Lena Låstad


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Works at Department of Education
Telephone 08-16 39 06
Visiting address Frescativägen 54
Room 325
Postal address Institutionen för pedagogik och didaktik 106 91 Stockholm

About me

I work as a lecturer and 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
  • 2020. Sandra Blomqvist (et al.). Journal of Affective Disorders 266, 215-222

    Background: Previous research suggests that job insecurity is associated with poor mental health, but research examining how different aspects of job insecurity relate to clinical measures of poor mental health are lacking. We aimed to investigate the association between cognitive and affective job insecurity and incident purchases of psychotropic drugs.

    Methods: We included 14,586 employees participating in the Swedish Longitudinal Occupational Survey of Health (SLOSH), who answered questions on cognitive and/or affective job insecurity in 2010, 2012 or 2014. Respondents were followed in the Swedish Prescribed Drug Register (2.5 years on average). We investigated the association between job insecurity and incident psychotropic drugs with marginal structural Cox models.

    Results: Affective job insecurity was associated with an increased risk of purchasing any psychotropic drugs (Hazard Ratio (HR) 1.40 (95% Confidence Interval (CI) 1.04–1.89)) while cognitive job insecurity was not (HR 1.15 (95% CI 0.92–1.43)). Cognitive and affective job insecurity were both associated with antidepressants, affective job insecurity with anxiolytics, but no association was found with sedatives. Women and younger workers seemed to have higher risk compared to men and older workers, but differences were not statistically significant.

    Limitations: Although job insecurity and psychotropic drugs were assessed through independent sources and several covariates were considered, unmeasured confounding cannot be ruled out.

    Conclusions: The findings support that affective job insecurity is a risk factor for psychotropic drug treatment, that it may be relevant to distinguish between different types of job insecurity, and to consider sex and age as moderating factors.

  • 2019. Magnus Sverke (et al.). International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 16 (14)

    Previous research has shown that job insecurity is linked to a range of performance outcomes, but the number of studies exploring this relationship is still limited and the results are somewhat mixed. The first aim of this study was to meta-analytically investigate how job insecurity is related to task performance, contextual performance, counterproductive work behavior, creativity, and safety compliance. The second aim was to test two method-related factors ( cross-sectional vs. longitudinal associations and self-vs. supervisor-ratings of performance) and two macro-level indicators of social protection ( social welfare regime and union density) as moderators of these associations. The results show that job insecurity was generally associated with impaired employee performance. These findings were generally similar both cross-sectionally and longitudinally and irrespective of rater. Overall, the associations between job insecurity and negative performance outcomes were weaker in welfare regimes characterized by strong social protection, whereas the results concerning union density produced mixed results. A majority of the findings confirmed the negative associations between job insecurity and types of employee performance, but future research is needed to elaborate on the effects of temporal aspects, differences between ratings sources, and further indicators of social protection in different cultural settings in the context of job insecurity.

  • 2018. Lena Låstad (et al.). Economic and Industrial Democracy 39 (3), 422-438

    The aim of this study is to examine job insecurity from a multilevel perspective and to investigate the roles of two types of job insecurity - job insecurity climate and individual job insecurity - for work-related attitudes and health outcomes. It further explores the role of the workgroup - as a social context - in shaping job insecurity perceptions. Data were collected from white-collar employees in a Swedish organization, with 126 participants nested in 18 groups. The results show that 19% of the variance in job insecurity climate perceptions, and none of the variance in individual job insecurity perceptions, could be attributed to group membership. Further, compared to other members of their group, those perceiving a stronger job insecurity climate reported lower levels of negative self-rated health and higher burnout scores. These results imply that the workgroup is an important social context for job insecurity climate perceptions.

  • 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.

  • 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.

Show all publications by Lena Låstad at Stockholm University

Last updated: August 3, 2020

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