A longitudinal study of the impact of privatization and reorganization was carried out on 397 employees of a regional water authority in Great Britain. The employees were surveyed over three stages during the organization's transition from a public to a private company. Dependent variables included measures of job satisfaction, and mental and physical health; independent variables included measures of perceived uncertainty, locus of control, Type A behaviour and trait neuroticism. The sample was broken down into three broad categories of employees: staff and administrative grades; management; and manual workers. The results supported a number of the original hypotheses. First, significant differences between the three occupational levels were observed over all three stages of the survey on measures of job satisfaction; second, that systematic variation in the scores on these measures occurred over the periods of transition within the organization, this hypothesis was partially supported by the finding that significant within‐subject variance was observed in job satisfaction both during the eight‐month period which encompassed privatization and also in the second period of 12 months during which reorganization took place. This was characterized by a decline in job satisfaction in the period during which privatization took place and an upturn in the period prior to and following the reorganization. Furthermore significant variation in self‐reported physical health symptoms was observed for the period prior to and following the privatization. Finally, employees' locus of control and their perceptions of uncertainty were shown to partially account for the degree of variation in measures over this period.
Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology – Wiley
Published: Mar 1, 1995
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