2022-05-13Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.18452/26205
In a no‐win situation: The employment–health dilemma
Work and organizational psychology (WOP) research has to date mostly focused on people privileged to have the choice between several attractive job options and less on people who are restricted in their job choice (e.g., due to their qualification or personal contingencies) and have to choose from fewer and often less-than-optimal jobs. Often, the jobs available to the latter are characterized by precarious employment and hazardous working conditions which can put them in the difficult situation of having to choose between a health-threatening job and possible unemployment. Building on interdisciplinary literature, we propose the employment–health dilemma (E-H dilemma) as a framework for analyzing this intrapersonal conflict of having to choose between employment (incurring health threats) and health (incurring economic threats) and discuss potential antecedents and consequences of the E-H dilemma at the societal, organizational, and individual level. We outline the implications of the E-H dilemma and make a case for examining the full spectrum of job choice situations in WOP research. In doing so, we demonstrate what WOP can gain by embracing a more inclusive and multidisciplinary approach: uncovering processes in their entirety (e.g., job choice decisions of all people) and strengthening the role and legitimacy of WOP in society.
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