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Job insecurity from a stress perspective: Antecedents, consequences, and moderators
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
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.
Keyword [en]
job insecurity, appraisal, work-related attitudes, mental health complaints, somatic complaints, personality characteristics
National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-134ISBN: 91-7265-849-5 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-134DiVA: diva2:189914
Public defence
2004-05-27, David Magnussonsalen (U31), hus 8, Frescati hagväg 8, Stockholm, 10:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2004-05-06 Created: 2004-05-06Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. ‘Objective’ vs. ‘Subjective’ job insecurity: Consequences of temporary work for job satisfaction and organizational commitment in four European countries
Open this publication in new window or tab >>‘Objective’ vs. ‘Subjective’ job insecurity: Consequences of temporary work for job satisfaction and organizational commitment in four European countries
2003 (English)In: Economic and Industrial Democracy, ISSN 0143-831X, E-ISSN 1461-7099, Vol. 24, no 2, 149-188 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This contribution analyses whether temporary work and (the subjective perception of) job insecurity are associated with a reduction in job satisfaction and organizational commitment, as proposed in the literature. An interaction between temporary work and job insecurity is also tested. Data from four European countries (Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy and Sweden) are used to test the robustness of the hypotheses. The results show that temporary work is not associated with a reduction in job satisfaction and organizational commitment. Job insecurity is associated with a lower score on both outcome variables, as hypothesized. In two countries, an interaction was found: job insecurity was only associated with a reduction in job satisfaction and organizational commitment among workers with a permanent contract, suggesting that the psychological contract was violated for this category of workers.

Keyword
European comparison, job insecurity, job satisfaction, organizational commitment, temporary work
National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-23014 (URN)10.1177/0143831X03024002002 (DOI)
Available from: 2004-05-06 Created: 2004-05-06 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved
2. Who feels insecure in Europe?: Predicting job insecurity from background variables
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Who feels insecure in Europe?: Predicting job insecurity from background variables
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.

Keyword
demographics, European context, generalizability, job insecurity, predictors
National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-23015 (URN)10.1177/0143831X03024002003 (DOI)
Available from: 2004-05-06 Created: 2004-05-06 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved
3. No security: A meta-analysis and review of job insecurity and its consequences
Open this publication in new window or tab >>No security: A meta-analysis and review of job insecurity and its consequences
2002 (English)In: Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, ISSN 1076-8998, E-ISSN 1939-1307, Vol. 7, no 3, 242-264 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Meta-analytic techniques were used to estimate how job insecurity relates to its postulated outcomes. Consistent with the conceptual framework, the results indicate that job insecurity has detrimental consequences for employees' job attitudes, organizational attitudes, health, and, to some extent, their behavioral relationship with the organization. Moderator analyses suggest that these relationships may be underestimated in studies relying on single-item measures of job insecurity and that the behavioral consequences of insecurity are more detrimental among manual, as compared with nonmanual, workers. Recommendations made for future research include utilization of multidimensional measures, consideration of a broader spectrum of outcomes and moderators, and use of longitudinal designs.

Keyword
Employee Attitudes, Health, Job Security, Occupational Attitudes, Personnel, Organizations
National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-23016 (URN)10.1037/1076-8998.7.3.242 (DOI)
Available from: 2004-05-06 Created: 2004-05-06 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved
4. The moderating role of personality characteristics on the relation between job insecurity and strain
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The moderating role of personality characteristics on the relation between job insecurity and strain
2005 (English)In: Work & Stress, ISSN 0267-8373, E-ISSN 1464-5335, Vol. 19, no 1, 37-49 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The experience of job insecurity has been linked to several different outcomes, such as negative attitudes towards work and the organization, turnover intention, as well as health complaints. However, since the strength of these effects have been found to vary across studies, it is vital to identify factors that could influence the relationships. The present study examines the moderating role of three personality characteristics (negative affectivity, positive affectivity, and external locus of control) on the relation between job insecurity and outcomes (mental health complaints, job dissatisfaction, and job-induced tension). Data from 400 nurses at a Swedish acute care hospital (response rate 71%; 91% women, aged 20-68 years) showed that both job insecurity and personality were related to strain. Also, the data indicated some buffering effect of personality. Despite the gender bias of the sample, the study provides additional support for the notion that job insecurity affects strain even after controlling for individual characteristics. The study also expands the literature on job insecurity by pointing out the influence of personality characteristics on the relationship between stressors and strain.

Keyword
Job insecurity, job stress, nurses, personality characteristics, mental well-being, strain
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-23017 (URN)10.1080/02678370500057850 (DOI)
Available from: 2004-05-06 Created: 2004-05-06 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved

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