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Job insecurity climate: The nature of the construct, its associations with outcomes, and its relation to individual job insecurity
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. (Avdelningen för arbets- och organisationspsykologi)
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Work is an essential part of most people’s lives. With increasing flexibility in work life, many employees experience job insecurity – they perceive that the future of their jobs is uncertain. However, job insecurity is not just an individual experience; employees can perceive that there is a climate of job insecurity at their workplace as well, as people collectively worry about their jobs. The overall aim of this thesis was to investigate the job insecurity climate construct and how it relates to work- and health-related outcomes and to individual job insecurity. Three empirical studies were conducted to investigate this aim. Study I investigated the dimensionality of the job insecurity construct by developing and testing a measure of job insecurity climate − conceptualized as the individual’s perception of the job insecurity climate at work − in a sample of employees working in Sweden. The results indicated that individual job insecurity and job insecurity climate are separate but related constructs and that job insecurity climate was related to work- and health-related outcomes. Study II examined the effects of individual job insecurity and job insecurity climate on work- and health-related outcomes in a sample of employees working in a private sector company in Sweden. The results showed that perceiving higher levels of job insecurity climate than others in the workgroup was associated with poorer self-rated health and higher levels of burnout. Study III tested the relationship between individual job insecurity and job insecurity climate in a sample of Flemish employees. The results indicated that individual job insecurity is contagious, as individual job insecurity predicted perceptions of job insecurity climate six months later. In conclusion, by focusing on perceptions of the job insecurity climate, the present thesis introduces a new approach to job insecurity climate research, showing that employees can perceive a climate of job insecurity in addition to their own individual job insecurity and, also, that this perception of the job insecurity climate at work has negative consequences for individuals and organizations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Stockholm University, 2015.
Keyword [en]
Job insecurity climate, job insecurity, quantitative job insecurity, qualitative job insecurity, referent-shift, organizational collective climate, psychological collective climate, job satisfaction, work demands, work-family conflict, self-rated health, burnout
National Category
Applied Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-118979ISBN: 978-91-7649-226-0 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-118979DiVA: diva2:844327
Public defence
2015-10-02, David Magnussonsalen (U31), Frescati Hagväg 8, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 2009-1758
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 2: Manuscript. Paper 3: Manuscript.

Available from: 2015-09-09 Created: 2015-07-22 Last updated: 2015-09-01Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Measuring quantitative and qualitative aspects of the job insecurity climate: Scale validation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Measuring quantitative and qualitative aspects of the job insecurity climate: Scale validation
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2015 (English)In: Career Development International, ISSN 1362-0436, E-ISSN 1758-6003, Vol. 20, no 3, 202-217 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to develop and validate a measure of job insecurity climate by: first, testing whether job insecurity climate and individual job insecurity are two separate constructs; and second, investigating the relative importance of individual job insecurity and job insecurity climate in predicting work-related and health-related outcomes.

Design/methodology/approach – Data were collected by questionnaires in a simple stratified random sample of 1,380 white-collar workers in Sweden. The response rate was 56 percent.

Findings – Confirmatory factor analyses showed that job insecurity climate was distinct from individual job insecurity. Four separate ridge regression analyses showed that qualitative job insecurity climate was a significant predictor of demands, work-family conflict, psychological distress, and poor self-rated health and that quantitative job insecurity climate predicted demands and work-family conflict.

Research limitations/implications – The study is based on self-reports, which may involve common method bias. The cross-sectional study design limits the possibility to make causal inferences regarding the relationship between job insecurity climate and outcomes.

Practical implications – Future studies may consider measuring job insecurity climate in line with a referent-shift model. Work environment surveys in organizations that include measures of individual job insecurity and job insecurity climate can provide practitioners with a fuller picture of the psychosocialwork environment.

Originality/value – The present study adds to previous research by introducing a new approach to measuring and conceptualizing job insecurity climate.

Keyword
Job insecurity climate, Psychological collective climate, Qualitative job insecurity, Quantitative job insecurity, Referent-shift, Scale validation
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-118973 (URN)10.1108/CDI-03-2014-0047 (DOI)000356433400001 ()
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 2009-1758
Available from: 2015-07-22 Created: 2015-07-22 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved
2. The Roles of Shared Perceptions of Job Insecurity and Job Insecurity Climate for Work- and Health-Related Outcomes: A Multilevel Approach
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Roles of Shared Perceptions of Job Insecurity and Job Insecurity Climate for Work- and Health-Related Outcomes: A Multilevel Approach
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(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study is to examine job insecurity from a multilevel perspective and to investigate the roles of two types of job insecurity – job insecurity climate and individual job insecurity – for work-related attitudes and health outcomes. We further explore the role of the workgroup – as a social context – in shaping job insecurity perceptions. Data was collected from white-collar employees in a Swedish organization, with 126 participants nested in 18 groups. The results show that 19% of the variance in job insecurity climate perceptions, and none of the variance in individual job insecurity perceptions, could be attributed to group membership. Further, compared to other members of their group, those perceiving a stronger job insecurity climate reported lower levels of negative self-rated health and higher burnout scores. These results imply that the workgroup is an important social context for job insecurity climate perceptions and, thus, that leaders should take job insecurity climate perceptions at the workgroup level into account.

Keyword
Job insecurity, job insecurity climate, multilevel analysis, job satisfaction, productivity, self-rated health, burnout
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-118976 (URN)
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 2009-1758
Available from: 2015-08-05 Created: 2015-07-22 Last updated: 2015-08-22
3. On the reciprocal relationship between individual job insecurity and job insecurity climate
Open this publication in new window or tab >>On the reciprocal relationship between individual job insecurity and job insecurity climate
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

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.

Keyword
Job insecurity, job insecurity climate, work stress, cross-lagged
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-118978 (URN)
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 2009-1758
Available from: 2015-07-31 Created: 2015-07-22 Last updated: 2015-08-05

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