Table of Contents

The Psychology of the Recession on the Workplace

The Psychology of the Recession on the Workplace

New Horizons in Management series

Edited by Alexander-Stamatios G. Antoniou and Cary L. Cooper

An economic recession can affect the aggregate well-being of a population. This highly regarded and timely book shows a significant increase in the mean levels of distress and dissatisfaction in the work place in recent years. In particular, increasing job demands, intrinsic job insecurity and increasingly inadequate salaries make substantial contributions to psychological distress, family conflict and related behaviors. The contributors reveal that the recession has fundamentally altered the way employees view their work and leaders. With employers and employees still facing a continued period of uncertainty, a severe impact on employment relations is a continuing reality.

Chapter 10: Perceiving and responding to job insecurity: the importance of multilevel contexts

Lixin Jiang, Tahira Probst and Robert R. Sinclair

Subjects: business and management, human resource management, organisational behaviour, strategic management


While the Great Recession of 2007–09 brought the topic of job insecurity to the forefront in the minds of many, very little is known regarding macro-level variables that may impact employee perceptions of and reactions to job insecurity. The purpose of this chapter is to propose a number of different variables at the organizational, occupational, and socio economic levels that are predicted to influence these processes. In doing so, we will review recent research advances that utilize multilevel modeling to fruitfully investigate these areas. In addition, we will report new research findings integrating both macro-level occupational data and micro-level individual differences data in the prediction of employee job security. At the occupational level, occupational outlook was hypothesized to be predictive of job security; at the individual level, three worker characteristics (employee age, gender and years of education) and two employment characteristics (employer type and job tenure) were hypothesized to be related to job security. Multilevel analyses utilizing data from 1501 respondents in 249 different occupations found that both occupational outlook and employment characteristics (but not worker characteristics) were significantly related to job security. We conclude our chapter by discussing the promise and pitfalls of considering multilevel sources of variance in furthering our understanding of how employees perceive and react to job insecurity.

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