Bending without breaking: A two-study examination of employee resilience in the face of job insecurity

Journal article

Shoss, Mindy K., Jiang, Lixin and Probst, Tahira M.. (2016). Bending without breaking: A two-study examination of employee resilience in the face of job insecurity. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology.
AuthorsShoss, Mindy K., Jiang, Lixin and Probst, Tahira M.

Job insecurity is a ubiquitous threat that has been linked to a number of undesirable emotional, cognitive, and behavioral outcomes. Against this backdrop, popular and academic accounts have hailed the ability to bounce back from threats (i.e., resilience) as a crucial competency. We leverage the cognitive-relational model of stress to examine the extent to which resilience (operationalized as both dispositional tendencies and coping strategies) mitigates several negative consequences of job insecurity. We tested the moderating role of resilience in 2 studies. In a cross-sectional study with a sample of 1,071 university employees in the United States, we found resilience weakened the relationships between job insecurity and emotional exhaustion, cynicism, and psychological contract breach. In a 2-wave study with 335 employees demographically representative of working population of the United States, we found that resilience mitigated the negative consequences of job insecurity on emotional exhaustion and interpersonal counterproductive work behaviors assessed 1 month later. Results of both studies converge to support the proposed buffering effect of resilience during times of job insecurity. (PsycINFO Database Record © 2016 APA, all rights reserved)

Keywordsjob insecurity; resilience; coping; burnout; counterproductive work behaviour
JournalJournal of Occupational Health Psychology
PublisherAmerican Psychological Association
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Scopus EID2-s2.0-84994311293
Page range1 - 15
Research GroupCentre for Sustainable HRM and Wellbeing
Publisher's version
File Access Level
Place of publicationUnited States of America
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