Original Research

Uncertainty as a moderator of the relationship between job satisfaction and occupational stress

Hlanganipai Ngirande, Themba O. Mjoli
SA Journal of Industrial Psychology | Vol 46 | a1676 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajip.v46i0.1676 | © 2020 Hlanganipai Ngirande, Themba Q. Mjoli | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 31 March 2019 | Published: 28 July 2020

About the author(s)

Hlanganipai Ngirande, Department of Industrial Psychology, University of Fort Hare, Alice, South Africa
Themba O. Mjoli, Department of Industrial Psychology, University of Fort Hare, Alice, South Africa


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Abstract

Orientation: Organisations need to manage the behaviours and attitudes of their workforce to remain competitive, effective and efficient. Therefore, it is important to understand job dissatisfaction and stress levels to minimise their negative effect on both individuals and the organisation as a whole.

Research purpose: The study sought to compare the levels of job satisfaction and occupational stress of employees in merged and non-merged higher learning institutions and investigated the moderating role of uncertainty in the relationship between job satisfaction and occupational stress.

Motivation for the study: The study aimed to contribute a new model to explain the role of uncertainty in job satisfaction and occupational stress.

Research approach/design and method: The study used a quantitative survey research technique. A total sample of 424 respondents completed a self-administered questionnaire.

Main findings: Employees in both merged and non-merged institutions were satisfied but showed differed levels of occupational stress. No relationship was found between job satisfaction or uncertainty and occupational stress. Furthermore, uncertainty significantly moderated the relationship between job satisfaction and occupational stress.

Practical/managerial implications: Human resource managers should reduce the uncertainty of employees to increase job satisfaction and reduce the negative effects of occupational stress.

Contribution/value-add: Recommendations from the study could assist management to monitor the behaviours and attitudes of employees during and after organisational change. The study also contributed to the body of knowledge as no single study of this nature has been carried out in South African higher learning institutions.


Keywords

Job insecurity; higher education institutions; satisfaction; stress; academics; uncertainty.

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