From welfare to work : the impact of the jobseeker-adviser relationship on objective employment outcomes

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

Abstract

Employability research investigated within the context of welfare-to-work has predominantly been approached from a social policy or economic background. Resultant employability frameworks conceptualise the influence of supply- and demand-side variables on individual employment outcomes, more recently acknowledging the 'enabling' influence of government-led employability programmes on individual outcomes. However, despite policy literature professing the importance of the Personal Adviser in delivering tailored advice and guidance to long-term unemployed jobseekers attending employability programmes, their relationship with their jobseeker has been under-researched as a factor influencing employment outcomes. This thesis attempts to address that gap by suggesting that employability may be an individual outcome, but it is often the result of a collaborative effort.Situated within social exchange theory, this thesis examines the impact of the jobseeker-adviser psychological contract, in combination with a range of employability factors, in determining objective employment outcomes during the first six months of their social exchange. Hypotheses are tested using multi-source data obtained from jobseekers and advisers over two measurement phases. Phase 1 provides insight into 102 jobseeker-adviser dyads, with objective outcome data provided at Phase 2 for all dyads. Regression analysis demonstrates that key employability components predict objective employment outcomes; but so does the jobseeker-adviser psychological contract, specifically mutuality of jobseeker obligations.Measures of employability progression and psychological contract breach are captured and analysed at Phase 2, but with a smaller sample size of 42 jobseeker-adviser dyads; thus, not allowing for substantive generalisations to be made. Overall, findings highlight the importance of the jobseeker-adviser social exchange as a factor influencing employment outcomes, and as the first empirical thesis to test these hypotheses, further research directions can provide additional insight in the importance of social exchange in a welfare-to-work setting.
Date of Award27 May 2020
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde
SupervisorColin Lindsay (Supervisor) & Dora Scholarios (Supervisor)

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