Purpose – The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between individual job insecurity and job insecurity climate over time.
Design/methodology/approach – Data were collected among readers of a Flemish Human Resources magazine. The data collection was repeated three times, resulting in a longitudinal dataset with information from 419 employees working in Flanders (Belgium). A cross-lagged design was used in which both individual job insecurity and job insecurity climate were modelled at all times and reciprocal relationships between these constructs could be investigated.
Findings – The results showed that perceptions of individual job insecurity were related to perceiving a climate of job insecurity six months later. However, no evidence was found for the effect of job insecurity climate on individual job insecurity. This suggests that job insecurity origins in the individual’s perceptions of job insecurity and subsequently spreads to include perceptions of job insecurity at the workplace.
Research limitations – Firstly, the data used in this study were collected solely by self-reports, which could have introduced a common method bias to the study. Secondly, as with all non-experimental studies, the possibility that a third variable could have affected the results cannot categorically be ruled out.
Practical implications – Managers and Human Resource-practitioners who wish to prevent job insecurity in organizations may consider focusing on individual job insecurity perceptions when planning preventive efforts.
Originality/value – By investigating the relationship between individual job insecurity and job insecurity climate over time, this study contributes to our understanding of job insecurity, both as an individual and a social phenomenon.