Lena Låstad


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Works at Department of Psychology
Telephone 08-16 39 06
Visiting address Frescati Hagväg 14
Room 325
Postal address Psykologiska institutionen 106 91 Stockholm

About me

I work as researcher at the Division of Work and Organizational Psychology, and my research is part of a research project concerning determinants and consequences of job insecurity. My doctoral thesis focused on job insecurity climate (thesis title: Job insecurity climate: The nature of the construct, its associations with outcomes, and its relation to individual job insecurity). More specifically, the thesis work showed that job insecurity can be conceptualized as a social phenomenon, as an individual's perception of the job insecurity climate at work, or as shared perceptions of job insecurity climate.


A selection from Stockholm University publication database
  • 2016. Lena Låstad (et al.). Arbetsmarknad & Arbetsliv 22 (3/4), 8-27

    Anställningsotrygghet – en oro för att mot sin vilja förlora jobbet – är något som de flesta anställda idag upplever under sina yrkesliv. Den beteendevetenskapliga forskningen inom detta område har skjutit fart sedan millennieskiftet, vilket motiverar behovet av en uppdaterad litteraturöversikt. Översikten omfattar prediktorer och konsekvenser av anställningsotrygghet samt vilka faktorer som har identifierats som viktiga när det gäller att mildra anställningsotrygghetens konsekvenser.

  • 2017. Magnus Sverke, Lena Låstad.

    State of the art: Job insecurity – worrying about losing one’s job – is a common concern among workers worldwide. Since the early 1980s, the research literature in this field has been steadily growing, establishing job insecurity as a work-related stressor with detrimental outcomes for both employees and organizations. However, there are still a number of important research gaps, including how job insecurity relates to a wide range of potential outcomes, whether the strength of these associations vary between national contexts, the direction of causality between insecurity and outcomes, and how organizations may reduce job insecurity perceptions.

    New perspectives/contributions: This symposium presents a comprehensive overview of the current state of job insecurity research. Specifically, the first presentation summarizes findings from a meta-analysis linking job insecurity to several work attitudes and behaviors, and different physical and mental health outcomes. The second study takes a closer look at these meta-analytic results by investigating if the negative consequences of job insecurity vary between cultural and welfare contexts. The third presentation provides an overview of longitudinal studies of the relationship between job insecurity and outcomes, also reviewing the evidence concerning temporal precedence and causality. The fourth study reports on the results of an organizational intervention in an organization undergoing restructuring, where one aim was to reduce job insecurity.

    Research/practical implications: The contributions and concluding discussion aim at compiling the state of knowledge on job insecurity and its consequences, outlining directions for future research, and addressing practical implications on how to minimize job insecurity perceptions in organizations.

  • 2016. Lena Låstad, Tinne Vander Elst, Hans De Witte. Career Development International 21 (3), 246-261

    Purpose– The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between individual job insecurity and job insecurity climate over time. Design/methodology/approach– Data were collected among readers of a Flemish Human Resources magazine. The data collection was repeated three times, resulting in a longitudinal dataset with information from 419 employees working in Flanders. A cross-lagged design was used in which both individual job insecurity and job insecurity climate were modeled at all times and reciprocal relationships between these constructs could be investigated. Findings– The results showed that perceptions of individual job insecurity were related to perceiving a climate of job insecurity six months later. However, no evidence was found for the effect of job insecurity climate on individual job insecurity. This suggests that job insecurity origins in the individual’s perceptions of job insecurity and subsequently expands to include perceptions of a job insecurity climate at the workplace. Research limitations/implications– First, the data used in this study were collected solely by self-reports, which could have introduced a common method bias to the study. Second, as with all non-experimental studies, the possibility that a third variable could have affected the results cannot categorically be ruled out. Practical implications– Managers and human resource practitioners who wish to prevent job insecurity in organizations may consider focussing on individual job insecurity perceptions when planning preventive efforts. Originality/value– By investigating the relationship between individual job insecurity and job insecurity climate over time, this study contributes to the understanding of job insecurity, both as an individual and a social phenomenon.

  • 2015. Lena Låstad (et al.). Career Development International 20 (3), 202-217

    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to develop and validate a measure of job insecurity climate by: first, testing whether job insecurity climate and individual job insecurity are two separate constructs; and second, investigating the relative importance of individual job insecurity and job insecurity climate in predicting work-related and health-related outcomes.

    Design/methodology/approach – Data were collected by questionnaires in a simple stratified random sample of 1,380 white-collar workers in Sweden. The response rate was 56 percent.

    Findings – Confirmatory factor analyses showed that job insecurity climate was distinct from individual job insecurity. Four separate ridge regression analyses showed that qualitative job insecurity climate was a significant predictor of demands, work-family conflict, psychological distress, and poor self-rated health and that quantitative job insecurity climate predicted demands and work-family conflict.

    Research limitations/implications – The study is based on self-reports, which may involve common method bias. The cross-sectional study design limits the possibility to make causal inferences regarding the relationship between job insecurity climate and outcomes.

    Practical implications – Future studies may consider measuring job insecurity climate in line with a referent-shift model. Work environment surveys in organizations that include measures of individual job insecurity and job insecurity climate can provide practitioners with a fuller picture of the psychosocialwork environment.

    Originality/value – The present study adds to previous research by introducing a new approach to measuring and conceptualizing job insecurity climate.

  • 2014. Lena Låstad (et al.). European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology 23 (5), 680-692

    Over the last few decades, increased flexibility and lack of stability in employment has made job insecurity a work stressor that affects more and more employees. Since worrying about potential job loss (quantitative job insecurity) or possible loss of valued job features (qualitative job insecurity) constitutes a subjective perception, it has been claimed that personality factors may be decisive for job insecurity perceptions. Furthermore, the perception of a stressor, in this case job insecurity, could be argued to be dependent on appraisals of available coping resources. This study investigates whether core self-evaluations predict job insecurity perceptions, and whether coping mediates this relationship, in a two-wave data set from a Swedish sample of white-collar workers (N = 425). The results show that core self-evaluations had a negative total effect on both qualitative and quantitative job insecurity. Core self-evaluations were positively related to problem-focused coping but not to emotion-focused coping. However, there was no mediating effect of coping style on the association between core self-evaluations and job insecurity.

  • 2017. Lena Låstad (et al.).

    Purpose: A rapidly growing body of literature has shown that perceptions of job insecurity are related to negative outcomes, but less is known about the relative importance of different societal contexts. It has for instance been argued that the consequences of job insecurity may be more negative in countries that have a high level of social protection, because of the social stigma of unemployment. On the other hand, the lack of unemployment insurance programs may aggravate the negative consequences. The aim of this meta-analysis was to investigate if work- and health-related consequences of job insecurity vary between cultural and welfare contexts.

    Design/Methodology: A literature search with the search terms “job insecurity”, “job uncertainty”, “job security”, and “job security satisfaction” in Psycinfo, Web of Science, and EBSCO produced a sample of 523 peer-reviewed papers published between 1980 and July 2016. Economic and social development, national welfare system, and tolerance for ambiguity were tested as moderators in the relationship between job insecurity and outcomes.

    Results: The results indicate that the magnitudes of effects of job insecurity differ depending on the choice of classification system.

    Limitations: The literature search was limited to published, peer-reviewed papers. This demarcation may have introduced a publication bias to the study.

    Research/Practical implications: In addition to being an important individual and organizational concern, job insecurity is also intimately linked with societal level factors.

    Originality/Value: This study contributes to an increased understanding of the importance of macro-level factors in the association between job insecurity and outcomes.

  • 2017. Johnny Hellgren (et al.).

    Purpose: Job insecurity has been recognized as a predominant work stressor in work environment research for the past thirty years. Thus far, two meta-analyses have been published on the consequences of job insecurity for individual and organizational outcomes. However, these meta-analyses were published in 2002 and 2008 and contain only a few broad outcomes. Since then, the amount of published job insecurity studies have increased substantially, investigating a wider range of outcomes. The aim of the present meta-analysis was to extend previous knowledge by investigating the effects of job insecurity on a broader spectrum of outcomes than the previous meta-analyses have done.

    Design/Methodology: Literature searches with the search terms “job insecurity”, “job uncertainty”, “job security”, and “job security satisfaction” in relevant databases during the time period 1980─2016 resulted in 523 peer-reviewed papers published. The outcome variables were divided in to three thematic categories: work related attitudes and behaviors, mental and physical health, and life outside work.

    Results: The results suggest that job insecurity has a substantial and negative impact on the wide range of outcomes included.

    Limitations: The study cannot address the question of direction (causality) of the relationships presented and did not control for potential confounding variables.

    Research/Practical implications: Job insecurity is demonstrated to have strong, negative effects on organizational performance and individual health and well-being as well as for life outside work.

    Originality/Value: Adding to previous knowledge, this study both broadens and deepens the understanding of the negative consequences associated with job insecurity.

Show all publications by Lena Låstad at Stockholm University

Last updated: October 10, 2018

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