Current Psychology

, Volume 37, Issue 3, pp 488–497 | Cite as

The Role of Occupational Self-Efficacy in Mediating the Effect of Job Insecurity on Work Engagement, Satisfaction and General Health

  • Cinzia GuarnacciaEmail author
  • Fabrizio Scrima
  • Alba Civilleri
  • Laura Salerno


This study explores the associations among job insecurity, occupational self-efficacy, work engagement, job satisfaction and health and the mediation role of occupational self-efficacy. Two hundred and forty-one workers, were asked to fill in the Occupational Self-Efficacy Scale, the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale, the Satisfaction Scale of Occupational Stress Inventory and the General Health Questionnaire. Mediation analysis was performed using the boot-strapping method. Job insecurity was negatively related to work engagement, job satisfaction and general health. Occupational self-efficacy mediated the relationship between job insecurity, work engagement, job satisfaction and health on employees in the private and public sectors. The originality of this work is that it shows the effect of job insecurity on engagement, satisfaction and health, and the mediational role of occupational self-efficacy. In a time of economic crisis, when it is not possible to guarantee permanent contracts, Human Resource managers might consider occupational self-efficacy as a resource when planning interventions.


General health Job insecurity Job satisfaction Occupational self-efficacy Work engagement 


Compliance with Ethical Standards


This study was not funded.

Conflict of Interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


  1. Abele, A. E., & Spurk, D. (2009a). How do objective and subjective career success interrelate over time? Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 82(4), 803–824.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Abele, A. E., & Spurk, D. (2009b). The longitudinal impact of self-efficacy and career goals on objective and subjective career success. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 74(1), 53–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ashford, S. J., Lee, C., & Bobko, P. (1989). Content cause and consequence of job insecurity: a theory- based measure and substantive test. Academy of Management Journal, 32, 803–829.Google Scholar
  4. Bakker, A. B. (2009). Building engagement in the workplace. In R. J. Burke & L. C. Cooper (Eds.), The peak performing organization (pp. 50–72). Abingdon, England: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bakker, A. B., & Demerouti, E. (2007). The job demands-resources model: state of the art. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 22, 309–328.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bakker, A. B., & Demerouti, E. (2008). Towards a model of work engagement. Career Development International, 13, 209–223.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bakker, A. B., Schaufeli, W. B., Leiter, M. P., & Taris, T. W. (2008). Work engagement: an emerging concept in occupational health psychology. Work and Stress, 22, 187–200.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bakker, A. B., Albrecht, S. L., & Leiter, M. P. (2011). Work engagement: further reflections on the state of play. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 20, 74–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Balducci, C., Fraccaroli, F., & Schaufeli, W. B. (2010). Psychometric properties of the Italian version of the Utrecht work engagement scale (UWES-9). A cross-cultural analysis. European Journal of Psychological Assessment, 26(2), 143–149.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bandura, A. (1986). Social foundations of thought and action: a social cognitive theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  11. Bandura, A. (1994). Self-efficacy. In V. S. Ramachaudran (Ed.), Encyclopedia of human behavior (Vol. 4, pp. 71–81). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  12. Barbaranelli, C. (2006). Analisi dei dati con SPSS (Vol. 2: Le analisi multivariate). Milano: LED Edizioni Universitarie.Google Scholar
  13. Bardasi, E., & Francesconi, M. (2004). The impact of atypical employment on individual wellbeing: evidence from a panel of British workers. Social Science & Medicine, 58(9), 1671–1688.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Benavides, F. G., Benach, J., Diez-Roux, A. V., & Roman, C. (2000). How do types of employment relate to health indicators? Findings from the second European survey on working conditions. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 54(7), 494–501.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  15. Bentler, P. M. (1990). Comparative fit indexes in structural models. Psychological Bulletin, 107, 238–246.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Berings, M. G. M. C., Poell, R. F., Simons, P. R. J., & Van Veldhoven, M. J. P. M. (2007). The development and validation of the on-the-job learning styles questionnaire for the nursing profession. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 58, 480–492.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Browne, M. W., & Cudeck, R. (1993). Alternative ways of assessing model fit. In K. A. Bollen & J. S. Long (Eds.), Testing structural equation models (pp. 136–162). Newbury Park: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  18. Caprara, G. V., Barbaranelli, C., Borgogni, L., & Steca, P. (2003). Efficacy beliefs as determinants of teachers’ job satisfaction. Journal of Educational Psychology, 95(4), 821–832.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Carmines, E. G., & Mc Iver, J. P. (1981). Analyzing models with unobserved variables: Analysis of covariance structures. Social measurement: Current issues, 65–115.Google Scholar
  20. Cheng, Y., Chen, C. W., Chen, C. J., & Chiang, T. L. (2005). Job insecurity and its association with health among employees in the Taiwanese general population. Social Science & Medicine, 61, 41–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Christian, M. S., Garza, A. S., & Slaughter, J. E. (2011). Work engagement: a quantitative review and test of its relations with task and contextual performance. Personnel Psychology, 64, 89–136.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Ciairano, S., Callari, T. C., Rabaglietti, E., & Roggero, A. (2012). Life satisfaction: the contribution of job precariousness, sense of coherence and self-efficacy: a study in Italian adults. In B. S. Nguyen (Ed.), Psychology of satisfaction (pp. 87–108). Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers, New York.Google Scholar
  23. Connelly, C. E., & Gallagher, D. G. (2004). Emerging trends in contingent work research. Journal of Management, 30(6), 959–983.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Cooper, C. L., Sloan, S. J., & Williams, S. (1988). Occupational stress indicator. Windsor, England: NFERNelson.Google Scholar
  25. De Cuyper, N., & De Witte, H. (2005). Job insecurity: mediator or moderator of the relationship between contract type and well-being. South African Journal of Industrial Psychology, 31, 79–86.Google Scholar
  26. De Cuyper, N., & De Witte, H. (2006). The impact of job insecurity and contract type on attitudes, well-being and behavioural reports: a psychological contract perspective. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 79, 395–409.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. De Cuyper, N., & De Witte, H. (2007). Job insecurity among temporary versus permanent workers: effects on job satisfaction, organizational commitment, life satisfaction and self-rated performance. Work and Stress, 21, 65–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. De Cuyper, N., De Jong, J., De Witte, H., Isaksson, K., Rigotti, T., & Schalk, R. (2008a). Literature review of theory and research on the psychological impact of temporary employment: towards a conceptual model. International Journal of Management Reviews, 10(1), 25–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. De Cuyper, N. D., Bernhard-Oettel, C., Berntson, E., De Witte, H. D., & Alarco, B. (2008b). Employability and employees’ well-being: mediation by job insecurity. Applied Psychology, 57(3), 488–509.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. De Cuyper, N., Notelaers, G., & De Witte, H. (2009). Transitioning between temporary and permanent employment: a two-wave study on the entrapment, the stepping stone and the selection hypothesis. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 82(1), 67–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. De Cuyper, N., De Witte, H., Kinnunen, U., & Nätti, J. (2010). The relationship between job insecurity and employability and well-being among Finnish temporary and permanent employees. International Studies of management and organization, 40(1), 57–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 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, 155–177.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 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.Google Scholar
  34. De Witte, H., & Naswall, K. (2003). Objective versus subjective job insecurity: consequences of temporary work for job satisfaction and organizational commitment in four European countries. Economic and Industrial Democracy, 24, 149–188.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. De Witte, H., De Cuyper, N., Handaja, Y., Sverke, M., Näswall, K., & Hellgren, J. (2010). Associations between quantitative and qualitative job insecurity and well-being: a test in Belgian banks. International Studies of Management & Organization, 40(1), 40–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. De Witte, H., Vander Elst, T., & De Cuyper, N. (2015). Job insecurity, health and well-being. In Sustainable Working Lives (pp. 109–128). Springer Netherlands.Google Scholar
  37. Ferrie, J. E., Shipley, M. J., Marmot, M. G., Stansfeld, S., & Smith, G. D. (1998). The health effects of major organisational change and job insecurity. Social Science & Medicine, 46(2), 243–254.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Forde, C., & Slater, G. (2006). The nature and experience of agency working in Britain: what are the challenges for human resource management? Personnel Review, 35(2), 141–157.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Gann, M., Corpe, U., & Wilson, I. (1990). The application of a short anxiety and depression questionnaire to oil industry staff. Journal of the Society of Occupational Medicine, 40, 138–142.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. Goldberg, D. P. (1972). The detection of psychiatric illness by questionnaire. London: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  41. Grau, R., Salanova, M., & Peirό, J. M. (2001). Moderator effects of self-efficacy on occupational stress. Psychology in Spain, 5(1), 63–74.Google Scholar
  42. Griep, Y., Kinnunen, U., Nätti, J., De Cuyper, N., Mauno, S., Mäkikangas, A., & De Witte, H. (2015). The effects of unemployment and perceived job insecurity: a comparison of their association with psychological and somatic complaints, self-rated health and life satisfaction. International archives of occupational and environmental health, 1–16.Google Scholar
  43. Guest, D. E. (2004). The psychology of the employment relationship: an analysis based on the psychological contract. Applied Psychology, 53(4), 541–555.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Hall, R. (2006). Temporary agency work and HRM in Australia: “cooperation, specialisation and satisfaction for the good of all”? Personnel Review, 35(2), 158–174.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Hellgren, J., & Sverke, M. (2003). Does job insecurity lead to impaired well-being or vice versa? Estimation of cross-lagged effects using latent variable modelling. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 24(2), 215–236.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Hu, L., & Bentler, P. M. (1999). Cutoff criteria for fit indexes in covariance structure analysis: conventional criteria versus new alternatives. Structural Equation Modelling, 6, 1–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Hu, S., & Zuo, B. (2007). The moderating effect of leader-member exchange on the job insecurity-organizational commitment relationship. In Integration and Innovation Orient to E-Society Volume 2 (pp. 505–513). Springer US.Google Scholar
  48. Jöreskog, K., & Sörbom, D. (1996). LISREL 8: User’s reference guide (2nd ed.). Lincolnwood, IL: Scientific Software International.Google Scholar
  49. Judge, T. A., & Bono, J. E. (2001). Relationship of core self-evaluations traits self-esteem, generalized self-efficacy, locus of control, and emotional stability with job satisfaction and job performance: a meta-analysis. Journal of Applied Psychology, 86, 80–92.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  50. Judge, T. A., Jackson, C. L., Shaw, J. C., Scott, B. A., & Rich, B. L. (2007). Self-efficacy and work-related performance: the integral role of individual differences. Journal of Applied Psychology, 92(1), 107–127.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  51. Kalleberg, A. L. (2009). Precarious work, insecure workers: employment relations in transition. American Sociological Review, 74(1), 1–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Lent, R. W., & Brown, S. D. (2006). On conceptualizing and assessing social cognitive constructs in career research: a measurement guide. Journal of Career Assessment, 14(1), 12–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Lent, R. W., Brown, S. D., & Hackett, G. (1994). Toward a unifying social cognitive theory of career and academic interest, choice, and performance. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 45(1), 79–122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Lent, R. W., Brown, S. D., & Hackett, G. (1996). Career development from a social cognitive perspective. In D. Brown & L. Brooks (Eds.), Career choice and development (3rd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  55. Lent, R. W., Brown, S. D., & Hackett, G. (2000). Contextual supports and barriers to career choice: a social cognitive analysis. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 47, 36–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Lewchuk, W., Clarke, M., & de Wolff, A. (2008). Working without commitments: precarious employment and health. Work, Employment and Society, 22, 387–406.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Liukkonen, V., Virtanen, P., Kivimäki, M., Pentti, J., & Vahtera, J. (2004). Social capital in working life and the health of employees. Social Science & Medicine, 59(12), 2447–2458.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Lo Presti, A., & Nonnis, M. (2012). Moderated effects of job insecurity on work engagement and distress. TPM, 19, 97–113.Google Scholar
  59. Luthans, F., Norman, S., Avolio, B. J., & Avey, J. B. (2008). The mediating role of psychological capital in the supportive organizational climate—employee performance relationship. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 29, 219–238.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Macey, W., & Schinder, B. (2008). The meaning of employee engagement. Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 1, 3–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Mauno, S., Kinnunen, U., Mäkikangas, A., & Nätti, J. (2005). Psychological consequences of fixed-term employment and perceived job insecurity among health care staff. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 14(3), 209–237.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. McDonald, D. J., & Makin, P. J. (2000). The psychological contract, organisational commitment and job satisfaction of temporary staff. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 21(2), 84–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Multon, K. D., Brown, S. D., & Lent, R. D. (1991). Relation of self-efficacy beliefs to academic outcomes: a meta-analytic investigation. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 38, 30–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Nelson, A., Cooper, C. L., & Jackson, P. R. (1995). Uncertainty amidst change: the impact of privatization on employee job satisfaction and wellbeing. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 68(1), 57–71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Pinquart, M., & Silbereisen, R. K. (2004). Human development in times of social change: theoretical considerations and research needs. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 28(4), 289–298.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Probst, T. M. (2002). Layoffs and tradeoffs: production, quality, and safety demands under the threat of job loss. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 7, 211–220.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  67. Probst, T. M., Petitta, L., Barbaranelli, C., & Lavaysse, L. M. (2016). Moderating effects of contingent work on the relationship between job insecurity and employee safety. Safety Science.Google Scholar
  68. Rigotti, T., & Mohr, G. (2005). German flexibility: loosening the reins without losing control. In N. De Cuyper, K. Isaksson, & H. De Witte (Eds). Employment Contracts and Well-Being Among European Workers. Ashgate (pp. 75–102).Google Scholar
  69. Rigotti, T., Schyns, B., & Mohr, G. (2008). A short version of the occupational self-efficacy scale. Structural and construct validity across five countries. Journal of Career Assessment, 16, 238–255.Google Scholar
  70. Schaufeli, W. B., & Bakker, A. B. (2004). Job demands, job resources, and their relationship with burnout and engagement: A multi-sample study. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 25(3), 293–315.Google Scholar
  71. Schyns, B., & von Collani, G. (2002). A new occupational self-efficacy scale and its relation to personality constructs and organizational variables. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 11, 219–241.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Scrima, F., Lorito, L., Parry, E., & Falgares, G. (2014). The mediating role of work engagement on the relationship between job involvement and affective commitment. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 25(15), 2159–2173.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Selenko, E., Makikangas, A., Mauno, S., & Kinnunen, U. (2013). How does job insecurity relate to self-reported job performance? Analysing curvilinear associations in a longitudinal sample. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 86, 522–542.Google Scholar
  74. Sexton, T. L., Tuckman, B. W., & Crehan, K. (1992). An investigation of the patterns of self-efficacy, outcome expectation, outcome value, and performance across trials. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 16, 329–348.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Shimazu, A., & Schaufeli, W. B. (2009). Is workaholism good or bad for employee well-being? The distinctiveness of workaholism and work engagement among Japanese employees. Industrial Health, 47(5), 495–502.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  76. Sirigatti, S., & Stefanile, C. (2002). Addattamento italiano del OSI – Occupational Stress Inventory. Firenze: Organizzazioni Speciali.Google Scholar
  77. Spurk, D., & Abele, A. E. (2014). Synchronous and time-lagged effects between occupational self-efficacy and objective and subjective career success: findings from a four-wave and 9-year longitudinal study. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 84(2), 119–132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Stajkovic, A. D., & Luthans, F. (1998). Self-efficacy and work-related performance: a meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 124, 240–261.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. 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.Google Scholar
  80. Tani, F., Lazzaretti, R., Maggino, F., Smorti, M., & Giannini, M. (2009). Uno strumento per misurare l’autoefficacia occupazionale: l’adattamento italiano della Occupational Self Efficacy Scale (OCCSEFF). Giornale Italiano di Psicologia, 3, 657–671.Google Scholar
  81. Tilakdharee, N., Ramidial, S., & Parumasur, S. B. (2010). The relationship between job insecurity and burnout. Sajems ns, 13(3), 254–271.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Tomic, M., & Tomic, E. (2011). Existential fulfilment, workload and work engagement among nurses. Journal of Research in Nursing, 16(5), 468–479.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Van Zyl, L., Van Eeden, C., & Rothmann, S. (2013). Job insecurity and the emotional and behavioural consequences thereof. South African Journal of Business Management, 44(1), 75–86.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Vander Elst, T., Richter, A., Sverke, M., Näswall, K., De Cuyper, N., & De Witte, H. (2014). Threat of losing valued job features: the role of perceived control in mediating the effect of qualitative job insecurity on job strain and psychological withdrawal. Work & Stress, 28(2), 143–164.Google Scholar
  85. Villotti, P., Balducci, C., Zaniboni, S., Corbière, M., & Fraccaroli, F. (2014). An analysis of work engagement among workers with mental disorders recently integrated to work. Journal of Career Assessment, 22(1), 18–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Virtanen, P., Vahtera, J., Kivimäki, M., Pentti, J., & Ferrie, J. (2002). Employment security and health. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 56(8), 569–574.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  87. Yaşlıoğlu, M., Karagülle, A. Ö., & Baran, M. (2013). An empirical research on the relationship between job insecurity, job related stress and job satisfaction in logistics industry. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 99, 332–338.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cinzia Guarnaccia
    • 1
    Email author
  • Fabrizio Scrima
    • 2
  • Alba Civilleri
    • 3
  • Laura Salerno
    • 4
  1. 1.Parisian Laboratory of Social Psychology (LAPPS)University Paris 8 Vincennes Saint-DenisSaint Denis CedexFrance
  2. 2.Department of Humanities and Social SciencesUniversity of Rouen NormandyMont Saint Aignan CedexFrance
  3. 3.Department of Psychological and Cognitive SciencesUniversity of TrentoRoveretoItaly
  4. 4.Department of Psychological and Educational SciencesUniversity of PalermoPalermoItaly

Personalised recommendations