Background and Aim The South African higher education sector has undergone numerous changes over the past years due to external factors such as globalisation, managerialism and neo-liberalism (Ntshoe, Higgs, Higgs&Wolhuter, 2008). Furthermore De Villiers and Steyn (2009) add that state funding of higher education in South Africa has been decreased to such an extent that higher education institutions (HEI’s) have been unable to parallel the increase in the number of students enrolled per year. As mentioned by Mouton (2010) universities in sub-Saharan Africa continue to operate under conditions which are seriously under-resourced, which poses significant challenges for the scholars concerned. The changes in the Higher Education Institutional environment have forced HEI’s to increase their level of output in terms of: enrollments, qualifications awarded, research output and institution size and number of disadvantaged students (De Villiers&Steyn, 2009) in order to remain competitive. The number of changes in performance outputs as well as the growing market for competitive higher education (HE) has greatly impacted the job demands of academics in South Africa. The environment in which academics in South Africa function now demands more of them than in previous years. For example the employment relationship has changed (i.e. teacher-driven to student-driven), altering the type of work that people do, when they work and how much they do (Barkhuizen, Rothmann&Van de Vijver, in press). Accordingly, it appears that the job demands of academics have escalated, whilst the levels of support and other resources have declined. The objective of this study was to investigate whether job demands and resources are significant predictors of dispositional employability of academics in South Africa. Method A cross–sectional research design was followed. The Job Characteristics Scale developed by Barkhuizen and Rothman (2005) and the Dispositional Measure of Employability (Fugate&Kinicki, 2008) were used as measures in this study. A total of 360 questionnaires were sent out to the sample, of which 158 completed questionnaires were received, but only 146 of these responses could be used for data analyses. This represents a 40.55% response rate. Results The results showed that there is a significant relationship between job demands and the change identity of the academics and that job demands do act as a predictor of the dispositional employability of academics in terms of their change identity. No significant relationship between the job resources and the dispositional employability of the academics were found, however all of the dimensions of DE had a positive relationship with job resources. A significant relationship between job demands and the ethnicity, home language, age, the respondent’s job level and the number of hours they work was found. However, no statistically significant differences were found within gender, qualifications, job categories, years in service and the number of years in current positions. According to the results the white ethnic group experiences higher job demands than the black ethic group. Furthermore respondents speaking either Afrikaans or English experience higher job demands then respondents speaking indigenous languages. In relation to this, the age group 50 to 59 experience higher job demands compared to that of the age group 20-29. Associate professors experience higher job demands than junior lecturers. No significant relationship between the academics’ perception of their job resources and their demographic characteristics was found. There are significant differences between the DE of the academics and their ethnicity, home language, job category, years in service and hours of work. No statistically significant differences were found within gender, age, qualifications, job level or years in the current position. The Black ethnic group indicates higher levels of resilience and motivation compared to the other ethnic groups, and indigenous languages have higher levels of resilience compared to the other two language groups. Academics that function as both researchers and lecturers have higher levels of career proactivity compared to the academics that function only as a researcher or lecturer. Respondents that have been in the industry for between zero to 10 years have a higher level of resilience compared to the respondents who have served for longer. The working hours of group four (between 31 to 40 hours) show higher levels of resilience compared to the other groups.
Dissertation (MCom)--University of Pretoria, 2013.