Research Handbooks in Business and Management series
Edited by Ans De Vos and Beatrice I.J.M. van der Heijden
Chapter 11: Perceived employability in times of job insecurity: a theoretical perspective
The relationship between felt job insecurity (that is, the employee’s concern about potential job loss) and perceived employability (that is, the employee’s perception about alternative job opportunities that are readily available) has not yet attracted much research attention. Although this relationship might seem straightforward, there are conflicting views on the nature of this relationship, negative or positive, and on issues on causality. In response, we present a theoretical discourse along six possible relationships: (1) felt job insecurity may negatively affect perceived employability; (2) perceived employability may negatively affect felt job insecurity; (3) the relationship between felt job insecurity and perceived employability is negative and reciprocal; (4) felt job insecurity may positively affect perceived employability; (5) perceived employability may positively affect job insecurity; and (6) the relationship between felt job insecurity and perceived employability is positive and reciprocal. We conclude with an integration of these routes in an overall research model. Central to this model is the need to investigate multiple mediators as well as personal and structural factors as potential moderators.
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