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Differentiating cognitive and affective job insecurity: Antecedents and outcomes


Guo-Hua Huang, Department of Management, Hong Kong Baptist University, Kowloon, Hong Kong. E-mail:


To test a proposed model of the job insecurity (JI) process that treats cognitive JI and affective JI as separate constructs, this study investigates organizational-level employee involvement and communication practices that influence the level of cognitive JI; increasing levels of cognitive JI in turn can create an affective reaction (i.e., affective JI). This affective reaction then influences individual psychological and behavioral outcomes. With two waves of data from three large Chinese organizations, the model test results show that employee involvement decreases cognitive JI perceptions. This reduction then leads to lower affective JI. Affective JI in turn relates negatively to employee psychological well-being but positively to both supervisor-rated job performance and affective JI six months later. The effect of cognitive JI on employee outcomes is partially through affective JI. Cognitive JI has a direct impact on psychological well-being but not on job performance. These findings offer key theoretical and practical implications. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.