A Multilevel Perspective on Job Insecurity

The Role of Macro-level Factors

  • Wed 15 Nov 17

    13:00 - 15:00

  • Colchester Campus


  • Event speaker

    Dr Beatrice Piccoli

  • Event type

    Lectures, talks and seminars
    Centre for Work, Organisation and Society

  • Event organiser

    Essex Business School

Centre for Work, Organisation and Society is delighted to welcome Dr Beatrice Piccoli to our weekly research seminar series to present her paper, titled 'A Multilevel Perspective on Job Insecurity: The Role of Macro-level Factors'.

Event abstract

In the current economic climate, characterised by a lack of stability in employment conditions, the risk of exposure to job uncertainty has increased. As a result, job insecurity is a globally relevant phenomenon and is considered to be a common work stressor. It has probably become a structural feature of the labour market.The individual perception and concern about the future permanence of the job is a challenge for today’s organisations not only because it is a widespread social phenomenon. Job insecurity leads to impaired health and well-being, as well as negative attitudes towards the organisation and decreased performance. In line with the relevance of the topic, my research interest aims to increase the understanding of the nature of job insecurity by examining its causes and consequences through a multilevel perspective, taking into account the view of the employee, the organisation and the characteristics of the country. In so doing, I adopt a multidisciplinary approach integrating factors related to the economic conditions, social policies and labour market features, in addition to aspects concerning work and organisational psychology. The goal is to achieve a comprehensive picture of the job insecurity phenomenon in order to better understand how to cope with it.

In particular, a cross-national comparison allows us to evaluate the generalisability of job insecurity with the aim to identify more resourceful contexts and common strategies at the country level to deal with it. In this seminar, I will present two studies testing the role of some institutional conditions and labour market factors in Europe (e.g., employment protection legislation and labour market policies) as moderators of the individual-level relationship between job insecurity and consequences. By combining 3 international data sources (ESS, Eurostat, OECD), the results support the idea that macroeconomic variables can also shape individual responses to workplace stressors. Specifically, institutions may buffer the negative outcomes of job insecurity, for example the effects on one’s well-being and household consumption. Practical implications are in terms of national policies and particularly in relation to the European strategy to enhance at the same time flexibility and security in the labour market.

Speaker biography

Dr Beatrice Piccoli is a Lecturer in Human Resource Management at the University of Essex. Before joining Essex Business School (in September), she held a post-doctoral position at the University of Leuven (Belgium) thanks to a 2-year individual project funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Programme, under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement. After her PhD in Work and Organisational Psychology (joint PhD between the University of Verona, Italy, and the University of Leuven), Beatrice spent a period as a visiting researcher at St. John’s University of New York City (US) for a research project with William Reisel, Full Professor of Management. Her research interests focus on job insecurity perceptions with a multidisciplinary approach, integrating factors related to economics, social policy and sociology, in addition to aspects concerning work and organisational psychology.

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