Title: Exemplification and perceived job insecurity: Associations with self-rated performance and emotional exhaustion
Author team: Nele De Cuyper, Bert Schreurs, Hans De Witte, Elfi Baillien, and Tinne Vander Elst
Abstract: Impression management strategies are typically seen as means to obtain something of value and to achieve success. Little is known about potential side effects for the self, or about impression management aimed at prevention of loss. In response, this study probes the relationship between exemplification (i.e., a form of impression management aimed at acquiring the image of model employee) and both self-rated performance and emotional exhaustion, accounting also for the moderating role of perceived job insecurity. We use the Resource Model of Self-regulation and the Conservation of Resources Theory to propose that the association of exemplification with self-rated performance and emotional exhaustion is more positive among job insecure workers than among job secure workers. Hypotheses were tested in a sample of 603 Peruvian workers from different sectors using Structural Equation Modelling. The pattern of results largely supported our hypotheses. We conclude that exemplification may have unintended side effects when workers feel insecure.