Bringing multiple job holding out of the moonlight : understanding the heterogeneity of multiple job holders in Aotearoa New Zealand : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Management at Massey University, Albany, New Zealand
Multiple job holding is a form of non-standard work for which research reports mixed experiences for those individuals involved. It has been suggested that heterogeneity among multiple job holders may explain the divergence in reported experiences. The aim of this research was to explore this heterogeneity to develop a meaningful, nuanced method for conceptualising multiple job holders which can be utilised for future research, policy development and practice.
A two-study, mixed methods research design was utilised. As a methodological precursor to the main study (study two), an investigation was undertaken to shed light on how multiple job holders select their ‘main job’ (a requirement in most quantitative research in this area) as the traditional methods for this selection were considered somewhat arbitrary and potentially inaccurate. Thus, a semi-structured interview design using vignettes was employed to explore the criteria used by multiple job holders when directed to select a main job. Study one concluded that an extensive array of criteria were used and therefore one main job indicator should not be imposed universally. Rather, the most appropriate method should be to allow individuals to self-select their main job, while at the same time capturing their rationale for the selection.
Incorporating this method of main job indicator selection, the second and main study utilised a quantitative cross-sectional survey design that captured situational variables and outcomes. Latent class analysis showed that, based upon their situational factors, four distinct types of multiple job holder were identified. These ranged from those with markedly positive situations (the privileged type) and in contrast, those forced into the practice with negative situations (the compelled type). Furthermore, and as predicted, the more negative types experienced more adverse outcomes.
This research achieves its intended purpose around conceptualising the diverse types of multiple job holder that exist. Specifically, it advances knowledge about multiple job holding by suggesting that these people constitute a highly heterogeneous population – one that should not be subject to generalisations or assumptions – and that their experiences appear to be shaped by the nature of their situations. In doing so, the research provides a more nuanced illustration of these unique groups of individuals that can be utilised by future researchers, policymakers and practitioners/employers alike to more appropriately understand multiple job holders.