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I Should Learn to Feel Secure but I Don’t Because I Feel Insecure: The Relationship between Qualitative Job Insecurity and Work-Related Learning in the Public Sector
Review of Public Personnel Administration  (IF5.298),  Pub Date : 2021-07-22, DOI: 10.1177/0734371x211032391
Nele De Cuyper, Kelly Smet, Hans De Witte

Employees who feel insecure about their job participate less in work-related learning. This is paradoxical given that work-related learning is advanced as a way to prepare for upcoming change. This may induce a cycle in which job insecurity leads to gradual more insecurity and less participation in work-related learning, yet this has not yet been probed in much detail. We study this cycle. In doing so, we account for different forms work-related learning, both formal and informal, and we focus upon felt insecurity about how the job might look like in the future, coined qualitative job insecurity: this has particular resonance in the public sector. Hypotheses were tested using a random-intercept cross-lagged panel model among 922 Flemish public sector employees Employees who experience higher qualitative job insecurity participate less in formal work-related learning and participation in formal learning decreases feelings of job insecurity. This aligns with the idea of cycles.