Arbeitsplatzunsicherheit bei Auszubildenden im nationalen und internationalen Kontext

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Title: Arbeitsplatzunsicherheit bei Auszubildenden im nationalen und internationalen Kontext
Authors: Seppelfricke, Thomas
Thesis advisor: Prof. Dr. Thomas Staufenbiel
Thesis referee: Prof. Dr. Cornelius König
Abstract: Recent research into job insecurity (JI) features a greater tendency to undertake target group-specific investigations into the construct, in view of the growing diversity in the world of work. The present doctoral thesis focuses on a group that previous research into JI has so far failed to investigate fully, namely apprentices. The past disregard of this group is surprising, considering that young adults are at greater risk of unemployment than the average gainfully employed person (cf. de Witte, 2007). To meet the research objective of the present study, a JI tool validated by Staufenbiel et al. (2009), used to distinguish between four JI components within a 2*2 design, was modified for the target group of apprentices. In line with Borg and Elizur (1992), a differentiation was made between a cognitive and an affective JI component; furthermore, in line with Hellgren et al. (1999), quantitative JI involving the complete loss of employment was separated from qualitative JI, involving the aversive change of valued job features. In the first study, a survey was conducted amongst apprentices (a total of n = 392, from vocations requiring training in the areas of trade, crafts, industry and health care) at various vocational schools in the City of Osnabrück. Within the longitudinal design, potential antecedents and consequences of JI were gathered from these apprentices on two survey dates (T1: one year before completing the apprenticeship; T2: three to four months before completing the apprenticeship). Confirmatory analysis revealed the best fit for a two-factor model that differentiated between a cognitive and an affective JI component. Since qualitative items failed to be established on separate subcomponents within the structural analyses, as conceptually planned, these items were neglected, and further work was conducted using quantitative items only. The two-factorial structure of JI (cognitive versus affective) determined in the first study was replicated in the other two studies undertaken within the doctoral thesis. The longitudinal analyses conducted by structural equation modelling demonstrated that occupational self-efficacy and employability are the best predictors of cognitive and affective JI components, respectively. In the second study, an exhaustive survey was conducted amongst the apprentices of a large industrial group operating in the metal-working industry. These apprentices were practising various craft occupations that require training. In contrast to the preliminary study, the apprentices were at different stages of their apprenticeship at the time of the survey, enabling potential differences in levels of JI in the course of training to be determined. Furthermore, the second study focused solely on JI consequences. In addition to data provided by the apprentices, behavioural data such as absence data and the apprentices’ performance appraisals by their respective company trainer were also drawn on. The trajectory of JI in the course of the apprenticeship showed that JI was felt the least in the first year of training and the most in the penultimate year. In the third study, the focus on JI amongst apprentices was extended to the international context. To this end, around 100 wholesale trade apprentices were surveyed in each of three European countries that feature very different training systems, namely, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain. While vocational training in Germany is traditionally offered as a dual system in which apprentices attend vocational school and work at the company in roughly equal parts, practical elements are less predominant in the Netherlands and are substituted fully by full-time school education in Spain. In addition to demonstrating the psychometric adequacy of the JI tool, its metric measurement invariance for samples taken amongst apprentices from the three countries was also shown in the international comparative analyses. Furthermore, employability was established as the most significant predictor of both JI components in all three countries. All in all, the results of the doctoral thesis confirm that JI is a considerable stressor for apprentices in the national and international context. The doctoral thesis concludes with a summary of the topic’s relevance in international education policy in view of the prevailing sustained high youth unemployment. With regard to methodology, diary studies are recommended for future study designs to enable the better estimation of JI covariations over time.
Subject Keywords: job insecurity; apprentices; vocational education; training company; cross-lagged panel analysis; international comparison
Issue Date: 6-Nov-2013
Type of publication: Dissertation oder Habilitation [doctoralThesis]
Appears in Collections:FB08 - E-Dissertationen

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