Proactive strategies for countering the detrimental outcomes of qualitative job insecurity in academia

Ieva URBANAVICIUTE*, Lara Christina ROLL, Jasmina TOMAS, Hans DE WITTE

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review


Against the backdrop of various and sometimes unexpected transformations of working conditions, qualitative job insecurity has become increasingly prevalent in academia and beyond. As a result, there is a great need for identifying factors that may mitigate its detrimental outcomes on employee well‐being. To do so, the current study aimed to investigate the role of two proactive participation strategies—participatory decision‐making and job crafting—as a means of counteracting the effects of qualitative job insecurity on burnout, work engagement, and job satisfaction. The study was based on a sample of higher education employees in Belgium and Switzerland (N = 915). To test the hypotheses, moderation analyses were conducted in the overall sample and across different staff categories (i.e., senior and junior academic staff, administrative employees). Around 30% of the tested moderation effects were statistically significant, revealing that the negative outcomes of job insecurity were less salient at high values of the moderators. In particular, our findings suggest that encouraging participative decision‐making may serve as a means to maintain academic employees’ job satisfaction and prevent burnout in turbulent times. Moreover, job crafting may be additionally targeted at preserving work engagement, even though its moderator effects were not universal.
Original languageEnglish
JournalStress and Health
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Dec 2020

Bibliographical note

The research work conducted in Switzerland benefited from the support of the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research LIVES – Overcoming vulnerability: Life course perspective, financed by the Swiss National Science Foundation (grant number: 51NF40-185901).


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