Job insecurity and psychological well-being in a financial institution in Gauteng
Van Schalkwyk, Stephanie
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Organisations world-wide, but most especially in South Africa, are exposed to radical change in the economic, political, social, demographical and technological arenas. They are also exposed to the effects of the world economy, structural reforms and international competition which lead to transformations in the labour market. Consequently job insecurity became more wide spread as organisations engaged in downsizing, rightsizing, restructuring; or all three simultaneously, in an attempt to survive these difficult economic conditions. This changing world of work is perhaps most evident in changes in the psychological contract. Employees are expected to give more in terms of time, effort, skills, and flexibility, whereas they receive less in terms of career opportunities, lifetime employment, and job security. This violation of the psychological contract is likely to have dire consequences such as a reduction in work engagement, because it erodes the notion of reciprocity, which is crucial in maintaining well-being. Long-ten job insecurity will M e r more impact an employee's overall life situation since economic as well as other highly valued aspects of life will be perceived as being under threat. Thus job insecurity has the potential of becoming more stressful than job loss in that the coping process may be inhibited by the uncertainty of the event. Although the experience of job insecurity is a reality in the South African context as well as worldwide. Only a limited number of programmes were implemented in the past to address the problem. Furthermore, there is a lack of research regarding the causal (dispositional and situational) factors in job insecurity and the relationship with the psychological forces (sense of coherence, work locus of control and dispositional optimism) in the financial industry in South Africa (Gauteng). The objective of this study was to determine whether a relationship exists between job insecurity and psychological well-being which was measured in the form of sense of coherence, work locus of control and dispositional optimism. The research method proceeded by using a cross-sectional research design with a survey technique to collect data from a stratified, random sample of employees within various job levels of a financial institution in Gauteng. The measuring battery consisted of four questionnaires namely the Job Insecurity Questionnaire (JIQ), Sense of Coherence Scale (SOC-29), The Work Locus of Control Scale (WLOC) and the Life Orientation Test-Revised (LOT-R) Questionnaire. The data analysis were conducted with help of the a SAS-programme to perform statistical analysis regarding reliability and validity of the measuring instruments, descriptive statistics, t-tests, analysis of variance, correlation coefficients and regression analyses. Conclusions were drawn from the findings and recommendations were made for the organisation and future research.