Job insecurity, psychological empowerment and work engagement in a government organisation
Reynders, Edith Francina
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In South Africa, organisations are exposed to economical, political, social, demographical and technological forces that encourage change. Tremendous pressure is placed on organisations to improve their performance and increase their global competitiveness in this continuously changing world of work. As organisations focus on competition and profit margins, workers are confronted with real or anticipated job loss, causing many to feel insecure about their jobs and future work life. Employees who consider themselves empowered, experience reduced emotional strain. Empowered employees thus derive a sense of meaning from their work, and these results in work engagement. The entire population of employees working at a government organisation in Gauteng was targeted for this research. The study population included workers from all levels, ranging from semi-skilled to professionals. A cross-sectional survey design was used to obtain the research objectives. Three standardised questionnaires were used in the empirical study, namely the Job Insecurity Inventory, the Measuring Empowerment Questionnaire and the Utrecht Work Engagement scale. Results indicated lower levels of job insecurity, psychological empowerment and work engagement compared to previous studies. No correlations were found between job insecurity and psychological empowerment or between job insecurity and work engagement. Psychological empowerment showed a positive correlation with work engagement. Regression analysis indicated that meaning did not show a significant predictive value towards cognitive job insecurity, but indicated significant predictive value towards affective job insecurity and towards work engagement. Cognitive job insecurity predicted work engagement significantly. Conclusions and limitations of the current research were discussed and recommendations for future research were made.