Flourishing of judges in South Africa
Rossouw, Elsie Adriana
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This thesis explored the well-being of judges. Their well-being was examined via a scoping literature review, which identified and integrated the types of available research evidence on the well-being of judges globally. Furthermore, an exploratory multi-method design was employed with South African judges recruited from various courts of different jurisdictions, utilising a combination of non-probability purposive and convenience sampling. The study determined where judges fell on the well-being scale between flourishing and languishing and ascertained what factors affected their well-being and what the outcomes of judges’ well-being were. The scoping review involved a search of relevant literature through databases from January 2008 to May 2018. Using ATLAS.ti 8 for qualitative data analysis, data was extracted from articles, and relevant constructs were coded. Eleven studies met the inclusion criteria. For the qualitative part of the multi-method study, semi-structured interviews with 25 judges were audio-recorded and transcribed. ATLAS.ti 8 was used to thematically analyse the interviews, extract quotes, and code relevant constructs. The quantitative part of the multi-method study, in which 28 judges participated, used the following measuring instruments: The Flourishing-at-Work Scale (Short Form); the Work-Role Fit Scale; the Personal Resources Scale; and adapted versions of the Organisational Citizenship Behaviour (OCB) Scale, Turnover Intention Scale, and Job Demands-Resources Scale. After summarising responses in Excel, data was captured in SPSS 25 for analysis. Study 1 aimed to review qualitative and quantitative empirical studies regarding different factors that affect the well-being of judges globally and to determine what can be done to reduce the occupational stressors that result in them languishing, as well as actions that can be taken to enhance their flourishing. This study revealed that specific job demands, such as long working hours, emotional demands due to exposure to gruesome evidence or human misery, concern about safety and violence against judges and their families, inadequate resources and support, and the fact that their judgments can have significant effects on the lives of others, were mostly the same for all judges. Other stressors related to specific judges, such as that some female judges found balancing their work-home life stressful. Some female judges reported gender bias and discrimination, but it seemed that this inclination had subsided over the years. Study 2 aimed to investigate the relationships among work beliefs, work-role fit, and flourishing at work, as well as the effect of well-being on OCB and the intention to leave, in a sample of judges in South Africa. This study revealed that 75% of participating South African judges flourished. Regarding work beliefs, 71.4% had a calling orientation, whilst 28.6% viewed their work as a career. Of these, some perceived it as a combination of the orientations, and only one judge regarded it as a job. Quantitatively, there were significant relationships between work-role fit and emotional well-being (EWB), psychological well-being (PWB), and OCB, as well as between social well-being (SWB) and EWB. Judges perceived that their work roles were aligned with their self-concept and that they possessed the specific skills and qualities required for their work. These feelings, in turn, were associated with a more meaningful work experience and engagement in work. A significantly negative relationship existed between intention to leave and SWB. Flourishing at work had a positive effect on judges’ OCB and related negatively with their intention to leave. Most judges were willing to assist colleagues who need help. All judges reported that they intended remaining in their jobs unless their independence was challenged. Study 3 aimed to obtain a better understanding of job demands and job resources that affect the well-being of judges in South Africa and to determine what these influences were, that is, whether the judges flourished and prospered or whether they languished and consequently suffered from burnout. The results of the study indicated that judges experienced the freedom of choice in the execution of their work-related tasks. Judges perceived a sense of relatedness, comfort, and support from their fellow puisne judges and senior judges. Judges’ views were divided about the adequacy of remuneration. Some judges felt disgruntled about their annual increases that had not been at least inflation-related over several years. All judges who participated in the qualitative part of the research acknowledged the necessity of transformation. Despite factors such as work pressure, emotional demands, and hassles, this study indicated that judges mostly flourished.