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Does job insecurity climate contribute to counterproductive work behavior? A multilevel perspective / Jasmina Tomas, Maša Tonković Grabovac, Sonja Grđan, Darja Maslić Seršić, Hans de Witte.

By: Tomas, Jasmina.
Contributor(s): Tonković Grabovac, Maša [aut] | Grđan, Sonja [aut] | Maslić Seršić, Darja [aut] | De Witte, Hans [aut].
Material type: ArticleArticleSubject(s): Job insecurity climate, counterproductive work behavior, vigor, temporary contract, multi-level structural equation modeling (ML-SEM) eng In: 18th congress of the European Association of Work and Organizational PsychologyAbstract: The present study utilizes a multilevel design to investigate the effect of job insecurity climate (JIC) on counterproductive work behavior (CWB) via vigor (a dimension of work engagement). JIC was conceptualized as employees’ perception of how others experience job insecurity at their workplace (i.e., referent-shift approach). We hypothesized that JIC will positively relate to CWB, partially due to its negative effect on vigor at both the individual and work department level. The sample consisted of 377 temporarily employed young researchers clustered within 154 institute/university departments in Croatia. We collected participants’ self-reports via an anonymous on-line questionnaire. The hypotheses were tested with Multi-Level Structural Equation Modeling (ML-SEM). The results showed that vigor fully mediated the relationship between JIC and CWB at the work department level: shared perceptions of JIC negatively related to collectively experienced VI, which was further negatively related to collectively experienced CWB. In contrast, at the individual level we found only a direct positive effect from JIC to CWB. Potential limitations include a cross-sectional design which limits the causality inferences and a sample of young researchers which limits the generalizability of findings. The findings indicate that climate of job insecurity can emerge as a contextual stressor and as such contributes to the work groups’ CWB due to negative effects on work groups’ vigor. The study is one of the first that examines CWB as an outcome of JIC from the multilevel perspective. Furthermore, it contributes to the theoretical explanation of this relationship by investigating the mediating role of vigor.
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The present study utilizes a multilevel design to investigate the effect of job insecurity climate (JIC) on counterproductive work behavior (CWB) via vigor (a dimension of work engagement). JIC was conceptualized as employees’ perception of how others experience job insecurity at their workplace (i.e., referent-shift approach). We hypothesized that JIC will positively relate to CWB, partially due to its negative effect on vigor at both the individual and work department level. The sample consisted of 377 temporarily employed young researchers clustered within 154 institute/university departments in Croatia. We collected participants’ self-reports via an anonymous on-line questionnaire. The hypotheses were tested with Multi-Level Structural Equation Modeling (ML-SEM). The results showed that vigor fully mediated the relationship between JIC and CWB at the work department level: shared perceptions of JIC negatively related to collectively experienced VI, which was further negatively related to collectively experienced CWB. In contrast, at the individual level we found only a direct positive effect from JIC to CWB. Potential limitations include a cross-sectional design which limits the causality inferences and a sample of young researchers which limits the generalizability of findings. The findings indicate that climate of job insecurity can emerge as a contextual stressor and as such contributes to the work groups’ CWB due to negative effects on work groups’ vigor. The study is one of the first that examines CWB as an outcome of JIC from the multilevel perspective. Furthermore, it contributes to the theoretical explanation of this relationship by investigating the mediating role of vigor.

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