Disaster or Opportunity? How COVID-19-Associated Changes in Environmental Uncertainty and Job Insecurity Relate to Organizational Identification and Performance

Huiwen Lian, Jie Li, Chenduo Du, Wen Wu, Yuhuan Xia, Cynthia Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic continues to create tremendous uncertainty in workplaces. Building on a social identity perspective, this study develops and tests a model of how and why COVID-19-associated uncertainty affects employee work outcomes. The model differentiates uncertainty as either internal (job insecurity) or external (perceived environmental uncertainty) to the organization and reveals their different effects on employee organizational identification, which positively affects employee work outcomes (work effort, organizational citizenship behavior, and performance). With a latent change score to model intraindividual changes, we found that increases (or decreases) in job insecurity before versus during the pandemic related to subsequent decreases (or increases) in organizational identification, whereas increases (or decreases) in perceived environmental uncertainty before versus during the pandemic related to subsequent increases (or decreases) in organizational identification; increases (or decreases) in organizational identification then related to increases (or decreases) in positive work outcomes. These findings complement existing theoretical views that uncertainty typically leads to poor performance by inducing anxiety, and that organizational identification suffers during a crisis such as COVID-19.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)693-706
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Applied Psychology
Volume107
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022. American Psychological Association

Keywords

  • Job insecurity
  • Organizational citizenship behavior (ocb)
  • Organizational identification
  • Perceived environmental uncertainty
  • Performance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology

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