Job insecurity and general health of employees in a government organisation in the Free State
Snoer, Susanna Aletta
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Changes such as economic uncertainty, global competition, and an increase in mergers and acquisitions in the past decade have forced organisations to improve organisational effectiveness and streamline operations through downsizing, outsourcing, and restructuring. These actions are associated with large scale workforce reductions. For many employees these changes in working life cause feelings of insecurity of the nature and future existence of their jobs. Interest in the experiences of job loss, job insecurity and stressors associated with organisational restructuring, merging and downsizing has grown considerably during the past few years. The primary objective of this study was to determine the relationship between job insecurity and general health of employees working in a government organisation in the Free State. A cross-sectional survey design was used. A stratified random sample was taken from various occupational levels of a government organisation in the Free State. A total of 130 employees were included of which 83 participants responded. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyse the data. The Job Insecurity Inventory (JII), the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ), as well as a biographical questionnaire were utilised for the purpose of the study. Results confirmed the reliability and validity of the various measuring instruments. Affective job insecurity showed an association with increased levels of social dysfunction, anxiety and sleeplessness and severe depression. Cognitive job insecurity was however not found to correlate with any of the GHQ subscales. Multiple regression analyses indicated that affective job insecurity holds predictive value with regard to severe depression (12%), as well as social dysfunction (10%). Conclusions were made, limitations of the current research were discussed and recommendations for future research were put forward.