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Job insecurity and performance over time: the critical role of job insecurity duration

Maike E. Debus (Universität Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland)
Dana Unger (Norwich Business School, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK)
Cornelius J. König (Universität des Saarlandes, Saarbrücken, Germany)

Career Development International

ISSN: 1362-0436

Article publication date: 13 August 2019

Issue publication date: 20 March 2020




Research on the relationship between job insecurity and job performance has thus far yielded inconclusive results. The purpose of this paper is to offer a more dynamic perspective on the effects of job insecurity on job performance.


Drawing from cognitive appraisal theory, research on critical life events, and stress reactions as well as more general theorizing around the role of time, this paper proposes that individuals’ job performance reactions to job insecurity will be dynamic over time.


Adopting a person-centered perspective, this paper suggests that there are seven subpopulations that differ in their intra-individual job performance change patterns over time.

Research limitations/implications

This paper presents potential predictors of subpopulation membership and presents an agenda for future research.


We contribute to the literature by introducing a dynamic perspective to the study of job performance in the context of job insecurity. Delineating a set of open questions that follow from the presented theoretical arguments, the authors also hope to stimulate future research in the context of job insecurity and job performance.



Debus, M.E., Unger, D. and König, C.J. (2020), "Job insecurity and performance over time: the critical role of job insecurity duration", Career Development International, Vol. 25 No. 3, pp. 325-336.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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