Academic journal article Ife Psychologia

The Impact of Length of Unemployment and Perceived Organisational Support on Employees' Socio-Emotional Needs

Academic journal article Ife Psychologia

The Impact of Length of Unemployment and Perceived Organisational Support on Employees' Socio-Emotional Needs

Article excerpt

This study examined the influence of length of unemployment and perceived organisational support on employee's socio-emotional needs. Two hundred participating employees for this study were from Petroleum servicing companies in South Western Nigeria. One hundred and fourteen (57%) of the subjects were males while eighty-six (43%) were females. The subjects' age ranges from 18 to 58 years with a mean age of 33.61. Using standardised measures, four hypotheses were tested and analysed on a 2 x 2 ANOVA. The result obtained showed significant main effects of length of unemployment and perceived organisational support on socio-emotional needs; [F (194, 1) = 9.40; P < .05; F (194, 2) = 33.84; P < .05]. The study however revealed no significant interaction effect of length of unemployment and perceived organisational support on socio-emotional needs (F (194, 2) = 0.35; P > .05). Finally, based on the findings of this research, it was recommended that since perceived organisational support has been revealed to increase employees socio-emotional needs, employers should care for the well being of their employees as it will be a bonus towards motivating them to be able to actualise the set goals and objectives of the organisation.

Key words: socio-emotional, unemployment, organizational support, employee

INTRODUCTION

No organisation can survive without employees. In the same vein, employees' survival depends on organisational existence. Organisational researchers have therefore noted that work is a very important part of the daily life of most people. One factor contributing to this has been the tendency to view unemployment as a negative life event and to label it as an acute stressor. In addition, employment (work) is closely linked with the status and personal identity of the individual in the society (Babalola, 1998). It is for this reasons that people tend to feel selfconscious about what they do for a living. Thus, not having a job or losing one may result in not only the loss of opportunity to earn wages and salaries but also loss of self-identity, which in turn may have a negative impact on the individual socio - emotional needs. The loss of a working role and the activities that work provides has been found to produce feeling of frustration, loneliness, anger and emasculation. Thus, according to Whelan (1992), the more prolonged the state of unemployment, the more intensified are these feelings. This study thus seeks to understand the psychological issues that result between lengths of unemployment on employees' socio- emotional needs.

Most research on needs for socio- emotional resources focus on individual personality while researches on unemployment focus on the psychological consequences it brings on its victim. Thus, the concept of social exchange as used by organisational researchers to describe the motivational basis behind employee behaviour will be of great benefit in linking socio- emotional resources and unemployment issues. Social exchange interpretation of employer-employee relationship maintained that workers trade efforts and loyalty (such as tangible incentives like pay or fringe benefits) for socio emotional benefits as esteem, approval and caring. The expectation is that employees that receive greater resources from their employers will be willing to compensate with higher level of performance due to the norm of reciprocity. Therefore, this study seeks to provide answer to the myriad of questions posed by literatures on socioemotional needs. Notwithstanding, this research will provide answers to the following questions: What is the link between perceived organisational support and socio- emotional needs? Is there any relationship between length of unemployment and socio- emotional needs?

LITERATURE REVIEW

A large number of reviews portray job loss as a highly stressful experience that provokes reactions among those who lose jobs such as anxiety, depression, and lowered physical health (Hanisch, 1999; Wanberg, Kammeyer- Mueller, & Shi, 2001). …

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