Several researchers have emphasized that the labour market is being restructured and characterized by more frequently occurring organizational changes. In this sense, it has also been maintained that employability is a gradually more important asset for individuals in contemporary working life. It has been argued that the modern way of job security should be seen in the light of employability, the so called employability security, where security comes from the feeling of being able to get a new job rather than from the feeling of maintaining the current employment position.
Employability is defined as an individual’s perception of his or her possibilities of getting new employment. Feeling employable thus reflects the perception of having great possibilities to get a new job, if necessary. In earlier research employability has been described as a concept depending on individual assets as well as contextual prerequisites. For instance, Fugate, Kinicki and Ashforth (2004) argued that employability is comprised of three distinct dimensions, one motivational component, one component reflecting adaptability and a third component formed by the human and social capital. Berntson, Sverke and Marklund (in press), on the other hand, argued that employability also shall be seen in the light of the context of the individual. Thus, national economic situation as well as local labour markets are important predictors of an individual’s employability.
Although the concept of employability has been argued to be dependent on individual assets, few or no studies have been made to investigate if employability is something else than a dispositional characteristic such as efficacy beliefs. It is important to know if employability shall be viewed as a dispositional factor or if it shall be seen as something apart from dispositional traits when it comes to reinforcing employability. The first aim of the present study is to investigate if employability is a concept distinct from self-efficacy. It is however also of importance to investigate if employability gives rise to efficacy beliefs or if it is feelings of efficacy that influence the levels of employability. A second aim, therefore, is to investigate if self-efficacy affects employability or the other way around.
Questionnaire data is being used comprising white-collar workers in a Swedish organization. The results of the initial confirmatory factor analysis (on Wave 1 data) indicate that employability is distinct from self-efficacy. Longitudinal data are being collected with the specific aim of performing a cross-lagged analysis. However, the cross-sectional data imply that the two concepts are positively correlated, indicating that individuals experiencing high levels of self-efficacy also report higher levels of employability.