Volunteering at the Foggara work in Touat region: A study in Social ergonomics
Authors: Mohamed Mokdad, Bouhafs Mebarki, Mourad Semmani, Shaikha Aljunaidi
Abstract: Background:It is necessary to point out that ergonomics was late in paying attention to the issue of social factors and their effects on work. Carayon, (2021), urged ergonomists to take into account the influence of the social environment on work. Social environment is very important for the human being in which he practices his humanity and helps others to exercise their humanity.According to Amabile, et al. (1996) social environment includes two types of components: the positive components (autonomy/ freedom, encouragement of creativity, resources, and challenging work), and the negative components (lack of training, and management/ workers inconsistency). In this research, the researchers considered the positive components of social environment. Social ergonomics enhances the positive components of the social environment and at the same time it works to reduce the harmful effects of the negative components of the social environment. Social ergonomics achieves these goals through various methods including volunteerism. In this research, the focus will be on volunteer work. Researchers believe that volunteering strengthens social bonds, and makes individuals more connected to the community (Hsiao, et al. 2020). In addition, volunteering supports the positive elements of the social environment. “Twiza” is a form of volunteerism that is widespread in the Touat region (western area in Algeria). It means the assistance provided by members of a community, to members of another community, who are in dire need of this assistance. Objectives: This research aims to answer the following question: Can freedom /autonomy, encouragement of creativity, resources and challenging work enhance the positive components of the social environment in the Ksar?Methodology: Researchers applied the descriptive method, using a snowball technique sample which consisted of (29) volunteers from whom data were collected through a questionnaire and an Interview.Results and discussion: Individuals’ answers show that volunteer work does not affect individuals’ freedom, nor their sense of independence while working. The vast majority of respondents indicated that those who participate in voluntary work exercise their freedom naturally.Also, the volunteers show that supervisors during the volunteer work encourage them to be creative and innovative. This made them feel safe and secure.Furthermore, respondents agree that the resources required for volunteer work are available to everyone. None of the volunteers complained about the lack of resources or their unavailability. The respondents indicated that the availability of resources is a factor in the success of volunteer work.The respondents also praised the positive challenges that exist in volunteer work, especially in the maintenance of the Foggara. It is the work that made them feel they are achieving a noble patriotic duty. Conclusion: This research studied the topic of voluntary work, especially in the maintenance of Foggara in the Touat region and has found that volunteering enhances the social environment, and from the perspective of social ergonomics, that the environment is fitted to the individuals.References:Amabile, T. M., Conti, R., Coon, H., Lazenby, J., & Herron, M. (1996). Assessing the work environment for creativity. Academy of management journal, 39(5), 1154-1184.Carayon, P. (2021). Social and Organizational Foundation of Ergonomics: Multi‐Level Systems Approaches. Handbook of Human Factors and Ergonomics, 227-235.Hsiao, H. Y., Hsu, C. T., Chen, L., Wu, J., Chang, P. S., Lin, C. L., Lin M.N & Lin, T. K. (2020). Environmental volunteerism for social good: A longitudinal study of older adults’ health. Research on Social Work Practice, 30(2), 233-245.
Keywords: Social Ergonomics, Volunteering, Twiza, Ksar
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