Academic journal article Ife Psychologia

Financial Hardship and Subjective Norms as Predictors of Job Seeking Behaviour among Unemployed Youths in Oyo State, Nigeria

Academic journal article Ife Psychologia

Financial Hardship and Subjective Norms as Predictors of Job Seeking Behaviour among Unemployed Youths in Oyo State, Nigeria

Article excerpt


Due to the worldwide economic crisis in recent years, increasingly more people are faced with unemployment and job loss. Job search has become so pervasive and frequent that it is considered to be an integral part of people's work life (Wanberg, 2012). Scholarly interest in job search behaviour has received increased attention in the past two decades (Boswell, Zimmerman & Swider, 2012).

A considerable body of research has demonstrated the importance of job search behaviour as the key determinant of finding (re) employment (Kanfer, Wanberg & Kantrowitz, 2001). Several studies have investigated the predictors of job search behaviour in samples of unemployed people (for example, Feather & O'Brien, 1987; Wanberg, 1997; Wanberg, Kanfer & Rotundo, 1999 ; Kulik, 2000; Wanberg, Kanfer & Banas, 2000 ; Wanberg, Hough & Song 2002; Van Hooft, Born, Tads & Van Der Flier 2004).

One of the determinant theories for predicting job search behaviour has been the theory of planned behaviour (TPB; Ajzen, 1991), which posits that people will be more likely to engage in job search behaviour when they have formed stronger intention to do so. Empirical findings have supported the applicability of the TPB for predicting job search behavior among job seekers. (Van Hooft et al, 2004a, 2004b , Van Hooft ,Born, Tads & Van Der Flier, 2005; Wanberg, Glomb, Song & Sorenson, 2005;Song, Wanberg, Niu & Xie, 2006;Van Hooft & De Jong 2009;; Zikic & Saks, 2009). In addition, the TPB has proven to be useful for predicting job search behaviour in number of different countries including the Netherlands (Van Hooft et al, 2004a), the United States (Wanberg et al, 2005), China (Song et al, 2006) and Canada (Zikic & Saks, 2009).

From the preponderant of research evidences above and the research comparing job search behaviour for both employed and unemployed people (Van Hooft et al, 2004, Kanfer, 2001) which provided evidence that relations among variables in different job search contexts and sample types may differ significantly, this study therefore attempts to investigate if job search behaviour of unemployed youths in Oyo State, Nigeria could be predicted by financial hardship and subjective norms. This study also aims at determining which of the predictor variables is the most potent in the prediction of the criterion variable.

Job Search Predictors

Saks (2005) indicates that predictors of job search behaviour can be classified into three main categories.They are situational variables, individual difference variables and biographical variables.

Situational predictors comprise job seekers' perception of the situation and include financial hardship and subjective norms (Kanfer et al, 2001; Van Dam & Menting, 2012; Saks, 2005; Wanberg et al, 1996).

Individual difference variables refer to characteristics of the job seeker, such as personality variables (e.g., self-esteem), motivational factors (e.g., self-efficacy) and attitudes toward employment and work (e.g., employment commitment) (Saks, 2005; Wanberg et al, 1996). The last category of predictors distinguished by Saks (2005) as biographical variables include gender, age, education and race. In this study, situational variables (Financial hardship & Subjective norms) are focused upon.

Financial Hardship

Financial hardship refers to the extent of difficulties one is experiencing as consequence of inadequate financial resources. According to economic utility theory, financial hardship is one of the main motivators for searching for a job. Financial hardship could also be referred to as job seekers' subjective sense that they lack the resources to meet their personal and family needs; this can strongly affect their psychological well being thereby propelling them into more effortful job search. Job seekers who are facing greater financial difficulties have greater need to find work and will therefore search more intensely in order to find a new job faster compared to job seekers who have financial resources such as unemployment benefits (Wanberg et al, 1999 ; Kanfer et al, 2001; Saks et al, 2005). …

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