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Original Research

Conflict between work and nonwork roles of employees in the mining industry: Prevalence and differences between demographic groups

Betsie Steyl, Eileen Koekemoer

SA Journal of Human Resource Management; Vol 9, No 1 (2011), 14 pages. doi: 10.4102/sajhrm.v9i1.277

Submitted: 28 January 2010
Published:  08 June 2011


Orientation: International researchers have increasingly recognised the interaction between work and nonwork roles as an interesting and important topic.

Research purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate the prevalence of different work–nonwork conflict subscales and differences between demographic groups in work– nonwork conflict.

Motivation for the study: Several studies have shown that demographic groups differ in their experiences of the interaction between work and family life. This may also be true of conflict between work and nonwork roles. The prevalence of work–nonwork conflict and nonwork– work conflict is also very important for organisations that may find the results very valuable for developing organisational and individual interventions and performance management in organisations.

Research design, approach and method: The researchers chose a random sample of mining employees (n = 245) from a platinum mine in Rustenburg. The researchers used self-developed items similar to items developed in the Work–nonwork Interference Scale of Koekemoer, Mostert and Rothmann (2010) to measure conflict between work and various nonwork roles. The researchers used descriptive statistics, paired-sample t-tests, multivariate analysis of variance and one-way analysis of variance to analyse the data.

Main findings: Work–nonwork conflict was more prevalent than nonwork–work conflict. Work–family conflict was more prevalent than work–domestic conflict and work–religion/ spirituality conflict. The researchers found significant differences for marital status and language groups about work–nonwork conflict. Results showed that participants who spoke African languages experienced higher levels of private–work conflict.

Practical/managerial implications: Organisations need to recognise the negative interference or conflict between work and nonwork roles for different demographic groups and address the prevalent work–nonwork conflicts in their organisations.

Contribution/value-add: Organisations are able to focus interventions and programmes that specifically address the problem of work–nonwork conflict in specific roles and for different demographic groups.

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Author affiliations

Betsie Steyl, Anglo Platinum Mine, Rustenburg Waterval Smelter, South Africa
Eileen Koekemoer, School of Human Resource Sciences, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, North-West University, Potchefstroom campus, South Africa


cross-sectional survey design; demographic differences; industrial psychology; mining industry; organisational psychology; work–family life interaction


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ISSN: 1683-7584 (print) | ISSN: 2071-078X (online)

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