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Risk the Change or Change the Risk? The Nonlinear Effect of Job Insecurity on Task Performance

Shuhong Wang1, Yipeng Tang1,*, Crystal Zhang2, Wenyue Pan1,*, Huan Liu1, Sheng Huang1

1 School of Business Administration, Zhongnan University of Economics and Law, Wuhan, China
2 School of Marketing and Management, Coventry University, Coventry, UK

* Corresponding Authors: Yipeng Tang. Email: ; Wenyue Pan. Email:

International Journal of Mental Health Promotion 2019, 21(2), 45-57.


Job insecurity has been recognized for its negative effect on employee performance. Nevertheless, this study argues that, under the threat of job insecurity, employees may also be likely to seek to reduce the threat by proactively crafting their tasks and improving performance. Drawing from the perspective of Vroom’s expectancy theory, it is proposed that, only when job security is at moderate level will employees expect it as possible to make such a change to respond to the situation. Accordingly, a curvilinear mediated model is developed that links job insecurity and task performance indirectly through task crafting, and a two-waved time-lagged survey involving 328 employees was conducted to test the model. The results showed that job insecurity had an inverted U-shaped relationship with task crafting and that this relationship was moderated by strengths-based psychological climate, a measure of how employees feel their strengths are appreciated in the organization. In this sense, strengths-based psychological climate can enhance the positive relationship between job insecurity and task crafting. Overall, the finding suggests that job insecurity may not always be detrimental. Thus, there will be significant managerial implications in creating favorable conditions for increased task performance.


Cite This Article

Wang, S., Tang, Y., Zhang, C., Pan, W., Liu, H. et al. (2019). Risk the Change or Change the Risk? The Nonlinear Effect of Job Insecurity on Task Performance. International Journal of Mental Health Promotion, 21(2), 45–57.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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