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Journal of Money, Investment and Banking

ISSN 1450-288X Issue 11 (2009)

EuroJournals Publishing, Inc. 2009

The Mediating Effects of Job Stress and Job Involvement

Under Job Instability : Banking Service
Personnel of Taiwan as an Example
Yenhui Ouyang
Department of Finance and Banking, Kun Shan University, Tainan, Taiwan
Tel: 886-952236222
With the serious financial crisis that began in 2008, many banking service personnel
lost confidence and even influence their job involvement and job performance. The purpose
of this study is to explore the causal relationship among the job uncertainty, job
involvement, job stress, and job performance of banking service personnel under the
economic depression. Three hundred and sixty-three effective surveys were received from
banking service personnel. The data were analyzed by reliability analysis, exploratory
factor analysis, confirmatory factor analysis, using the structural equation model to
measure the relationship among the constructs. The empirical results found that job
instability of banking service personnel has negative influences on job performance and job
involvement. However, job instability has a significant positive influence on job stress. Job
stress has a positive influence on job involvement and job performance. Job involvement
has a positive influence on job performance. The mediating effects of job stress and job
involvement can positively influence job performance. Out of these, the most important
factor on job performance is job involvement and the second factor is job stress. These
findings can provide the direction of reference for the supervisors of the banking
institutions to improve their performances, as well as how to face the stress of their staffs
and formulate the best decision of management.
Keywords: Job Instability, Job Involvement, Job Stress, Job Performance

1. Introduction
Due to the 2008 financial crisis, many banking service personnel around the world have not only lost
their confidence, but have also caused unemployment rates to be more serious day by day. To promote
efficiency and performance, some enterprises have taken the steps of reorganizing their enterprises,
merging, and even laying off their employees to reduce manpower cost. Therefore, employment
relationship between the staff and organization become more unstable and forecast with difficulty.
Many research pointed out employees with instability in their job have reduced their commitment to
their organization, even affecting their job manner, job involvement, and even job performance.
Moreover, Cohen (1999) supported the importance of job involvement as an antecedent to
organizational commitment in particular having a key influence on job performance. The purpose of
this article is to extend job performance research. We will provide a theoretical basis for our construct

Journal of Money, Investment and Banking - Issue 11 (2009)


of job instability, job stress, job involvement and for job performance its antecedents, and then show
how these constructs are related within this context.
This paper is organized in the following sections. First, we examine the relevant literature and
then present our hypotheses and research framework. The next section gives an overview of the core
methodology used, and then the findings from the research are discussed. At the end of this paper, the
research limitations and managerial implications of this study will be discussed.

2. Literature and Hypotheses

2.1. Job Instability
Job instability contains two constructs, namely severity of threat and powerlessness. The multiplicative
operationalization of the subscales shows job insecurity = (severity of threat) x (powerlessness to
resist), where severity of threat is comprised of threat to the job and threat to the jobs features
(Greenhalgh and Roseblatt, 1984). Isaksson, Pettersson and Hellgren (1998) gave new dimensionality
to the conceptualization of job insecurity by adding quantitative and qualitative values to the
conceptualization of Greenhalgh and Rosenblatt (1984). Where Greenhalgh and Rosenblatt (1984)
conceptualized job insecurity as an affective subjectivity, Isaksson et al. (1998) expanded on this
definition by regarding job insecurity as thoughts on quantitative and qualitative losses of job features.
Quantitative job insecurity is concerned with the perceived threats of losing ones job itself, while
qualitative job insecurity refers to the threats to, or uncertainty about, losing important job features and
values, such as promotions, salary increases and future career development (De Witte 2005a).
Mauno, Kinnunen, Mkikangas and Ntti (2005) suggested that job insecurity is a subjective
estimation of ones chances of losing a job, which is based on the objective circumstances. According
to Mauno et al., these objective circumstances become the antecedents of the job insecurity equation.
Jacobson (1991) further argued that the objective available cues in the environment can be perceived
by the individual as threats to his/her current job and/or position. These environmental cues may
include things such as restructuring, retrenchments and downsizing. Johnson et al. (1984) found that
job performance among individuals who were affected by feelings of job insecurity due to
organizational change was significantly lower than that of individuals who showed less inclination
towards such feelings. According to different studies, job insecurity is also related to work and
organizational attitudes (Green, Felstead and Burchell 2000; Human 2002). Consistent with the prior
literature and results, we predicted that job instability would be negatively associated with job
performance and job involvement.
H1: Job instability has negative association with job performance. (see Figure 1)
H2: Job instability has negative association with job involvement. (see Figure 1)
From the relevant literature, it is evident that job insecurity has been conceptualized and
defined in different ways by various researchers and writers (De Witte 2000; Greenhalgh and
Rosenblatt 1984; Reisel 2002; Sverke et al. 2004). The common factor in the relevant publications is
that job insecurity can be conceptualized as a perception that has predictive value as a cause of stress
and that it implies consequences for the individual and the organization. Due to the subjective nature of
this perception, individuals will have different reactions to this possible stressor (Sverke et al. 2004).
A study by Sverke and Goslinga (2003) revealed that job insecurity has immediate
consequences, which may affect the attitudes of individuals and have possible long-term consequences
that may affect an individuals health and behavior. Mauno and Kinnunen (1999) conceptualized job
insecurity as a stressor irrespective of its conceptualization as global or multidimensional. This view
includes the application of stress theories to research on job insecurity. Some research has been done
from the stress framework, which holds that stressors such as demands placed on the employee and the
employees experienced levels of the strain may produce feelings of job insecurity (De Witte 2000;
Sverke et al. 2004). Probsts (2002) integrated model of job insecurity confirms the perspective that job


Journal of Money, Investment and Banking - Issue 11 (2009)

insecurity is a job stressor. From this viewpoint, we predicted that job instability has a significant effect
on job stress, and examined the following hypothesis:
H3: Job instability has positive association with job stress (see Figure 1) .
2.2. Job Involvement
Job involvement is defined as the degree to which a person identifies psychologically with his or her
work and the importance of the work in their total self-image (Lodhal and Kejner 1965). Zagenczyk
and Murrell (2009) investigated the relationship between advice-giving, advice-receiving, and
employee work attitudes, and found that while advice-giving and advice-receiving were positively
related to job involvement, only advice-receiving was positively related to work-unit commitment. Job
involvement is strongly significant, and can be perceived as a reflection of work experiences (Cohen,
1999). Individuals may become involved in their jobs in response to specific attributes of the work
situation (Mudrack, 2004). If the staff has positive feelings toward their work, they will also view the
goals and the stipulations that the organization has established more positively. Indeed, many theorists
have hypothesized that highly job-involved employees will put forth substantial effort towards the
achievement of organizational objectives and be less likely to leave their employers. (Kanungo, 1979;
Lawler, 1986; Kahn, 1990; Pfeffer, 1994).
Emery and Barker (2007) suggest that the organizational commitment of customer contact
personnel was significantly correlated with customer satisfaction, but not with profits and productivity.
On the other hand, the job involvement of customer contact personnel was significantly correlated with
all three outcomes. Dimitriades (2007) explored the usefulness and highlighted the nature of the interrelationship(s) between service climate and job involvement with regard to their impact on the
customer-focused organizational citizenship behaviors (OCB) of frontline employees in a diverse
cultural context within Greece. He provided empirical evidence of the applicability in Greek service
contexts, and illuminated the complex nature of the inter-relationships between organizational climate
for service and job involvement in predicting customer-oriented organizational citizenship behaviors,
expanding the OCB literature. Cohen (1999) argued that individuals with high levels of job
involvement, which stem from positive experiences on-the-job (Kanungo, 1979; Witt, 1993), attribute
these experiences to the organization. We thus predicted that job involvement has a significant effect
on job performance and examined the following hypothesis:
H4: Job involvement has positive association with job performance. (see Figure 1)
2.3. Job Stress
The term stress originated in the field of physics and was transferred into psychology. Basically, the
idea is that human beings tend to resist external forces acting upon them, just as do physical materials
and bodies (Hobfull, 1989). Today the concept of stress is widespread but controversial. Job stress can
be defined as an employees awareness or feeling of personal dysfunction as a result of perceived
conditions or happenings in the workplace, and the employees psychological and physiological
reactions caused by these uncomfortable, undesirable, or threats in the employees immediate
workplace environment (Montgomery et al., 1996). Job stress has received substantial attention in past
research on accountants like the individuals included in this study (Fisher, 2001; Bernardi, 1997;
Patten, 1995; Choo, 1987). Job stress is very much an individual reaction and is different from general
stress as it is also organization and job related (Montgomery et al., 1996). A number of aspects of
working life have been linked to stress. Aspects of the work itself can be stressful, namely work
overload (DeFrank and Ivancevich, 1998; Sparks and Cooper, 1999) and role-based factors such as
lack of power, role ambiguity, and role conflict (Nelson and Burke, 2000). Threats to career
development and achievement, including threat of redundancy, being under-valued, and unclear
promotion prospects are stressful (Nelson and Burke, 2000). Stress is associated with impaired
individual functioning in the workplace. Negative effects include reduced efficiency, decreased
capacity to perform, dampened initiative and reduced interest in working, increased rigidity of thought,


Journal of Money, Investment and Banking - Issue 11 (2009)

a lack of concern for the organization and colleagues, and a loss of responsibility (Greenberg and
Baron, 1995). Based on these prior findings the following hypotheses were formulated and tested:
H5: Job stress has positive association with job involvement. (see Figure 1)
H6: Job stress has positive association with job performance. (see Figure 1)
2.4 Job Performance
According to Porter and Lawler (1968), there are three types of performance. One is the measure of
output rates, amount of sales over a given period of time, the production of a group of employees
reporting to manager, and so on. The second type of measure of performance involves ratings of
individuals by someone other than the person whose performance is being considered. The third type
of performance measures is self-appraisal and self-ratings. As a result, the adoption of self-appraisal
and self-rating techniques are useful in encouraging employees to take an active role in setting his or
her own goals. Thus, job performance measures the level of achievement of business and social
objectives and responsibilities from the perspective of the judging party (Hersey and Blanchard, 1993).
Figure 1: Conceptual framework

Job Instability


Job Involvement


Job Perform ance


Job Stress

3. Methodology
According to the needs of each research variable and hypothesis, SPSS 15.0 for Windows and Amos
7.0 were used to analyze the data. The instrument was administered as a questionnaire survey to 500
employees of financial services organizations. A total of 345 responses were received, resulting in an
overall 69% response rate. This questionnaire adapted items from the relevant literature to gauge the
respondents attitudes to the four factors of job instability, job stress, job involvement, and job
performance on a seven-point Likert scale, anchored on strongly disagree (1) and strongly agree (7).
Respondents were asked to answer questions on the four variables. The period of survey was from
January, 2009 to March, 2009, with banking employees used as the sample. The statistical procedures
and measures used in this paper are methodologies recommended by Bontis et al. (2000), and Khong
and Richardson (2003). These methodologies aim to find the casual relationships among job instability,
job stress, job involvement, and job performance. The procedures and measures, in chronological
order, are
(1). Reliability analysis
(2). Exploratory factor analysis
(3). Confirmatory factor analysis
(4). Structural equation modeling (SEM)


Journal of Money, Investment and Banking - Issue 11 (2009)

4. Results
4.1. Reliability Analysis and Exploratory Factor Analysis
While this analysis is used to reduce numerous variables to a more manageable set of factors (Aaker
and Day,1986), all the loadings of items are below 0.5, and substantial cross-factor were eliminated
from the final scale. After removing these variables (<0.5), all scale items showed good reliability.
Table 1 shows the items that remained for modeling the structural equation and also summarized the
result of a reliability analysis of the variables. Cronbachs were greater than 0.6, which is well above
the minimum of 0.35 for a sample of 244 (Hair et al., 2006). This indicates that the survey instrument
(questionnaire) can be a reliable tool to measure the four concepts (constructs) consistently. Moreover,
all of the measures of constructs had been used in past studies, and have thus been validated.
4.2. Confirmatory Factor Analysis
When conducting confirmatory factor analysis, variables are assigned to specified factors. Four
common model-fit measurements were used to assess the models fit. The Comparative Fit Index
(CFI), Goodness of Fit Index (GFI; Hair et al., 2006), Normal Fit Index (NFI), and Root Mean Square
Error of Approximation (RMSEA; Steiger, 1990) were used judging the model fit. The Comparatie Fit
Index is a recommended index of overall fit (Gebring and Anderson, 1993), Goodness of Fit Index
measures the fitness of a model compared to another model (Hair et al., 2006), Normed Fit Index
measures the proportion by which a model is improved in terms of fit compared to base model (Hair
et., 2006), and the latter (RMSEA) provides information in terms of discrepancy per degree of freedom
for a model (Steiger, 1990). As suggested in the literature (Bollen, K.A. and P. J. Curran. 2006;
Joreskog and Sorbo, 1993; Kline, 1998) model fit was assessed by several indices. The accepted
thresholds for these indices 2/df ratio should be less than 3; the values of GFI, NFI, CFI, and IFI
should be greater than 0.9; and RMSEA is recommended to be up to 0.05, and acceptable up to 0.08
(Gefen et al., 2000). As shown in Table 1, most of the model-fit indices exceed the respective common
acceptance levels suggested by previous research, demonstrating that the measurement model exhibited
a good fit with the data collected. Based on the confirmatory factor analysis, only 23 of 30 variables
were retained. The retained variables will be used in estimating a model via SEM method.
Table 1:

Confirmatory factor analysis(CFA)fitting Indices

Fitting Indices
CMIN( 2)/DF<3

Job Instability

Job Involvement

Job Stress

Job Performance

Based on the CFA results, we analyzed convergent validity, discriminant validity, and
reliability of all the multiple-item scales, following the guidelines from previous literature (e.g., Fornell
and Larcker, 1981; Gefen and Straub, 2005). The measurement properties are reported in Tables 2 and
Reliability was assessed in terms of composite reliability, which measured the degree to which
items are free from random error and therefore yield consistent results. Composite reliabilities in our
measurement model ranged from 0.8439 to 0.9207 (see Table 2), above the recommended cutoff of
0.70 (Fornell and Larcker, 1981; Nunnally and Bernstein, 1994). Convergent validity was assessed in
terms of factor loadings and average variance extracted. According to the prior study, convergent
validity requires a factor loading greater than 0.60 and an average variance extracted no less than 0.50.
As shown in Table 1, all items had significant factor loadings higher than 0.60. Average variances


Journal of Money, Investment and Banking - Issue 11 (2009)

extracted ranged from 0.5396 to 0.6618, suggesting adequate convergent validity. Thus, all factors in
the measurement model had adequate reliability and convergent validity.
To examine discriminate validity, we compared the shared variances between factors with the
average variance extracted of the individual factors. Table 3 shows the inter-construct correlations off
the diagonal of the matrix. This showed that the shared variance between factors were lower than the
average variance extracted of the individual factors, confirming discriminate validity (Fornell and
Larcker, 1981). In summary, the measurement model demonstrated discriminate validity.
Table 2:

Reliability and factor loadings

Constructs/Measurement Items

Job Instability
1. Maybe I will be lay off or fired in the near future..
2. I may be lowered a salary in the future.
3. I may be adjusted on my duty.
Job Involvement
a. Job Intention
4. I think that the work has already become my main goal of my life.
5. Job is my major goal in my life.
6. Most of time I like to immerse in my job.
7. Working is the most important matter in my life and nothing is better than
b. Job Commitment











8. I spend most of time and concentrate on my job.


Job Stress
9. I often feel nervous while I am working.
10.It is very difficult for me to sleep at night with heavy burden on job.
11. My job loading is too heavy.
12. I feel very tired after came back from my office.


13. Sometimes I feel stomach ache.


Job Performance
a. Work Result
14.I can complete each work and record quickly and effectively.
15.I am rather skilled in the working process of standard procedure.
16.The work which was assigned to me by my superior can be completed
b. Work Behavior
17. When I have a difficulty in my job, my colleague will support and encourage me
18. Having the good relationship can make the work more easy to complete
19. I feel I can get along with my colleague.
20. I can complete my duty according to the standard procedure.
21. Having more professional licenses, I will have a competitive ability on my work.
c.Work efficiency
22. I usually program and arrange the progress of my job.
23. I would like to pay additional effort to reach the target I set.




Table 3:

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Inter-Correlation Results

Job Instability

Job Instability

Job Involvement

Job Stress

Job Performance

Job Involvement
Job Stress
Job Performance
Note: All correlations are significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed). The diagonals represent the average variance extracted.

4.3. The Result of Structural Model

SEM is a model analysis technique encompassing methods such as covariance structure analysis, latent
variable analysis, confirmatory factor analysis, path analysis and linear structural relation analysis
(Hair et al., 2006). SEM is also particularly useful in this paper because it can estimate a series of
separate, but interdependent, multiple regression equations simultaneously in a specified structural
model (Hair et al., 2006). Therefore, SEM is the most suitable analysis to estimate the strength of
casual relationship of these constructs. We formulated an SEM using AMOS 7.0 to analyze our model.
Bogozzi and Yi (1988) suggested a similar set of fit indices used to examine the structural model. (see
Table 3) Comparison of all fit indices with their corresponding recommended values, provided
evidence of a good model fit ( x 2 / d . f . =2.81, 59 degrees of freedom, AGFI= 0.895, CFI =0.953, NFI=
0.930,IFI=0.961, RFI= 0.915, PNFI=0.703, PGFI=0.604 and RMSEA 0.071). Thus, we could proceed
to examine the path coefficients of the structural model.
Table 4:

Results of the best fitting model

Fit Indices









Absolute fit measures

CMIN ( 2 )
CMIN ( 2)/DF
GFI (Goodness of Fit Index)
RMSEA (Root Mean Square Error of Approximation)
Incremental fit measures
AGFI (Adjusted Goodness of Fit Index)
NFI (Normed Fit Index)
CFI (Comparative Fit Index)
IFI (Incremental Fit Index)
RFI (Relative Fit Index)
Parsimony fit measures
PGFI (Parsimony Goodness of Fit Index)
PNFI (Parsimony Normed Fit Index)

4.4. Analysis of paths

Properties of the causal paths ( standardized path coefficients) are shown in Fig 2. The effect of job
instability on Job Performance was significant (= -0.165). Thus, H1 was supported. As expected, job
instability had a strong negative and highly significant influence on job performance (=-0.237). Thus,
H2 was supported. Consistent with our theoretical expectation, job instability had a strong positive and
highly significant influence on job stress ( = 0.218), suggesting support for H3. Job involvement had a
strong positive significant influence on job performance ( = 0.627), supporting H4. Job stress had a
strong positive and highly significant influence on job performance (= 0.104), supporting H5. It is
worth noting that the effects of job stress on job involvement was significant (= 0.218). H6 was also
As shown in Fig. 2, altogether, job instability, job stress, and job involvement accounted for
48.7% of the variance in job performance. The direct, indirect and total effects of job instability on job


Journal of Money, Investment and Banking - Issue 11 (2009)

performance were -0.165, -0.096, and-0.261 respectively. However, the direct effect (-0.165) of job
involvement on job performance showed a stronger negative effect than the direct effect (-0.096),
exhibiting job stress and job involvement were not the key mediators to influence on job performance.
The direct, indirect and total effects of job stress on job performance were 0.104, 0.136, and 0.241,
respectively. However, the indirect effect (0.136) of job stress on job performance shows a stronger
effect than the direct effect (0.104), exhibiting job involvement was also the key mediator to influence
on job performance.
Table 5:

The effects of Job Instability, Job Stress, and Job Involvement on Job performance
Direct effect

Job Instability
Job Stress
Job Involvement

Indirect effect

Total effect

Figure 2: Hypotheses testing result.

C h i- s q u a r e = 1 6 5 . 9 2 8
D f= 5 9 :R M S E A = . 0 7 1
G F I = . 9 3 2 ; A G F I = .8 9 5
C F I= . 9 5 3 ;N F I= . 9 3 0 ; IF I = . 9 5 4 ; R F I= . 9 0 8
P G F I = . 6 0 4 ;P N F I= . 7 0 3

J o b In sta b ility
-.1 6 5 * *
-.2 3 7 * * *

.2 1 8 * * *

In v o lv e m e n t

.6 2 9 * * *

P e r fo r m a n c e

.2 1 8 * * *
.1 0 4 *

J o b S tr e ss

Note: ***p<0.001;**p<0.01;*P<0.05

5. Conclusions
This study aims to find out what plausible factors have impacts on banking service personnels stress,
which in turn cause their job involvement and job performance. We examined the critical factors that
influence job performance and found significant and direct effects for job involvement. The model was
empirically tested using surveyed data from 345 banking service personnel. The implications for
research and management, study limitations, and future research directions are discussed in the
following paragraphs.
5.1. Managerial Implication
Although the problem of job stress is impossible to be eliminated entirely under financial crisis,
organizations still need to endeavor to deal with employees job stress and help them how to properly
manage job stress. The administrators should encourage or ask their employees to take a vacation after
completing a difficult task. Furthermore, organizations should offer some psychology courses or
counseling courses which can release work related stress. Training classes may also enhance banking
service personnel in better and effective ways, they will be capable of increasing their job involvement
and of alleviating weighty stress. When the banking service personnel are inclined to reducing their job
involvement and even decline on their job performance, organizations can provide some advanced


Journal of Money, Investment and Banking - Issue 11 (2009)

psychology courses or counseling courses or work alternatives, such as job rotation, job enrichment, or
continuing education. With the high instability financial environment and full of severe competition in
banking sector, the problem of employees stress will serious day by day. Thus, we also suggest the
administrators should control the reaction of the consciousness of employee's stress and the situation of
job involvement at any time, formulating the best management decision and improving management
performance to seek the biggest welfare in the company.
5.2 Limitations and future research directions
Due to the limited time and resources, this research is only limited in the southern banks of Taiwan and
its conclusions may not be applicable to all banks in Taiwan. We also suggest the follow-up research
may improve the sampling method or choose employees of other service industry as the object and
further testify the exterior validity of structure model. Additionally, it is interesting to investigate other
plausible moderators which have moderating effects between job uncertainty and job performance.
Finally, the integrative model used in the present study should be expanded to include additional
variables that are likely to influence banking service personnels job involvement and job performance
in different contexts.


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