When do job-insecure employees keep performing well? The buffering roles of help and prosocial motivation in the relationship between job insecurity, work engagement, and job performance

Yuhyung Shin, Won Moo Hur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Drawing on the job demands-resources model, this study aims to explore the boundary conditions that buffer the negative effect of job insecurity on work engagement and job performance. It is predicted that job insecurity is negatively associated with job performance by undermining work engagement. This relationship is proposed to weaken when employees give and receive help arising from prosocial motivation. To test these propositions, we conducted two cross-sectional studies in the South Korean service sector, which demonstrated a similar pattern of results. Work engagement significantly mediated the link between job insecurity and job performance. We further found a significant three-way interaction between job insecurity, giving help, and prosocial motivation on work engagement such that the negative relationship between job insecurity and work engagement was weakest when employees’ help-giving and prosocial motivation were both high. The indirect effect of job insecurity on job performance through work engagement was also weakest for high levels of help-giving and prosocial motivation. Contrary to our prediction, we found no support for the three-way interaction between job insecurity, receiving help, and prosocial motivation on work engagement as well as on the indirect effect on job performance through work engagement. These findings have theoretical and practical implications for managing employees in job-insecurity contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)659-678
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Business and Psychology
Volume36
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021 Aug

Keywords

  • Help
  • Job insecurity
  • Job performance
  • Prosocial motivation
  • Work engagement

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