Original Research

Work stressors, job insecurity, union support, job satisfaction and safety outcomes within the iron ore mining environment

Nicolaas W.H. Smit, Leon T. de Beer, Jaco Pienaar
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 14, No 1 | a719 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v14i1.719 | © 2016 Nicolaas W.H. Smit, Leon T. de Beer, Jaco Pienaar | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 28 May 2015 | Published: 19 August 2016

About the author(s)

Nicolaas W.H. Smit, WorkWell Research Unit, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa
Leon T. de Beer, WorkWell Research Unit, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa
Jaco Pienaar, WorkWell Research Unit, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa


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Abstract

Orientation: The study of work stressors, job insecurity and union support creates opportunity for iron ore mining organisations to manage job satisfaction and safety motivation and behaviour more effectively.

Research purpose: The objective of this study was to investigate the relationship between work stressors, job insecurity, union support, job satisfaction and safety motivation and behaviour of a sample of iron ore mine workers in South Africa.

Motivation for the study: The mining industry in general is often faced with hazardous and physically demanding working environments, where employees work under constant pressure. Work stressors, job insecurity, union support and job satisfaction are considered key variables when investigating effective means of managing safety.

Research design, approach and method: A cross-sectional survey design was utilised to collect the data. A convenience sample of employees in the iron ore mining industry of South Africa (N = 260) were included. Structural equation modelling and bootstrapping resampling analysis were used to analyse the data.

Main findings: Work stressors and job insecurity were found to be negatively associated with job satisfaction. Conversely, perceived union support was positively associated with job satisfaction and safety motivation and behaviour. Furthermore, job satisfaction mediated the relationship between union support and safety motivation and behaviour.

Practical/managerial implications: Mining organisations can, by placing the focus on reducing work stressors, and promoting job security and union support, achieve higher levels of safety motivation and behaviour through job satisfaction.

Contribution/value-add: A great deal of independent research on work stressors, job insecurity, union support, job satisfaction as well as safety motivation and behaviour has already been done. To date, very little empirical research exists that simultaneously considers all these constructs. This study brought together these lines of research.


Keywords

work stress; role conflict; role overload; role clarity; job insecurity; union support; job satisfaction; safety motivation; safety behaviour; safety compliance; mine workers; structural equation modelling

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