Empowerment and job insecurity in a steel manufacturing organisation
Tjeku, Mkhambi Shadrack
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The South African work situation is continuously changing due to globalisation, and most organisations embark on strategies that are geared to ensure survival. The political economical, social and demographical situation of the country encourages the changing work environment to be aligned with the international community. Strategies and tactics such as structuring down sizing, re-organisation, and technological changes are deployed by most organisations with the hope of profit making, survival and to remain competitive in this changing world of work. While organisations embark on these strategies, employees are facing massive job loss, which results in employees experiencing feelings of job insecurity. Employees, who feel psychologically empowered through leadership empowering behaviour, endue a sense of job security and thus contribute towards a healthy work organisation. Employees from four business units in a steel-manufacturing organisation were targeted. The study population included employees the managerial and non-managerial categories. A cross-sectional survey design was used to obtain the research objectives. Three standardised questionnaires were used in the empirical study, namely Leader Empowering Behaviour Questionnaire, Job Insecurity Inventory and the Measuring Empowerment Questionnaire. The results indicated average mean scores on the scales of leader empowering behaviour, job insecurity and psychological empowerment when compared to previous studies. Strong negative correlations were found between leader empowering behaviour and job insecurity and between job insecurity and psychological empowerment. Strong positive correlation was found between leader empowering behaviour and psychological empowerment. Regression analyses showed that leader empowering behaviour predicts job insecurity and psychological empowerment. It was also found that job insecurity predicted psychological empowerment. This research indicates that leadership has a positive impact on employees' feelings of security and empowerment. Based on the results recommendations were made and can be implemented by this organisation.