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Who feels insecure in Europe?: Predicting job insecurity from background variables
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2003 (English)In: Economic and Industrial Democracy, ISSN 0143-831X, E-ISSN 1461-7099, Vol. 24, no 2, 189-215 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Along with the increased flexibilization of the labour market in Europe, there has been a change in the permanence and security of employment. Job insecurity is constituted by a subjectively experienced threat of having to give up one's job sooner than one would like. The experience of job insecurity has been linked to decreasing well-being, negative attitudes towards one's job and organization, and reluctance to stay with the organization. The present study investigates what groups experience higher levels of job insecurity than others. Survey data from four European countries (Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands and Sweden) were used to determine what characterizes individuals who experience high levels of job insecurity. The results show that employees in jobs characterized by manual labour, contingent workers, and to some extent older workers and those with lower levels of education, experience higher levels of job insecurity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2003. Vol. 24, no 2, 189-215 p.
Keyword [en]
demographics, European context, generalizability, job insecurity, predictors
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-23015DOI: 10.1177/0143831X03024002003OAI: diva2:189911
Available from: 2004-05-06 Created: 2004-05-06 Last updated: 2011-06-23Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Job insecurity from a stress perspective: Antecedents, consequences, and moderators
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Job insecurity from a stress perspective: Antecedents, consequences, and moderators
2004 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The trend in working life to lower costs by reducing personnel or employing staff on short-term basis has brought uncertainty to many employment situations. Job insecurity is a phenomenon that has received growing attention in research as well as in working life. The present thesis considers job insecurity as a stressor. The focus is on the individual’s appraisal and interpretation of the situation along with the interaction that occurs between the individual and the situational characteristics in the shaping of this appraisal. The overall purpose of the thesis is to shed light on the concept of job insecurity from the perspective of transactional theories of stress.

The first objective of the thesis was to differentiate job insecurity from objective indicators of uncertainty in terms of outcomes. The second objective was to examine the extent to which different background variables could explain job insecurity experiences. The third objective was to establish, using meta-analytic techniques, to what extent job insecurity has negative outcomes for the individual and the organization. The final objective was to investigate the influence of personality characteristics in the relation between job insecurity and stress reactions. Using data from four European countries, the results of the first study indicate that the individual’s perception of job insecurity was more detrimental to well-being than objective uncertainty. The second study showed that most demographics were weak or inconsistent predictors of job insecurity, but also that temporary employment and blue-collar work were associated with higher levels of job insecurity. The meta-analysis also confirms that job insecurity is indeed associated with negative outcomes for individuals and organizations. The last study showed that the influence of job insecurity cannot be attributed to the disposition of the person experiencing job insecurity. Future research should focus on factors that help the individual in dealing with this stressor.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Psykologiska institutionen, 2004. 86 p.
job insecurity, appraisal, work-related attitudes, mental health complaints, somatic complaints, personality characteristics
National Category
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-134 (URN)91-7265-849-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2004-05-27, David Magnussonsalen (U31), hus 8, Frescati hagväg 8, Stockholm, 10:00
Available from: 2004-05-06 Created: 2004-05-06Bibliographically approved

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