Is anyone else feeling completely unessential? Meaningful work, identification, job insecurity, and online organizational behavior during a lockdown in the Netherlands

Jaap W. Ouwerkerk, Jos Bartels

Research output: Working paperAcademic

Abstract

A survey among Dutch employees (N = 408) investigated how a lockdown in response to the COVID-19 pandemic affected work perceptions. Results demonstrate that employees who are not working during lockdown, or have strongly reduced work hours, perceive their job as contributing less to the greater good, identify less with their organization, and experience more job insecurity, compared to those who are still performing a high percentage of their work activities. Moreover, the longer employees were in lockdown, the weaker their greater good motivations and the more job insecurity they experienced. Additionally, we investigated the relations of work perceptions with prosocial and deviant online organizational behaviors of employees who were still working. Identification with colleagues and perceiving positive meaning in one’s job emerged as 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, as well as more deviant online behaviors directed at others in the form of cyberostracism and cyberincivility. Based on these findings, we discuss practical lessons for future lockdowns to minimize negative consequences for organizations and employees.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusSubmitted - 26 Aug 2020

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Lockdown

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