Skip to main content Skip to main navigation menu Skip to site footer
Projects and researches
Published: 2018-12-29

Comparative Evaluations of Performance and Self-esteem as Determinants of Job Insecurity

Korn Ferry Hay Group
job insecurity self-esteem comparative judgements incremental effect


Job insecurity is a toxic stressor brought forward by the world’s financial crisis. The purpose of this study is to demonstrate that comparative judgements predict a unique percentage of job insecurity’s variance, above self esteem. Subsequently, questionnaires were applied via social media or via paper-pencil to 108 participants. Hierarchical regression results show that comparative judgements do not have any incremental effect in predicting job insecurity above self esteem. Self esteem predicts 21% variance in job insecurity. In conclusion, job insecurity is predicted by how individuals globally evaluate themselves, with comparative judgements regarding one’s own performance or the company’s performance having no incremental predictive power. These two variables can be regarded as undifferentiated from self esteem.


Baumeister, R. F., Campbell, J. D., Krueger, J. I., & Vohs, K. D. (2003). Does High Self-Esteem Cause Better Performance, Interpersonal Succes, Happiness, Or Healthier Lifestyles? Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 4(1). Retrieved from

Bono, J. E., & Judge, T. A. (2003). Core Self-Evaluations: A Review of the Trait and its Role in Job Satisfaction and Job Performance. European Journal of Personality.DOI: 10.1002/per.481

Buunk, A.P. & Gibbons, F.X. (2007). Social comparison: The end of a theory and the emergence of a field. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 102 (2007) 3–21. DOI: 10.1016/j.obhdp.2006.09.007

Brown, D.J., Ferris, D.L., Heller, D. & Keeping, L.M. (2007). Antecedents and consequences of the frequency of upward and downward social comparisons at work. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 102 (2007) 59–75. DOI:10.1016/j.obhdp.2006.10.003

Brunborg, G.S. (2008). Core Self-Evaluations A Predictor Variable for Job Stress. European Psychologist, Vol. 13(2):96–102. DOI 10.1027/1016-9040.13.2.96.

Cohn, A., Fehr, E., Herrmann, B., Schneider, F. (2011). Social comparison in the workplace: Evidence from a field experiment. Discussion paper series// Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit, No. 5550. Retrieved from urn:nbn:de:101:1-201104133729

Colligan, T.W. & Higgins, E.M. (2005). Workplace Stress: Etiology and Consequences. Journal of Workplace Behavioural Health, 21(2), 90-96. DOI: 10.1300/J490v21n02_07

Crocker, J., & Park, L. E. (2004). The Costly Pursuit of Self-Esteem.Psychological Bulletin, 130(3), 392-414.

De Witte, H., De Cuyper, N., Elst, T.V., Vanbelle, E. & Niesen W. (2012). Job Insecurity: Review of the Literature and a Summary of Recent Studies from Belgium. Romanian Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol. 14, No. 1, 11-17.

Elst, T.V. de Witte, H. & de Cuyper, N. (2014). The Job Insecurity Scale: A psychometric evalution across five European countries. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 23(3), 364-380. DOI: 10.1080/1359432X.2012.745989.

Greenberg, J., Ashton-James, C.E. & Ashkanasy, N.M. (2007). Social comparison processes in organizations. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 102, 22-41.

Greenhalgh, L. & Rosenblatt, Z. (2010). Evolution of Research on Job Insecurity. International Studies of Management &Organizatio,.40:1, 6-19. Retrieved from

Hart , P.M., Cooper, C.L. (2001). Occupational Stress: Toward a more Integrated Framework. In Handbook of Industrial, Work and Organizational Psychology (Vol. 2, p. 93-114). London: Sage.

Huang, G., Niu, X., Lee, C. & Ashford, S.J. (2012). Differentiating cognitive and affective job insecurity: Antecedents and outcomes. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 33, 752–769. DOI: 10.1002/job.1815

Hui, C. & Lee, C. (2000). Moderating Effects of Organization-Based Self-Esteem on Organizational Uncertainty: Employee Response Relationships. Journal of Management, 26(2), 215-232.

Jan, F., Khan, M.R., Khan, I., Khan, S. & Saif, N. (2015). The Employees’ Self-Esteem: A comprehensive Review. Public Policy and Administration Research, Vol.5, No.5. Retrieved from

Judge, T.A. (2009). Core Self-Evaluations and Work Success. Current directions in Psychological Science, Vol. 18, No. 1, 59-62. Retrieved from

Keim, A.C., Pierce, A.C., Landis, R.S. & Earnest, D.R. (2014). Why Do Employees Worry About Their Jobs? A Meta-Analytic Review of Predictors of Job Insecurity. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, Vol. 19, No. 3, 269–290. Retrieved from

Kernis, M. H. (2003). Toward a Conceptualization of Optimal Self Esteem. Psychological Inquiry, 14(1), 1-26.

Kinnunen, U., Feldt, T. & Mauno, S. (2003). Job insecurity and self-esteem: evidence from cross-lagged relations in a 1-year longitudinal sample. Personality and Individual Differences, 35, 617-632. Retrieved from

Klandermans, B., Hesselink, J.K. & van Vuuren, T. (2010). Employment status and job insecurity: On the subjective appraisal of an objective status. Economic and Industrial Democracy, 31(4) 557–577. DOI: 10.1177//0143831X09358362.

Konig, C.J, Debus, M.E., Haeusler, S., Lendenmann, N. & Kleinmann, M. (2010). Examining occupational self-efficacy, work locus of control and communication as moderators of the job insecurity-job performance relationship. Economic and Industrial Democracy, 31(2), 231-247.

Lam, C. K., Van der Vegt, G. S., Walter, F., & Huang, X. (2011). Harming High Performers: A Social Comparison Perspective on Interpersonal Harming in Work Teams. Journal of Applied Psychology, 96(3), 588-601. DOI: 10.1037/a0021882

Låstad, L., Berntson, E., Näswall, K. & Sverke, M. (2014). Do core self-evaluations and coping style influence the perception of job insecurity?.European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, Vol. 23, No. 5, 680–692. Retrieved from

Laszlo, K.D, Pikhart, H., Kopp, M.S., Bobak, M., Pajak, A., Malyutina, S., Salavecz, G. & Marmot, M. (2010). Job insecurity and health: A study of 16 European countries. Social Science and Medicine, 70(6), 867-874. DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2009.11.022

LeRouge, C., Nelson, A. & Blanton, J.E. (2006). The impact of role stress fit and self-esteem on the job attitudes of IT professionals. Information & Management, 43, 928–938. DOI:10.1016/

Lundberg, U. & Cooper, C.L. (2011). The Science of Occupational Health: Stress, Psychobiology, and the New World of Work. Retrieved from

Mak, A.S. & Mueller, J. (2000). Job insecurity, coping resources and personality dispositions in occupational strain. Work & Stress: An International Journal of Work, Health & Organisations, 14(4), 312-328. Retrieved from

Maricuțoiu, L.P., Sava, F.A. & Butta, O. (2016). The effectiveness of controlled interventions on employees’ burnout: A meta-analysis. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology. 89, 1–27. DOI:10.1111/joop.12099

Marsh, H.W. & Craven, R.G. (2006). Reciprocal Effects of SelfConcept and Performance From a Multidimensional: Perspective Beyond Seductive Pleasure and Unidimensional Perspectives. Perspectives on Psychological Science, Vol. 1, No. 2, 133-163. Retrieved from

Martín-Albo, J., Núñez, J. L., Navarro,, G. G., & Grijalvo, F. (2007). The Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale: Translation and Validation in University Students. The Spanish Journal of Psychology, 10(2), 458-467.

Mazzola, J.J., Schonfeld, I.S. & Spector, P.E. (2011). What Qualitative Research has Taught us about Occupational Stress. Stress and Health, 27: 93–110. DOI: 10.1002/smi.1386

Miana, B.S., Gonzalez-Morales, M.G., Caballer, A. & Peiro, J.M. (2011). Consequences of Job Insecurity and the Moderator Role of Occupational Group. The Spanish Journal of Psychology, Vol. 14, No. 2, 820-831. Retrieved from

Munoz de Bustillo, R. & de Pedraza, P. (2010). Determinants of job insecurity in five European countries. European Journal of Industrial Relations, 16(1), 5-20. DOI: 10.1177/0959680109355306

Neff, K. D., & Vonk, R. (2008). Self-Compassion Versus Global Self-Esteem: Two Different Ways of Relating to Oneself. Journal of Personality. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-6494.2008.00537.x

Neiss, M.B., Stevenson, J., Legrand, L.N., Iacono, W.G. & Sedikides, C. (2009). Self-Esteem, Negative Emotionality, and Depression as a Common Temperamental Core: A Study of Mid-Adolescent Twin Girls. Journal of Personality, Vol. 77, Issue 2, p. 327–346. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-6494.2008.00549.x

Peng, A.C., Xie, J.L. & Schaubroek, J.M. (2015). When Confidence comes and Goes: How Variation in Self-Efficacy Moderates Stressor-Strain Relationships. Journal of Occupational Health and Psychology, 20(3), 359-376. Retrieved from http.//

Pierce, J. L., & Gardner, D. G. (2004). Self-Esteem Within the Work and Organizational Context: A Review of the Organization-Based Self-Esteem Literature. Journal of Management, 30(5), 591-622.

Podsakoff, P.M., MacKenzie, S.B. &Podsakoff, N.P. (2012). Sources of Method Bias in Social Science Research and Recommendations on How to Control It. Annual Review of Psychology, 63:539–69. DOI: 10.1146/annurev-psych-120710-100452

Roskies, E., Louis-Guerin, C. & Fournier, C. (1993). Coping with job insecurity: How does personality make a difference?.Journal of Organizational Behaviour, 14, 617-630.

Schreurs, B., Emmerik, H., Notelaers G. & De Witte, H. (2010). Job insecurity and employee health: The buffering potential of job control and job self-efficacy. Work and Stress: An International Journal of Work, Health & Organisations, 24(1), 56-72. DOI: 10.1080/02678371003718733.

Sora, B., Caballer, A. & Peiro, J.M. (2014). Job insecurity and its consequences in the context of an economic crisis. Papeles del Psicologo, 35(1), 15-21. Retrieved from

Sun, J. L., Joo, E. J., & Choi, K. S. (2013). Perceived Stress and Self-esteem Mediate the Effects of Work-related Stress on Depression.Stress and Health, 75-81. DOI: 10.1002/smi.2428

Sverke, M., Hellgren, J. & Naswall, K. (2002). No Security: A Meta-Analysis and Review of Job Insecurity and Its Consequnces. Journal of Occupational Health and Psychology, 7(3), 242-264. DOI: 10,1037//1076-8998.7.3.242

Swann Jr., W.B., Chang-Schneider, C. & McClarty, K.L. (2007). Do People’s Self-Views Matter? Self-Concept and Self-Esteem in Everyday Life. American Psychologist, Vol. 62, No. 2, 84–94. DOI: 10.1037/0003-066X.62.2.84

Tafarodi, R.W. & Swann, W.B. (1995). Self-Linking and Self-Competence as Dimensions of Global Self-Esteem: Initial Validation of a Measure. Journal of Personality Assessement, 65(2), 322-342. DOI: 10.1207/s15327752jpa6502_8

Van Yperen, N.W. & Leander, P. (2014). The Overpowering Effect of Social Comparison Information On the Misalignment Between Mastery-Based Goals and Self-Evaluation Criteria. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 40(5), 676–688. DOI: 10.1177/0146167214523475

How to Cite

Postelnicu, M. D., & Grigore, O. M. (2018). Comparative Evaluations of Performance and Self-esteem as Determinants of Job Insecurity. Studia Doctoralia, 9(2), 117–126.