A Swiss–US Comparison of the Correlates of Job Insecurity


  • Sarah Staffen now works for Lodestone Management Consultants, Munich, Germany.

Cornelius J. König, Universität Zürich, Psychologisches Institut, Binzmühlestr. 14/12, 8050 Zürich, Switzerland. Email: c.koenig@psychologie.uzh.ch


Much is known about the general correlates of job insecurity but less about whether the strength of these correlations differs between countries. In order to fill this gap in the literature, the current study explored the correlates of job insecurity as a function of the cultural value of uncertainty avoidance. Specifically, using two samples from countries with very different uncertainty avoidance orientations (Switzerland and the US), we tested whether the relationships of job insecurity with job satisfaction, organisational commitment, and turnover intention are stronger in the Swiss sample. As expected, Swiss respondents scored higher in uncertainty avoidance than their US counterparts. Contrary to expectations, however, the results showed that the relationships between job insecurity and outcomes were stronger in the US than in Switzerland. Substantial differences in the social safety net within the two countries are discussed as a plausible explanation of this finding.