Original Research

Sense of coherence: A distinct perspective on financial well-being

Antoni Barnard
South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences | Vol 19, No 4 | a1405 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajems.v19i4.1405 | © 2016 Antoni Barnard | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 29 May 2015 | Published: 25 November 2016

About the author(s)

Antoni Barnard, UNISA, South Africa

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With the ongoing financial challenges being faced in the economic environment, research exploring financial and psychological well-being is of significant value because employees’ socio-economic behaviour affects productivity. Research emphasises mainly the effect of income level on psychological well-being, and its orientation to psychological well-being is narrowly derived from a focus on subjective well-being constructs. This study addresses the research gap by exploring the relationship dynamics between sense of coherence, income level and financial well-being. Secondary data were obtained from a cross-sectional online employee-wellness survey (n=7 185). The sample distribution included 66 per cent females and 34 per cent males from various age groups, with 46 per cent of the sample comprising single-household earners and 54 per cent sharing household income. Analysis of variance was conducted to examine the relationship dynamics between sense of coherence, level of income and financial well-being. Demographic variables that formed part of the survey results were included in the analysis. The relationships between sense of coherence and identified significant income level, financial well-being and demographic effects were further explored in Bonferroni multiple comparisons of means test and cross reference frequency tables that included Pearson’s chi-square and/or Cochran–Armitage trend tests. Detail results indicate that high-income employees exhibit a significantly stronger sense of coherence than low-income employees, and that, despite level of income, financial wellbeing is nevertheless positively related to sense of coherence. Results indicate important implications for managing a financially healthy workforce. Limitations are discussed and recommendations for future research are highlighted.


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