Does Job Insecurity Hinder Innovative Work Behaviour? A Threat Rigidity Perspective

11 Pages Posted: 20 Feb 2019

Date Written: March 2019

Abstract

Current work life is characterized by globalization, technological changes and the aftermath of the economic recession, thereby increasing the need for organizations to be innovative to maintain their competitive position. At the same time, this turbulent organizational landscape gave rise to perceptions of job insecurity (JI), that is, the subjectively perceived likelihood of involuntary job loss. The present study investigates whether job insecurity relates to innovative work behaviour (IWB) and introduces threat rigidity theory as an explanatory framework for this relationship. Based on this theory, we propose a serial mediation model, in which job insecurity relates to an increase in irritation, which subsequently relates to a decrease in concentration, resulting in a decrease in both dimensions of IWB, namely idea generation and idea implementation. By means of survey data from 394 Dutch‐speaking Belgian employees, we used structural equation modelling to compute our mediation analyses (bootstrapping method). Our findings are in line with threat rigidity theory, as the results demonstrate that the threat of job loss impairs employees' innovativeness through increased irritation and decreased concentration. This study contributes to job insecurity as well as IWB research, by introducing a process model that sheds light on job insecurity outcomes and antecedents of IWB.

Suggested Citation

Van Hootegem, Anahí and Niesen, Wendy and De Witte, Hans, Does Job Insecurity Hinder Innovative Work Behaviour? A Threat Rigidity Perspective (March 2019). Creativity and Innovation Management, Vol. 28, Issue 1, pp. 19-29, 2019. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3337971 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/caim.12271

Anahí Van Hootegem (Contact Author)

KU Leuven ( email )

Oude Markt 13
Leuven, Vlaams-Brabant 3000
Belgium

Wendy Niesen

Thomas More College ( email )

Crestview Hills, KY 41017
United States

Hans De Witte

KU Leuven ( email )

Oude Markt 13
Leuven, Vlaams-Brabant 3000
Belgium

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