Dr. Alex Rubenstein published in Journal of Applied Psychology

For release:  May 13, 2016

Dr. Alex Rubenstein, assistant professor of Management, recently had his paper accepted for publication in the Journal of Applied Psychology. The paper is entitled "When 'Embedded' Means 'Stuck': Moderating Effects of Job Embeddedness in Adverse Work Environments." Dr. Rubenstein co-authored the paper with Dr. David Allen, Rutgers University, and Dr. Vesa Peltokorpi, Saitama University.

The paper examines how job embeddedness is predominately assumed to have a positive quality, benefitting employees, work groups, and organizations (e.g., higher performance, social cohesion, lower voluntary turnover). Challenging this assumption, the study examined the potentially negative outcomes that may occur if employees are embedded in an adverse work environment – feeling "stuck," yet unable to exit a negative situation. More specifically, the paper considered two factors representing adverse work conditions: abusive supervision and job insecurity. Drawing from conservation-of-resources theory, the authors hypothesized that job embeddedness would moderate the relationship between these conditions and outcomes of voluntary turnover, physical health, emotional exhaustion, and sleep quality/quantity, such that employees embedded in more adverse environments would experience more negative outcomes, though they would also be less likely to quit. Results from two independent samples, one in Japan and one in the United States, provide support for the hypothesized pattern of interaction effects, thereby highlighting a largely neglected "dark side" of job embeddedness.