South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences, Vol 11, No 1 (2008)

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The experience of work-life interaction in the Northern Cape mining industry: an exploratory study

Dezré Jacobs, Karina Mostert, Jaco Pienaar

Abstract


The objective of this research was to investigate how Afrikaans and Setswana employees in the Northern Cape mining environment experience the interaction between their work and personal lives and to determine which major strategies employees use to deal with work-life interaction (WLI). A non-probability purposive voluntary sample of 25 mineworkers was taken in the Northern Cape Province. Male and female participants were stratified in terms of language (Afrikaans and Setswana) and interviews were conducted with them. Interview questions focused on the main interacting dimensions in the lives of mineworkers and major strategies that employees use to deal with WLI. Content analyses were used to analyse the data. Several preceding factors  (like work pressure, heavy workload, stress, and family obligations) that led to definite consequences (e.g. lack of quality time for self and family, physical and emotional strains, and low levels of productivity), as well as coping strategies (e.g. prioritising, time management, communication, and planning) were explored during the interviews. Although there were similarities, it seemed that there were definite differences between gender and language groups regarding their experiences of WLI.


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EISSN 2222-3436 (Online)