Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 32586
Personal Factors and Career Adaptability in a Call Centre Work Environment: The Mediating Effects of Professional Efficacy

Authors: Nisha Harry


The study discussed in this article sought to assess whether a sense of professional efficacy mediates the relationship between personal factors and career adaptability. A quantitative cross-sectional survey approach was followed. A non–probability sample of (N = 409) of which predominantly early career and permanently employed black females in call centres in Africa participated in this study. In order to assess personal factors, the participants completed sense of meaningfulness and emotional intelligence measures. Measures of professional efficacy and career adaptability were also completed. The results of the mediational analysis revealed that professional efficacy significantly mediates the meaningfulness (sense of coherence) and career adaptability relationship, but not the emotional intelligence–career adaptability relationship. Call centre agents with professional efficacy are likely to be more work engaged as a result of their sense of meaningfulness and emotional intelligence.

Keywords: Call centre, professional efficacy, career adaptability, emotional intelligence.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI):

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 533


[1] Antonovksy, A. (1987). Health promoting factors at work: The sense of coherence. In R. Kalimo, M. Eltatawi, & C. L. Cooper (Eds), Psychological factors at work and their effects on health (pp. 153–167). Geneva: World Health Organization.
[2] Varga, K., Tóth, Á. Roznár, J., Oláh, A., Betlehem, J., & Jeges, S. (2012). The salutogenic revolution of question-setting in health science and occupational psychology. European Journal of Mental Health, 7(1), 72–89. doi:10.5708/EJMH.7.2012.1.4
[3] Austin, R. K., Wagner, B., & Dahl, D. (2010). The Roles of Negative Career Thoughts and Sense of Coherence in Predicting Career Decision Status. Canadian Journal of Counselling 44(1), 65-77.
[4] Savickas, M. L., & Porfeli, E. J. (2012). Career Adapt-Abilities Scale: Construction, reliability, and measurement equivalence across 13 countries. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 80, 661–673.
[5] Seligman, M. E. P. (1998). Building human strength: Psychology’s forgotten mission. APA Monitor, 29(1).
[6] Bar-On, R. (2010). Emotional intelligence: An integral part of positive psychology. South African Journal of Psychology, 40(1), 54–62
[7] Bar-On, R. (2007). How important is it to educate people to be emotionally intelligent, and can it be done? In R. Bar-On, J. G. Maree, & M. Elias (Eds), Educating people to be emotionally intelligent (pp. 1–14). Westport, CT: Praeger.
[8] Brackett, M. A., & Salovey, P. (2004). Measuring emotional intelligence with the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT). In Glenn Geher (Ed.), Measuring emotional intelligence: Common ground and controversy (pp. 181–196). Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science.
[9] Sadien, A. (2010). The effect of stress, burnout and emotional labour on intention to leave amongst call centre employees. (Unpublished master’s dissertation). University of the Western Cape, Bellville, South Africa.
[10] Ventura, M., Salanova, M., & Lourens, S. (2014). Professional self-efficacy as a predictor of burnout and engagement: The role of challenge and hindrance demands. The Journal of Psychology: Interdisciplinary, 00(0), 1–6, DOI: 10.1080/00223980.2013.876380
[11] Janse van Rensburg, Y., Boonzaier, B., & Boonzaier, M. (2013). The job demands-resources model of work engagement in South African call centres. SA Journal of Human Resource Management/SA Tydskrif vir Menslikehulpbronbestuur, 11(1), Art. #484, 13 pages. Retrieved from: .Accessed on 01/11/2016.
[12] Hastings, T., & Mackinnon, D. (2016). Re-embedding agency at the workplace scale: Workers and labour control in Glasgow call centres. Environment and Planning, 0(0), 1–17. DOI:10.1177/
[13] Banks, D., & Roodt, G. (2011). The efficiency and quality dilemma: What drives South African call centre management performance indicators? South African Journal of Human Resource Management, 9(1), Art. #331, 17 pages. doi:10.4102/sajhrm.v9i1.331
[14] Schutte, N., Malouff, J., Hall, E., Haggerty, D., Cooper, J., Golden, D., & Dornheim, L. (1998). Development and validation of a measure of emotional intelligence. Personality and Individual Differences, 25, 167–177.
[15] Maslach, C., Jackson S. E., & Leiter, M. P. (1996). Maslach Burnout Inventory Manual (3rd ed). Mountain View, CA: CPP.
[16] Savickas, M. (2010). The Career Adapt-Abilities Scale. Paper presented at the 27th International Congress of Applied Psychology (ICAP), 11–16 July, Melbourne.
[17] Bezuidenhout, A., & Cilliers, F. V. N. (2010). Burnout, work engagement and sense of coherence in female academics in higher-education institutions in South Africa. South African Journal of Industrial Psychology, 36(1), Art. #872, 10 pages. doi: 10.4102/sajip.v36i1.872
[18] De Beer, M., & Van Heerden, A. (2014). Exploring the role of motivational and coping resources in a Special Forces selection process. SA Journal of Industrial Psychology/SA Tydskrif vir Bedryfsielkunde, 40(1), Art. #1165, 13 pages. sajip.v40i1.116.5
[19] Lane, A. M., Devonport, T. J., Soos, I., Karsai, I., Leibinger, E., & Hamar, P. (2010). Emotional intelligence and emotions associated with optimal and dysfunctional athletic performance. Journal of Sports Science & Medicine, 9(3), 388.
[20] Ferreira, N. (2012), Constructing a psychological career profile for staff retention (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). University of South Africa, Pretoria.
[21] Preacher, K. J., & Hayes, A. F. (2008). Asymptotic and resampling strategies for assessing and comparing indirect effects in multiple mediator models. Behavior Research Methods, 40, 879–891.
[22] Shrout, P. E., & Bolger, N. (2002). Mediation in experimental and non-experimental studies: New procedures and recommendations. Psychological Methods, 7(4), 422–445.
[23] Vogt, K., Jenny, G.J., & Bauer, G.F. (2013). Comprehensibility, manageability and meaningfulness at work: Construct validity of a scale measuring work-related sense of coherence. SA Journal of Industrial Psychology 39(1), Art. #1111, 8 pages. on 03/11/2016.
[24] Maslach, C., Schaufeli, W. B., & Leiter, M. P. 2001. Job burnout. Annual Review of Psychology, 52, 397–422.
[25] Salovey, P., Bedell, B. T., Detweiler, J. B., & Mayer, J. D. (2000). Current directions in emotional intelligence research. In M. Lewis, & J. M. Haviland-Jones (Eds.), Handbook of emotions (Vol. 2, pp. 504–520). New York: Guilford Press.
[26] Mayer JD. 2000. Emotion, intelligence, emotional intelligence. In The Handbook of Affect andSocial Cognition, ed. JP Forgas, pp. 410–31. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum
[27] Iqbal, F., & Abassi, F. (2013). Relationship between emotional intelligence and burnout among university professors. Asian Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities, 2(2), 219–229.
[28] Wu, A. D., & Zumbo, B. D. (2008). Understanding and using mediators and moderators. Social Indicators Research, 87, 367–392.