Antecedents of psychological well-being among workers within small and medium enterprises
Maziriri, Eugine T.
Madinga, Nkosivile W.
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Orientation: In the contemporary business environment, employee mental health is neglected, especially in mental health research and practice in African Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs). This occurs even though this sector is the largest contributor to developed economies. This study highlights the importance of psychological well-being in SME performance and the individual employee. Research purpose: To investigate the influence of perceived organisational support, career goal development and empowering leadership on the psychological well-being of SME employees in Gauteng province, South Africa. Motivation for the study: Despite increasing research on SMEs, few studies have investigated the impact of perceived organisational support, career goal development, and empowering leadership on psychological well-being in a Southern African context. Research approach/design and method: This study followed a quantitative approach, using the survey methodology where a structured questionnaire was administered to 250 SME employees. To evaluate the psychometric properties of measurement scales, a confirmatory factor analysis was performed. Structural equation modelling was used to test the hypotheses. Main findings: Perceived organisational support, career goal development and empowering leadership have a positive and significant impact on the psychological well-being of SME workers. A robust, positive and significant relationship exists between empowering leadership and psychological well-being. Practical/managerial implications: The results indicate that SME managers in South Africa should pay more attention to, or place greater emphasis on, supporting employees in their organisations, recognising and assisting them in achieving their goals, and empowering them to be happy at work. If the psychological well-being of employees is prioritised, SME business performance will ultimately improve. Contribution/value-add: This study contributes to the current body of Africa’s industrial psychology and mental health literature – a field that has received little research attention in developing countries like South Africa.