Reduction of job Insecurity and Health Promotion Through Leadership Training in the Chemical Industry
1University of Innsbruck, Institute of Psychology, Austria
2University of Ulm, Department for Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, Germany
Background: Organizational restructuring is often accompanied by job insecurity. The fear of losing either the job (quantitative job insecurity) or important job features (qualitative job insecurity) is associated with mental (e.g., psychomental distress) and somatic health impairment (e.g., musculoskeletal disorders). Methods: Objectives of our longitudinal study were to examine the relation between job insecurity and psychomental health and to evaluate effects of a leadership intervention designed to reduce job insecurity during restructuring at the production site of a chemical company. Job insecurity and health indicators (e.g., anxiety, depression) were examined by well-established measures. A leadership training was developed and customized to the organization, subsuming health-oriented work design, change-oriented leadership, and stress management. Findings: N=46 supervisors participated in the program and N=140 employees in the questionnaire study at both measurement times (T1 before, T2 after intervention). Effects of the intervention were estimated by analysis of covariance (intervention vs. control group; T1 vs. T2). Conclusions: Results provide evidence for a causal relationship between job insecurity and health impairment. Moreover, the leadership intervention alleviated job insecurity and certain health problems. Limitations and recommendations for further interventions will be discussed.