychological ownership, work engagement and happiness and secondly, whether psychological ownership can predict work engagement and consequently the happiness of employees in the organisation. A quantitative, non-experimental, cross-sectional survey design was used on a non-probability purposive sample (N = 365) consisting of professional, white-collar employees in the professional services industry in an audit firm in South Africa. The data for the study were collected by using a questionnaire containing a combination of measuring instruments such as the Satisfaction with Life Scale, Well-being Questionnaire for the measurement of happiness, the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale and the Psychological Ownership Questionnaire.
Pearson product-moment correlations and structural equation modelling confirmed significant positive relationships between psychological ownership, work engagement and happiness. It showed that psychological ownership acted as a predictor of work engagement, which had an influence on happiness.
Dissertation (MCom)--University of Pretoria, 2015.