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The mediating effect of situational sense of coherence on the relationship between job insecurity and general health : a comparative study
Grant, Desireé Chantelle
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Tremendous pressure is being placed on organisations to improve their work performance and to become increasingly competitive. In order to survive in a highly competitive economy, organisations in both the public and the private sector are undergoing major re-structuring and can no longer guarantee employees with life time employment, thus leading to job insecurity. A relatively large amount of research can be found in the literature regarding the relationship between job insecurity and various outcomes, for example, reduced job satisfaction and organisational commitment, and reduced well-being. Limited research has, however, been conducted on possible mediators of the job insecurity - outcomes relationship. Such research may be useful for the development of programmes to reduce the negative impacts of job insecurity. The primary objectives of this research were to investigate the relationship between job insecurity and general health of employees (N = 337) in both the public and the private sector, as well as to determine whether situational sense of coherence mediates the relationship between job insecurity and general health. A further objective was to compare the job insecurity levels of public and private sector employees. A cross-sectional survey design was used. Constructs were measured by means of the Job Insecurity Questionnaire (JIQ), the Orientation to Life Questionnaire (Form S), the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) and a biographical questionnaire. Results indicated that a practically-significant relationship exists between job insecurity and general health, implying that high levels of job insecurity are associated with ill health (as displayed in somatic symptoms, anxiety and insomnia, and social dysfunction). Regression analyses confirmed the partially mediating effect of situational sense of coherence on the relationship between job insecurity and general health. It was also found that public sector employees displayed higher levels of affective job insecurity than their private sector counterparts. Conclusions and recommendations were made