Investigating happiness at work along the organizational life cycle: Moderating role of locus of control

  • Received December 15, 2021;
    Accepted February 2, 2022;
    Published February 8, 2022
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  • Article Info
    Volume 20 2022, Issue #1, pp. 216-228
  • Cited by
    2 articles

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

This study used business units in different stages of the organizational lifecycle (OLC) and tested employee job satisfaction, affective organizational commitment, and work engagement to understand the relationship between OLC and happiness at work. Furthermore, this study investigated Person-Organization (P-O) fit by testing for a locus of control (LOC) as a moderator to this relationship. Based on the significance of LOC for accountants, online surveys were launched in an accounting firm across twelve locations in South Africa. For the first survey, 32 partners (91%) positioned their business units onto specific stages of the OLC. In the second survey, employees (62%) completed self-evaluations of their level of job satisfaction, affective organizational commitment, work engagement, and their LOC. Spearman’s rank-order correlations revealed the range of ρ of –1.22 at a 10% significance to –1.67 at a 5% significance, concluding earlier stages of OLC to support greater levels of happiness at work.
Additionally, hierarchal regression found R-squared changes of 2% to 4%, confirming LOC as a moderator. Simulation tests found the strongest correlations with early stages of OLC for externals (range of ρ of –0.374 to –0.352 at 5% significance), moderate for internals (range of ρ of –2.12 at 10% significance to insignificant), and no relationship for those with a balanced expectancy (all insignificant). Contrary to dominant voices in the literature that support internality as a superior expectancy, this study concludes that those with a balanced LOC are more resilient to organizational factors for their happiness at work.

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    • Figure 1. Conceptual framework
    • Figure 2. Relationships between the stage of development of the department on the organizational life cycle and constructs of happiness at work
    • Table 1. Spearman’s rank-order correlation coefficients
    • Conceptualization
      Babar Dharani
    • Data curation
      Babar Dharani
    • Formal Analysis
      Babar Dharani
    • Investigation
      Babar Dharani
    • Methodology
      Babar Dharani
    • Resources
      Babar Dharani, Kurt April
    • Validation
      Babar Dharani
    • Writing – original draft
      Babar Dharani
    • Project administration
      Kurt April
    • Supervision
      Kurt April
    • Writing – review & editing
      Kurt April