Title page for ETD etd-05122010-153649

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Stasch, Kevin
URN etd-05122010-153649
Document Title The role of the psychological contract and its influence on engineers’ worker engagement
Degree MBA
Department Gordon Institute of Business Science
Advisor Name Title
Dr C Scheepers Supervisor
  • skills shortage
  • worker engagement
  • retention strategy
  • psychological contract
  • engineers
Date 2010-04-11
Availability unrestricted

The study investigated the concept of the psychological contract and its influence on engineers’ worker engagement. The underlying rationale for this study was to address the shortage of engineers and specialised artisans (that is, the shortage of skilled people in two of the professions where such a shortage poses a threat to the economic growth of South Africa) by determining the worker engagement of engineers. The study also attempted to identify the true drivers of engagement for engineers which can then be used as a baseline for further development of business specific strategies. The sample was engineering personnel in the South African project engineering sector, and a combination of two existing questionnaires, the Psychological Contract Inventory (PCI) and the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (UWES), was used to gather the data.

It was concluded that generally engineers are loyal to the task at hand and not necessarily to the organisation that employs them. They are engaged in their work, but also indicate that they constantly seek to improve their education and experience to make future employment at other companies probable. A somewhat contradictory finding is that they claim to be satisfied with the employment offered to them, as well as the benefits they receive.

To ensure the retention of skilled employees, the study proposes that employers of engineers diversify from time to time, or introduce some variation. Even internal shuffling can be used to continually challenge the engineers. It is further recommended that companies should ensure that there are clear career paths for engineering employees, combining secure employment with stable and realistic benefits.

© 2009 University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Stasch, K 2009, The role of the psychological contract and its influence on engineers’ worker engagement, MBA dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-05122010-153649 / >


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