Is Anyone Else Feeling Completely Nonessential? Meaningful Work, Identification, Job Insecurity and Online Organizational Behavior during a Lockdown in The Netherlands

Jaap W. Ouwerkerk, Jos Bartels*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

COVID-19 has affected employees worldwide, and in many countries, governments have used lockdowns to control the pandemic. In some countries, employees were divided into essential and nonessential workers. A survey among Dutch employees (N = 408) investigated how a lockdown in response to the pandemic affected work perceptions. The study found that employees who were not working during lockdown, or whose work hours were reduced sharply, perceived their job as contributing less to the greater good, identified less strongly with their organization, and experienced more job insecurity compared with those who retained a large percentage of their work activities. The longer employees were in lockdown, the weaker their greater-good motivations and the more job insecurity. Furthermore, identification with colleagues and perception of positive meaning in one’s job were significant predictors of online organizational citizenship behavior directed at other individuals (OCB-I), whereas organizational identification predicted such behavior directed at the organization (OCB-O). Moreover, indicative of a job preservation motive, increased job insecurity was related to more online OCB-O, and more deviant online behaviors directed at others in the form of cyberostracism and cyberincivility. We further discuss practical lessons for future lockdowns to minimize negative consequences for organizations and employees.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1514
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume19
Issue number3
Early online date28 Jan 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2022

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

User-Defined Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Identification
  • Job insecurity
  • Lockdown
  • Meaningful work
  • Organizational citizenship behavior

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