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Fear after being fired: the moderating role of resilience in lessening the time between employment

Alex Scrimpshire (Xavier University, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA)
Marcia Lensges (Xavier University, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA)

Personnel Review

ISSN: 0048-3486

Article publication date: 7 September 2021

Issue publication date: 13 December 2022




The purpose of this paper is to study how the interplay of the emotion of fear and the personality trait of resilience affect time to reemployment after job termination. The authors carried out the research by extending affective events theory (AET) beyond the workplace.


This paper is a conceptual paper intended to lay the groundwork for future analysis in the areas of fear and resilience, specifically in the time after job termination.


The paper suggests that fear is a natural response to job termination, and there are two responses to fear: one of action to rid oneself of fear (“fight or flight”) and one of paralysis, in which an individual remains in a fear state. The authors put forth that one's level of resilience is a factor in determining time to reemployment.


While there are numerous studies on the role emotions play in the workplace and in particular, the role of fear about potentially getting fired, there are few, if any, studies on the role of fear after losing a job. The authors feel this is a warranted area of study as fear can have both positive and negative responses. The authors also contend that a major diver of these fear responses is an individual's level of resilience, and this can be a significant predictor of the individual's time to reemployment.



Scrimpshire, A. and Lensges, M. (2022), "Fear after being fired: the moderating role of resilience in lessening the time between employment", Personnel Review, Vol. 51 No. 9, pp. 2129-2141.



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