WAOP-KLI Joint Seminar 4/4: Job Insecurity versus Perceived Employability. Debating similarities and differences of two twins.

Kurt Lewin Instituut
Heidelberglaan 1
Room Number H1.42
The Netherlands
T: +31 (0)30 - 253 3027

WAOP-KLI Joint Seminar 4/4: Job Insecurity versus Perceived Employability. Debating similarities and differences of two twins.

Teaching staff
Prof. Hans De Witte & Prof. Nele De Cuyper (KU Leuven)

Type of course
Joint Seminars

May 3, 2019

Utrecht University, room to be announced.

1 day


1.0 ECTS

In academic year 2018-2019, four seminars will be organized, each rewarded with 1 ECTS (28 hours). Both WAOP-PhD students (who are not a member of the KLI) as well as KLI members can sign up for each seminar. KLI members register during the KLI registration periods. WAOP members register by sending an email to KLI.admin@uu.nl, clearly stating the seminar(s) they want to participate in.
WAOP members (non-KLI members) pay a fixed amount: € 20,- for each seminar. The same amount (€ 20,- for each KLI student) will be reimbursed by the KLI.In each one-day seminar (6 hours) a senior scholar presents work on his/her specialization, including both methodological and theoretical components. Before the start of the seminar, the attendees have to read 3-4 key articles/chapters (8 hours), which are specified by the scholar in advance. The meeting itself features interactive, engaging, and active learning. After each seminar (within two weeks), the attendees write a brief paper (max. 2000 words, 14 hours, pass/fail evaluation) consisting of the following parts: A description of theoretical approach or research methodology discussed in the seminar.
The application of the research methodology or theory learned in the seminar in the form of a study proposal, which includes at least one specific hypothesis. A plan on how the student could integrate the learned research methodology or theory in his/her PhD project, including possible opportunities and challenges.

Job insecurity concerns the subjectively experienced anticipation of a fundamental and involuntary event related to job loss (Sverke, Hellgren, and Näswall, 2002, p. 243), whereas (perceived) employability concerns the individual’s (perceived) chance of a job in the internal or the external labor market (Forrier, Sels, and Stynen, 2009). Job insecurity and employability have attracted considerable attention from practitioners and policy-makers alike, and this attention has led to conceptual confusion: job insecurity and employability are sometimes seen as similar, with the only difference being negative or positive valence. Accordingly, a first aim of this seminar is to discuss similarities and differences from a conceptual point of view. Job insecurity and employability have also attracted scholarly attention from related yet distinct disciplines. Job insecurity has been featuring prominently in the occupational health literature: the basic assumption is that job security is a stressor that leads to strain. Employability is at the core of career research: employability is advanced as a critical personal asset to achieve success. There have been various attempts to bring the two lines together, and overall successfully so, but those are relatively few. A second aim of the seminar therefore is to discuss job insecurity and employability from the perspective of occupational health and careers, with specific attention to how those lines can be integrated and against the background of the methodological debate on how to probe longitudinal mediation. Those aims will be achieved in interactive sessions in which participants are invited to reflect on their own insecurity and employability.


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