Perceived job insecurity and perceived employability are often mentioned in one breath with employability typically referred to as the “modern response to job insecurity”. Yet our understanding of how individuals’ perceptions of employability may change over time in response to job insecurity is limited. Both positive and negative changes seem plausible: Job insecurity may trigger employees to invest in employability, making them feel more employable. However, job insecurity may also elicit a defensive response in employees that undermines their perceived employability. We tested these two competing hypotheses against the background of conservation of resources theory in a sample of 358 employees surveyed on three occasions across 3.5 years. Using latent change score modelling, our findings suggest that job insecurity increases perceived employability. That is, the state-level of perceived job insecurity predicts a positive subsequent change in perceived employability. These findings highlight the importance of considering the dynamic within-person perspective to understand the relationship between job insecurity and perceived employability, and illustrate that results observed in prior static research may lead to different conclusions in within-person longitudinal studies. Implications of our findings for theory and practice are discussed.
|Number of pages||13|
|Journal||European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology|
|Publication status||E-pub ahead of print - 8 Oct 2023|
- conservation of resources theory
- longitudinal study
- perceived employability
- Perceived job insecurity