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Unformatted text preview: 1999) found that during the 1990s workers were more fearful
of job loss and were less optimistic about the possibility of ﬁnding new employment than
they had been in twenty years. Schmidt and Svorny (1998) found that the decline in a sense
of job security correlated with a rise in “involuntary separations” as opposed to employees
quitting. Stuart Walesh (1997) argued that the point at which “job security die[d]” was in
early 1996 when AT&T announced a substantial reduction in force, laying off more than
ﬁfty thousand employees. Subsequent to that action, other companies began to reduce their
workforces as well. The result was perceived loss of job security among American workers.
Walesh concludes his article with a series of recommendations to prepare workers for the
eventual loss of a job. Bobic and Davis A Kind Word for Theory X Those recommendations, interestingly enough, include making contacts in other companies. In other words, Walesh inadvertently linked the loss of job security to a strategy
which involved decreased loyalty to one’s company based on the assumption that the company would no longer be loyal to employees (for a similar analysis of that AT&T layoff, see
Ciulla 2000, 153). The impact of lesser job security and lesser job loyalty has altered employee perceptions about what they seek from jobs.
For instance, the Hart survey indicated that workers preferred job security to “ﬁnding
the ideal job” by a margin of three to one. When asked to choose whether they preferred
having a job that provided greater ﬁnancial success but also had greater risks or a job with
fewer monetary rewards and fewer risks, 58 percent chose the stable job with fewer risks.
Only when risk was not at issue did 54 percent indicate that they preferred a job that allowed them to use their talents and “make a difference” as opposed to a job that provided a
good income and good beneﬁts (Hart and Associates 1998). Ciulla (2000, 232) found a similar pattern, particularly among younger employees. As employees perceive the workplace
to be less secure, they consequently desire and value secur...
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