ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

›› 2008, Vol. 40 ›› Issue (04): 448-455.

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Job Insecurity, Well-Being, and Job Performance: The Role of General Self-Efficacy

FENG Dong-Dong;LU Chang-Qin;SIU Oi-Ling   

  1. Department of Psychology, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
  • Received:2006-11-08 Revised:1900-01-01 Published:2008-04-30 Online:2008-04-30
  • Contact: Lu Changqin

Abstract: Due to uncertain economic conditions, rapid organizational changes, advancement of technology, and other factors, job insecurity has emerged as one of the serious stressors in contemporary work life. Job insecurity refers to uncertainty about the continuation of one’s job, including cognitive job insecurity (perception regarding the likelihood of job loss or change) and affective job insecurity (fear of job loss or change). It has consistently been found that job insecurity is negatively related to job satisfaction, well-being, and job performance. According to Hofstede’s dimensions of cultural differences, job insecurity may arouse more negative consequences for Chinese employees. This study investigated the relationships among job insecurity, well-being, and job performance in Chinese societies. Moreover, it focused on the role of general self-efficacy among these processes.
A self-administered questionnaire survey method was used to collect data from 513 employees and their supervisors in Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Chongqing, and other areas. Perception of job insecurity, general self-efficacy, job satisfaction, physical well-being, and psychological well-being were self-reported measures, whereas performance appraisals were provided by the participants’ direct supervisors. A series of hierarchical regression analyses were conducted for data analyses. The results consistently showed that job insecurity was not only negatively related to job satisfaction, physical well-being, and psychological well-being but also negatively related to supervisor-rated job performance. Further, the results also demonstrated that general self-efficacy moderated the relationships linking job insecurity to physical well-being, psychological well-being, and job performance. Nevertheless, general self-efficacy did not have any moderating effect on the relationship between job insecurity and job satisfaction. The significant moderating role of general self-efficacy on the relationship between job insecurity and job performance deserves more attention. Unexpectedly, compared to those with lower general self-efficacy, individuals with higher general self-efficacy reported lower levels of physical and psychological well-being. That is, when perceiving high levels of job insecurity, employees with high general self-efficacy reported worse well-being than those with lower general self-efficacy. It can be explained that, because the social stressor of job insecurity is uncontrollable at the individual level, employees with high self-efficacy who used to enjoy high job autonomy would perceive job insecurity as a greater hindrance. Hence, they considered this important stressor as a burden in the pursuit of achieving or maintaining high levels of job performance.
The present study shows that job insecurity has become one of the serious job stressors in the current transitional period in Chinese societies. Moreover, job insecurity could have deleterious effects on employees’ well-being and job performances. In terms of practical implications, more training programs aimed at changing employees’ efficacy beliefs should be conducted, which in turn will enhance their well-being and performance at the workplace. Meanwhile, organizations should focus on both employees’ job performances and well-being in order to achieve productive and healthy work lives in the long term

Key words: job insecurity, well-being, job performance, general self-efficacy, moderating effects

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