Turnover as a Strategy to Escape Job Insecurity: The Role of Family Determinants in Dual-Earner Couples

Abstract

Job insecurity is a stressful condition with well-known negative consequences. This study investigated the extent to which individuals voluntarily changed jobs as a strategy to cope with job insecurity, taking into account the family context. We tested whether job insecurity promoted voluntary turnover. Family factors were expected to either hamper or stimulate turnover, and to affect the relationship between job insecurity and turnover. Using longitudinal data from the Swiss Household Panel (2004–2013), we showed that men facing job insecurity were more likely to experience voluntary turnover. For women this was only true when they did not have preschool-aged children at home and experienced low levels of economic hardship. Moreover, family factors influenced voluntary turnover differently for men and women: Economic hardship increased the odds of voluntary turnover for men, whereas a partner’s job insecurity lowered the odds for women.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Notes

  1. 1.

    See also https://www.ch.ch/en/terminating-employment-contract/

  2. 2.

    For information on the SHP see www.swisspanel.ch

  3. 3.

    Before 2004 not all of the necessary variables were available.

  4. 4.

    On average the individuals in our samples participated in 6 waves. The selection of the individuals is based on individual characteristics. Therefore, men and women have distinct values on household characteristics and the number of observations differs.

  5. 5.

    For a comprehensible introduction to OR see Grimes and Schulz (2008).

  6. 6.

    The sample mean was subtracted from the individual’s value obtaining a centred variable with a mean of 0. Positive values of job insecurity on the centred variable corresponded to an above-average level of job insecurity and, accordingly, negative values corresponded to a below-average level of job insecurity.

  7. 7.

    OR > 1: %∆ = (OR − 1) * 100 according to Pampel (2000)

  8. 8.

    One difference that emerged in the unweighted models for women was that although the size of the coefficients hardly changed, the effect of perceived job insecurity on voluntary turnover reached statistical significance, whereas it did not in the weighted models presented in Table 2.

  9. 9.

    Results of all the robustness checks can be obtained from the authors.

References

  1. Adkins, C. L., Werbel, J. D., & Farh, J.-L. (2001). A field study of job insecurity during a financial crisis. Group Organization Management, 26(4), 463–483. doi:10.1177/1059601101264004.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Ashford, S. J., Lee, C., & Bobko, P. (1989). Content, causes, and consequences of job insecurity: A theory-based measure and substantive test. Academy of Management Journal, 32(4), 803–829. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/256569.

  3. Baghdadi, N. (2010). Care-work arrangements of parents in the context of family policies and extra-familial childcare provision in Switzerland (No. Research Reports 3 & 4). Geneva: UNRISD.

  4. Baumgartner, A. D. (2006). Familienarbeit, Erwerbsmuster und Arbeitsteilung im Haushalt (No. 4/2005). Neuenburg: Bundesamt für Statistik BFS. Retrieved from http://www.bfs.admin.ch/bfs/portal/de/index/themen/20/22/publ.html?publicationID=2131.

  5. Baxter, J., Hewitt, B., & Haynes, M. (2008). Life course transitions and housework: Marriage, parenthood, and time on housework. Journal of Marriage and Family, 70(2), 259–272. doi:10.1111/j.1741-3737.2008.00479.x.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. BFS. (2012a). Die berufliche Mobilität. Eine Analyse aufgrund der Ergebnisse der Schweizerischen Arbeitskräfteerhebung (SAKE) von 1993 bis 2011. Neuenburg: Bundesamt für Statistik BFS. Retrieved from http://www.bfs.admin.ch/bfs/portal/de/index/news/publikationen.html?publicationID=4977.

  7. BFS. (2012b). Klassifikation der schweizerischen Bildungsstatistik. Neuenburg: Bundesamt für Statistik BFS. Retrieved from http://www.portal-stat.admin.ch/isced97/docs/do-d-15.02-isced-02.pdf.

  8. BFS. (2013). Auf dem Weg zur Gleichstellung von Frau und Mann. Stand und Entwicklung. Neuenburg: Bundesamt für Statistik BFS. Retrieved from http://www.bfs.admin.ch/bfs/portal/de/index/themen/20/22/publ.html?publicationID=3375.

  9. Bianchi, S. M. (2000). Maternal employment and time with children: Dramatic change or surprising continuity? Demography, 37(4), 401–414. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/2648068.

  10. Blau, G. (2007). Does a corresponding set of variables for explaining voluntary organizational turnover transfer to explaining voluntary occupational turnover? Journal of Vocational Behavior, 70, 135–148. doi:10.1016/j.jvb.2006.07.007.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Böckerman, P. (2004). Perception of job instability in Europe. Social Indicators Research, 67(3), 283–314.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Booth, A. L., & Francesconi, M. (2000). Job mobility in 1990s Britain: Does gender matter? Research in Labor Economics, 19, 173–189. doi:10.1016/S0147-9121(00)19008-9.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Bright, J. E., Pryor, R. G., Wilkenfeld, S., & Earl, J. (2005). The role of social context and serendipitous events in career decision making. International Journal for Educational and Vocational Guidance, 5, 19–36. doi:10.1007/s10775-005-2123-6.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Cantó, O. (2003). Finding out the routes to escape poverty: The relevance of demographic versus labor market events in Spain. Review of Income and Wealth, 49(4), 569–588. doi:10.1111/j.0034-6586.2003.00105.x.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Charles, N., & James, E. (2003). The gender dimensions of job insecurity in a local labour market. Work, Employment & Society, 17(3), 531–552. doi:10.1177/09500170030173007.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Chung, H., & van Oorschot, W. (2010). Employment insecurity of European individuals during the financial crisis. A multi-level approach (No. REC-WP 14/2010). Edinburgh. Retrieved from http://kar.kent.ac.uk/38462/.

  17. Conger, R. D., Elder, G. H, Jr., Lorenz, F. O., Conger, K. J., Simons, R. L., Whitbeck, L. B., et al. (1990). Linking economic hardship to marital quality and instability. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 52(3), 643–656. doi:10.2307/352931.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Cornelißen, T. (2006). Job characteristics as determinants of job satisfaction and labour mobility. Diskussionspapiere des Fachbereichs Wirtschaftswissenschaften, Universität Hannover. Retrieved from http://www.econstor.eu/handle/10419/22446.

  19. Credit Suisse Sorgenbarometer. (2012). Credit Suisse Sorgenbarometer 2012. Was die Schweiz bewegt. Die grosse Umfrage unter der Stimmbevölkerung seit 1976. Bulletin, 6, 43–57.

    Google Scholar 

  20. Crouter, A. C. (1984). Spillover from family to work: The neglected side of the work-family interface. Human Relations, 37(6), 425–442. doi:10.1177/001872678403700601.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. De Witte, H. (1999). Job insecurity and psychological well-being: review of the literature and exploration of some unresolved issues. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 8(2), 155–177. doi:10.1080/135943299398302.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. De Witte, H. (2005). Job insecurity: Review of the international literature on definitions, prevalence, antecedents and consequences. SA Journal of Industrial Psychology, 31(4), 1–6. doi:10.4102/sajip.v31i4.200.

    Google Scholar 

  23. DiPrete, T. A., & McManus, P. A. (2000). Family change, employment transitions, and the welfare state: Household income dynamics in the United States and Germany. American Sociological Review, 65(3), 343–370. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/2657461.

  24. Ehlert, M. (2012). Buffering income loss due to unemployment: Family and welfare state influences on income after job loss in the United States and western Germany. Social Science Research, 41(4), 843–860. doi:10.1016/j.ssresearch.2012.02.002.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Emmenegger, P. (2010). Gendering insiders and outsiders: Labour market status and preferences for job security. Economics, Management, and Financial Markets, 3, 88–128.

    Google Scholar 

  26. Erlinghagen, M. (2008). Self-perceived job insecurity and social context: A multi-level analysis of 17 European countries. European Sociological Review, 24(2), 183–197. doi:10.1093/esr/jcm042.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Eurobarometer. (2012). Standard Eurobarometer 78. Public opinion in the European Union. First results. European Commission. Retrieved from http://ec.europa.eu/COMMFrontOffice/PublicOpinion/index.cfm/Survey/getSurveyDetail/yearFrom/1973/yearTo/2012/surveyKy/1069.

  28. Gaunt, R., & Benjamin, O. (2007). Job insecurity, stress and gender: The moderating role of gender ideology. Community, Work and Family, 10(3), 341–355. doi:10.1080/13668800701456336.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. Giesselmann, M., & Windzio, M. (2012). Regressionsmodelle zur Analyse von Paneldaten (Springer VS.). Wiesbaden: Springer.

  30. Green, F. (2009). Subjective employment insecurity around the world. Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, 2(3), 343–363. doi:10.1093/cjres/rsp003.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  31. Greenhaus, J. H., Peng, A. C., & Allen, T. D. (2012). Relations of work identity, family identity, situational demands, and sex with employee work hours. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 80(1), 27–37. doi:10.1016/j.jvb.2011.05.003.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  32. Greenhaus, J. H., & Powell, G. N. (2012). The family-relatedness of work decisions: A framework and agenda for theory and research. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 80(2), 246–255. doi:10.1016/j.jvb.2011.12.007.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Griffeth, R. W., Hom, P. W., & Gaertner, S. (2000). A meta-analysis of antecedents and correlates of employee turnover: Update, moderator tests, and research implications for the next millennium. Journal of Management, 26(3), 463–488. doi:10.1016/S0149-2063(00)00043-X.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  34. Grimes, D. A., & Schulz, K. F. (2008). Making sense of odds and odds ratios. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 111(2), 423–426. doi:10.1097/01.AOG.0000297304.32187.5d.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  35. Grotti, R., & Scherer, S. (2014). Accumulation of employment instability among partners—evidence from six EU countries. European Sociological Review, 30(5), 627–639. doi:10.1093/esr/jcu063.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  36. Hanson, S., & Pratt, G. (1991). Job search and the occupational segregation of women. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 81(2), 229–253. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8306.1991.tb01688.x.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  37. Hobfoll, S. E. (1989). Conservation of resources. A new attempt at conceptualizing stress. American Psychologist, 44(3), 513–524.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  38. Kanfer, R., Wanberg, C. R., & Kantrowitz, T. M. (2001). Job search and employment: a personality–motivational analysis and meta-analytic review. Journal of Applied Psychology, 86(5), 837. doi:10.1037//0021-9010.86.5.837.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  39. Klehe, U.-C., Zikic, J., Van Vianen, A. E., & De Pater, I. E. (2011). Career adaptability, turnover and loyalty during organizational downsizing. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 79(1), 217–229. doi:10.1016/j.jvb.2011.01.004.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  40. Lehweß-Litzmann, R. (2012). Flexible employment, poverty and the household. Transfer: European Review of Labour and Research, 18(1), 69–81. doi:10.1177/1024258911431211.

  41. Levy, R., Bühlmann, F., & Widmer, E. (2007). Dual and single career couples in Switzerland: Exploring partners’ trajectories. Zeitschrift für Familienforschung, 19(3), 263–289.

    Google Scholar 

  42. Levy, R., & Ernst, M. (2002). Lebenslauf und Regulation in Paarbeziehungen: Bestimmungsgründe der Ungleichheit familialer Arbeitsteilung. Zeitschrift für Familienforschung, 14(2), 103–131.

    Google Scholar 

  43. Lipps, O. (2009). Attrition of households and individuals in panel surveys. SOEP Papers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Reserach. Retrieved from http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1367371.

  44. Lundberg, S. (1985). The added worker effect. Journal of Labor Economics, 3(1), 11–37. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/2535048.

  45. Mano-Negrin, R., & Kirschenbaum, A. (2000). Spousal interdependence in turnover decisions: The case of Israel’s medical sector employees. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 21(2), 97–122.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  46. Maroto, M., & Serafini, B. J. (2012). Recession, man-cession, or mom-cession? Gender inequality in reemployment outcomes disaggregated by marital and parental status. Retrieved from https://workfamily.sas.upenn.edu/wfrn-repo/object/nk69t3nu21g0kt8h.

  47. Mauno, S., & Kinnunen, U. (2002). Perceived job insecurity among dual-earner couples: Do its antecedents vary according to gender, economic sector and the measure used? Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 75(3), 295–314. doi:10.1348/096317902320369721.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  48. Menard, S. (2002). Applied logistic regression analysis (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks: SAGE.

    Google Scholar 

  49. Muysken, J., & Ter Weel, B. (2000). Overeducation and crowding out of low-skilled workers. In L. Borghans & A. de Grip (Eds.), The overeducated worker? The economics of skill utilization (pp. 109–132). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

    Google Scholar 

  50. Näswall, K., & De Witte, H. (2003). Who feels insecure in Europe? Predicting job insecurity from background variables. Economic and Industrial Democracy, 24(2), 189–215. doi:10.1177/0143831X03024002003.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  51. Nolan, J. (2009). “Working to live, not living to work”: An exploratory study of the relationship between men’s work orientation and job insecurity in the UK. Gender, Work & Organization, 16(2), 179–197. doi:10.1111/j.1468-0432.2008.00426.x.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  52. OECD. (2012). Childcare support. OECD. Retrieved from http://www.oecd.org/social/family/database.

  53. OECD. (2013). Unemployment rate. Employment and labour markets: Key tables from OECD, (No. 1). doi:10.1787/unemp-table-2013-1-en.

  54. Pampel, F. C. (2000). Logistic regression: A primer. SAGE.

  55. Parkes, K. R., Carnell, S. C., & Farmer, E. L. (2005). “Living two lives” Perceptions, attitudes, and experiences of spouses of UK offshore workers. Community, Work and Family, 8(4), 413–437. doi:10.1080/13668800500251755.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  56. Repenning, N. P. (2000). Drive out fear (unless you can drive it in): The role of agency and job security in process improvement. Management Science, 46(11), 1385–1396. http://www.jstor.org/stable/2661656.

  57. Roberts, I. (2006). Taking age out of the workplace: Putting older workers back in? Work, Employment & Society, 20(1), 67–86. doi:10.1177/0950017006061274.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  58. Sassnick Spohn, F. (2014). NFP 60: Gleichstellung der Geschlechter. Schweizerischer Nationalfonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung: Ergebnisse und Impulse. Synthesebericht. Bern.

    Google Scholar 

  59. Scherer, S. (2009). The social consequences of insecure jobs. Social Indicators Research, 93(3), 527–547. doi:10.1007/s11205-008-9431-4.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  60. Schier, M., Jurczyk, K., & Szymenderski, P. (2011). Entgrenzung von Arbeit und Familie–mehr als Prekarisierung. WSI-Mitteilungen, 8, 402–408.

    Google Scholar 

  61. Stamm, M., & Buddeberg-Fischer, B. (2011). How do physicians and their partners coordinate their careers and private lives. Swiss Med Weekly, 141, w13179. doi:10.4414/smw.2011.13179.

    Google Scholar 

  62. Starr, M. A. (2013). Gender, added-worker effects, and the 2007–2009 recession: Looking within the household. Review of Economics of the Household, 1–27. doi:10.1007/s11150-013-9181-1.

  63. Staufenbiel, T., & König, C. J. (2010). A model for the effects of job insecurity on performance, turnover intention, and absenteeism. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 83(1), 101–117. doi:10.1348/096317908X401912.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  64. Straubhaar, T., & Werner, H. (2003). Arbeitsmarkt Schweiz—ein Erfolgsmodell? Mitteilungen aus der Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (MittAB), 36(1), 60–76.

    Google Scholar 

  65. Sverke, M., Hellgren, J., & Näswall, K. (2002). No security: A meta-analysis and review of job insecurity and its consequences. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 7(3), 242–264. doi:10.1037/1076-8998.7.3.242.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  66. Sverke, M., Hellgren, J., & Näswall, K. (2006). Job insecurity: A literature review. Stockholm: National Institute for Working Life. Retrieved from http://nile.lub.lu.se/arbarch/saltsa/2006/wlr2006_01.pdf.

  67. Sverke, M., Hellgren, J., Näswall, K., Chirumbolo, A., De Witte, H., & Goslinga, S. (2004). Job insecurity and union membership: European unions in the wake of flexible production (Vol. 42). Bruxelles: Lang.

    Google Scholar 

  68. Swaen, G. M. H., Kant, Ij, van Amelsvoort, L. G. P. M., & Beurskens, A. J. H. M. (2002). Job mobility, its determinants, and its effects: Longitudinal data from the Maastricht Cohort Study. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 7(2), 121. doi:10.1037/1076-8998.7.2.121.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  69. Sweet, S., & Moen, P. (2012). Dual earners preparing for job loss agency, linked lives, and resilience. Work and Occupations, 39(1), 35–70. doi:10.1177/0730888411415601.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  70. Tanova, C., & Holtom, B. C. (2008). Using job embeddedness factors to explain voluntary turnover in four European countries. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 19(9), 1553–1568. doi:10.1080/09585190802294820.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  71. Thompson, L., & Walker, A. J. (1989). Gender in families: Women and men in marriage, work, and parenthood. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 51(4), 845–871. doi:10.2307/353201.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  72. Van Ham, M., & Büchel, F. (2006). Unwilling or unable? Spatial and socio-economic restrictions on females’ labour market access. Regional Studies, 40(03), 345–357. doi:10.1080/00343400600632663.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  73. Vardaman, J. M., Allen, D. G., Renn, R. W., & Moffitt, K. R. (2008). Should I stay or should I go? The role of risk in employee turnover decisions. Human Relations, 61(11), 1531–1563. doi:10.1177/0018726708096637.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  74. Vetter, S., Endrass, J., Schweizer, I., Teng, H.-M., Rossler, W., & Gallo, W. T. (2006). The effects of economic deprivation on psychological well-being among the working population of Switzerland. BMC Public Health, 6(1), 223. doi:10.1186/1471-2458-6-223.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  75. Virtanen, M., Kivimäki, M., Joensuu, M., Virtanen, P., Elovainio, M., & Vahtera, J. (2005). Temporary employment and health: A review. International Journal of Epidemiology, 34, 610–622. doi:10.1093/ije/dyi024.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  76. Visser, J. (2002). The first part-time economy in the world: A model to be followed? Journal of European Social Policy, 12(1), 23–42. doi:10.1177/0952872002012001561.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  77. Wanberg, C. R., Watt, J. D., & Rumsey, D. J. (1996). Individuals without jobs: An empirical study of job-seeking behavior and reemployment. Journal of Applied Psychology, 81(1), 76.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  78. Wanous, J. P., Reichers, A. E., & Hudy, M. J. (1997). Overall job satisfaction: How good are single-item measures? Journal of Applied Psychology, 82(2), 247–252.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  79. Weiss, H. M. (2002). Deconstructing job satisfaction: Separating evaluations, beliefs and affective experiences. Human Resource Management Review, 12(2), 173–194. doi:10.1016/S1053-4822(02)00045-1.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  80. West, T., & Worthington, A. C. (2014). Macroeconomic conditions and Australian financial risk attitudes, 2001-2010. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 35, 263–277. doi:10.1007/s10834-013-9362-3.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  81. Whitbeck, L. B., Simons, R. L., Conger, R. D., Wickrama, K. A. S., Ackley, K. A., & Elder, G. H. Jr. (1997). The effects of parents’ working conditions and family economic hardship on parenting behaviors and children’s self-efficacy. Social Psychology Quarterly, 60(4), 291–303. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/2787091.

Download references

Acknowledgments

Special thanks go to Prof. Dr. Monica Budowski and all the participants and experts of the doctoral program Prowel: Social Problems and Welfare for their valuable advice.

Funding

This study has been realized using the data collected by the Swiss Household Panel (SHP), which is based at the Swiss Centre of Expertise in the Social Sciences FORS. The project is financed by the Swiss National Science Foundation.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Florence Lebert.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Lebert, F., Voorpostel, M. Turnover as a Strategy to Escape Job Insecurity: The Role of Family Determinants in Dual-Earner Couples. J Fam Econ Iss 37, 407–421 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10834-016-9498-z

Download citation

Keywords

  • Job insecurity
  • Turnover
  • Dual-earner couples
  • Family
  • Economic hardship
  • Switzerland