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A CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF THE IMPACT OF JOB INSECURITY ON EMPLOYEE TURNOVER IN PRIVATE ORGANIZATIONS IN CAMEROON

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A CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF THE IMPACT OF JOB INSECURITY ON EMPLOYEE TURNOVER IN PRIVATE ORGANIZATIONS IN CAMEROON

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study

In recent years, job insecurity has become increasingly relevant for both individuals and organizations, drawing the attention of researchers such as Budworth (2019). It's commonly assumed that the uncertainty employees face regarding the possibility of losing their jobs has negative effects. On an individual level, this uncertainty can harm both physical and mental health, while on an organizational level, it can influence work behaviors and attitudes negatively. The repercussions of job insecurity extend beyond the personal sphere to have significant societal implications. Additionally, when individuals are unable to plan for the future due to job insecurity, it not only impacts their own lives but also affects broader society. Greenhalgh & Rosenblatt (2019) define job insecurity as the perceived inability to maintain desired continuity in a job that is under threat. Similarly, Sverke, Hellgren & Naswall (2020) describe it as an employee's perception of a potential threat to the continuation of their current job. It's generally understood as a broad concern about the future existence of a job (Sverke & Hellgren, 2022). Sverke et al. (2020), drawing on the work of Greenhalgh & Rosenblatt (2019) among others, assert that job insecurity stems from individual perceptions and interpretations of the immediate work environment. They suggest that subjective feelings of threat arise from objective circumstances through individual cognitive processes. Furthermore, Pearce (2018) identifies temporary employment as an objective form of job insecurity, characterized by a predetermined probability that workers will retain the same job in the foreseeable future. Essentially, job insecurity refers to the apprehension experienced by employed individuals who fear losing their jobs, often synonymous with the threat of unemployment. High levels of unemployment within a society can exacerbate this sense of insecurity. Additionally, job insecurity and turnover within an organization can stem from various factors, such as layoffs due to financial constraints, restructuring, or the implementation of new technology that reduces the need for human labor (Ashford et al, 2019). When an organization fails to meet employees' needs in areas like career advancement, promotions, rewards, working conditions, salaries, health and safety provisions, or welfare packages, employees may feel their jobs are threatened and seek better opportunities elsewhere. Beyond that, age can also play a role in job insecurity, as older employees who may be perceived as less productive could be targeted for layoffs during cost-cutting measures. Conversely, length of service could provide some job security, as long-tenured employees may be less likely to face termination. However, they could still feel threatened if the organization needs to reduce overhead costs, as their higher salaries or proximity to retirement may make them prime candidates for layoffs (De Cuyper & De Witte, 2019). Similarly, poor work environment can significantly contribute to job insecurity and employee turnover. Also, external factors such as political instability, government regulations, and economic recessions contribute to job insecurity by creating uncertainty and instability in the job market (Silla et al., 2019). These factors are beyond an organization's control but can still negatively affect its performance. Nevertheless, effective communication is essential in addressing job insecurity and improving employee retention. Despite numerous studies on job insecurity, organizational commitment and employee turnover, however, the relationship between these constructs is still not clear. Therefore, a survey will be conducted in order to critically analyze the impact of job insecurity on employee turnover in private organizations in Cameroon.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Over the past decades, employees in Cameroon have experienced job insecurity in diverse businesses for a multitude of reasons. Some of the factors contributing to this phenomenon are mergers and acquisitions, particularly within the private sector. The organisation faced challenges due to a lack of adequate capital, ineffective financial processes, the necessity for re-engineering and automation, a lack of necessary skills among employees, and budgetary limitations for management. In addition to this, many employers are letting go of their employees due to economic factors and the failure of some workers to adapt to the evolving demands of the labour market. The current situation presents a potential challenge and threat to employees across all industries who are uncertain about their future due to layoffs and early retirement. This uncertainty could also impact the organization's performance.  Furthermore, Greenhalgh and Rosenblatt (2018) demonstrated that employees respond to feelings of job insecurity, and these responses have implications for the overall functioning of the business. However, in response to the recent global economic recession, many organizations have turned to employing part-time workers and contract staff as a cost-cutting measure. This has led to a decrease in the number of full-time employees, leaving many unsure about the security of their jobs due to the various challenges organizations are facing. There's often a significant focus on maximizing profits for employers and shareholders, sometimes at the expense of workers.In private organization, employees are often under pressure to attract high-value customers or client with substantial accounts, or risk losing their jobs. Additionally, some employees may lack the necessary qualifications or background for their roles, and training programs are not always given the priority they deserve in many organizations (Staufenbiel & König, 2020). This lack of adequate training can lead to inefficiencies in job performance, further contributing to job insecurity and turnover among employees. It is in the light of these that the study seeks to critically analyze the impact of job insecurity on employee turnover in private organizations in Cameroon.

1.3 Objectives of the Study

The main purpose of this study is to critically analyze the impact of job insecurity on employee turnover in private organizations in Cameroon. Specifically, the study will;

Investigate the causes of job insecurity and employee turnover from employee perspective .

Examine if there is relationship between job insecurity and organization performance 

Examine if there is relationship between job insecurity and employee turnover. 

Assess the impact of job insecurity on employee turnover in private organizations in Cameroon.

1.4 Research Questions

The following questions have been prepared for the study:

What are the causes of job insecurity and employee turnover?

Is there a relationship between job insecurity and organizational performance?

Is there a relationship between job insecurity and employee turnover?

What is the impact of job insecurity on employee turnover in private organizations in Cameroon?

1.5 Research Hypotheses

Ho: There is no significant impact of job insecurity on employee turnover in private organizations in Cameroon.

Ha: There is a significant impact of job insecurity on employee turnover in private organizations in Cameroon.

1.6 Significance of the Study

The study findings will help leaders and managers in private organization implement measures to enhance job security, such as transparent communication about organizational changes, providing opportunities for upskilling and reskilling, and fostering a supportive work environment. Additionally, employees will be empowered to  advocate for measures that enhance job security in the  organization. Furthermore, subsequent researchers will use it as a literature review. This means that other students who may decide to conduct studies in this area will have the opportunity to use this study as available literature that can be subjected to critical review. Invariably, the result of the study contributes immensely to the body of academic knowledge with regard to the impact of job insecurity on employee turnover in private organizations in Cameroon.

1.6 Scope of the study

The scope of this study is boarded on the impact of job insecurity on employee turnover in private organizations in Cameroon. Empirically, this study will investigate the causes of job insecurity and employee turnover, examine if there is relationship between job insecurity and organization performance, examine if there is relationship between job insecurity and employee turnover and assess the impact of job insecurity on employee turnover in private organizations.

Geographically, the study will be delimited to entire staff of some selected private organizations in Cameroon

1.7 Limitation of the study

In the course of carrying out this study, the researcher experienced some constraints, which included time constraints, financial constraints, language barriers, and the attitude of the respondents. In addition, there was the element of researcher bias. Here, the researcher possessed some biases that may have been reflected in the way the data was collected, the type of people interviewed or sampled, and how the data gathered was interpreted thereafter. The potential for all this to influence the findings and conclusions could not be downplayed. 

More so, the findings of this study are limited to the sample population in the study area, hence they may not be suitable for use in comparison to other schools, local governments, states, and other countries in the world.

1.9 Definition of Terms

Employee turnover: the rate at which employees leave an organization and need to be replaced. 

Job insecurity: refers to employees' perceptions of uncertainty regarding the stability and continuity of their employment.

Organizational performance: the extent to which a company achieves its strategic objectives, fulfills its mission, and meets stakeholder expectations.


This material content is developed to serve as a GUIDE for students to conduct academic research



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