Job insecurity is attributable to the fear of being exploited by the organization and may have negative effects on employees. For example, it may lead employees to adopt non-compliant or deviant behaviors that harm individuals and their organization. However, knowledge about specific fears that have positive or negative effects on employees and organizations is limited. Therefore, this study aimed to detect the main fears related to job insecurity in an organization and the hidden meanings included in each of these fears that may cause negative and positive effects on important work-related outcomes. Further, we identified safety behaviors related to the previously identified fears. Notably, we investigated whether fears reduce well-being, the number of accidents and near misses, and behaviors related to safety and whether they increase the perceived probability of making mistakes. We conducted 65 focus groups with 37 managers/employees and 180 workers in separate groups. Furthermore, they completed a self-report questionnaire. We identified eleven fears and related meanings and ten safety behaviors. Multivariate regression analyses revealed that fears were significantly negatively associated with well-being and safety behaviors but not with the probability of making mistakes and causing accidents. Thus, fears play a key role in promoting behaviors, organizational strategies, and employees’ well-being. The analysis results show that fears are included in a main general factor and suggest a new way to consider fears at work. Given our findings, we propose a new definition of fear in the organization.

Understanding and Exploring the Concept of Fear, in the Work Context and Its Role in Improving Safety Performance and Reducing Well-Being in a Steady Job Insecurity Period

Bellini, Diego
;
Cubico, Serena;Ardolino, Piermatteo;
2022

Abstract

Job insecurity is attributable to the fear of being exploited by the organization and may have negative effects on employees. For example, it may lead employees to adopt non-compliant or deviant behaviors that harm individuals and their organization. However, knowledge about specific fears that have positive or negative effects on employees and organizations is limited. Therefore, this study aimed to detect the main fears related to job insecurity in an organization and the hidden meanings included in each of these fears that may cause negative and positive effects on important work-related outcomes. Further, we identified safety behaviors related to the previously identified fears. Notably, we investigated whether fears reduce well-being, the number of accidents and near misses, and behaviors related to safety and whether they increase the perceived probability of making mistakes. We conducted 65 focus groups with 37 managers/employees and 180 workers in separate groups. Furthermore, they completed a self-report questionnaire. We identified eleven fears and related meanings and ten safety behaviors. Multivariate regression analyses revealed that fears were significantly negatively associated with well-being and safety behaviors but not with the probability of making mistakes and causing accidents. Thus, fears play a key role in promoting behaviors, organizational strategies, and employees’ well-being. The analysis results show that fears are included in a main general factor and suggest a new way to consider fears at work. Given our findings, we propose a new definition of fear in the organization.
concept of fears; economic crisis; job insecurity; well-being; safety at work; safety behaviors
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/1077646
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