Job insecurity, psychological well-being and the relationship with future literacy
Bothma, Adriaan Stephanus
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The new world of work has an enormous impact on the work-life of employees. Retrenchment, early retirement, unemployment and the demand for better performance are the result of massive restructurings, outsourcing, mergers and acquisitions. The old Psychological contract, as well as lifelong employment, is becoming obsolete in a changing world of work. This leads to increased job insecurity in the workplace. There is substantial evidence in the literature that job insecurity is damaging to psychological health. Job insecurity in not only damaging the individual but impacts negatively on the organisation. Job insecurity leads to mistrust, lack of commitment and general dissatisfaction. In the end it will have a definite impact on organisational performance. The empirical objective of this research was to investigate the relationship between job insecurity, psychological well-being and the relationship with future literacy. A cross-sectional design with an availability sample (n =. 459) was used. The sample was subjected to a specific programme of future literacy training (Map Your Life). Questionnaires were completed prior to the training programme. The reliability and construct validity of the measuring instruments acceptable. (Cronbach alpha coefficients adhere to the cut-off point of > 0,70) with the exception of the Dispositional Optimism Questionnaire (Cronbach alpha coefficient of 0,64). Future literacy is an unknown concept and it was necessary to conceptualise the concept. No instrument to measure future literacy existed and it was necessary to compile such an instrument. A questionnaire consisting of 18 items was compiled to measure future literacy. Factor analysis revealed two factors that measured future literacy. Factor One was named Positive Mindset Towards Future Possibilities and Factor Two, Anticipating, Planning and Preparing for Future Changes. The Cronbach alpha for Factor One was 0,76 and 0,8 1 for the second factor. Results indicated statistical signiticant correlations (of a medium effect) between job insecurity, self-efficacy, dispositional optimism and work locus of control. Self-efficacy and dispositional optimism correlated negatively with job insecurity, indicating that job insecurity decreases as self-efficacy and dispositional optimism increases. The results also indicated a significant negative correlation (medium effect) between job insecurity and future literacy. This implies that as job insecurity decreases future literacy increases. The negative correlation between future literacy and job insecurity indicates that candidates who are future literate experience less job insecurity. When candidates with high and low scores on future literacy were compared with one another, candidates who scored low on all the scales of future literacy experienced high levels job insecurity. Candidates who demonstrated high levels of future literacy experienced significantly lower job insecurity. Black employees experienced significantly higher levels of future literacy when compared to White employees. Multiple regression analysis indicated that self-efficacy, dispositional optimism, work locus of control and future literacy predicted job insecurity when controlling for biographical variables. Limitations and recommendations regarding future research, as well as recommendations for the organisation were made.