A New Perspective on Job Lock

Anna Huysse-Gaytandjieva*, Wim Groot, Milena Pavlova

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This paper analyses the situation when employees fail to adapt to overall job dissatisfaction. By combining the existing knowledge in economics on job lock and in psychology on employees' feeling of being 'stuck' at work, the paper explains why some employees fail to adapt when dissatisfied with their job. Thus, the paper aims to expand our understanding of why some employees are job locked or are 'stuck' at their work even though dissatisfied. Using the British household panel survey, the possibility of falling in a job-lock state is analyzed to outline a set of factors that explain why employees differ in the way they adjust to job dissatisfaction. We divide these factors into socio-demographic features, personality attributes, type of occupation, employment conditions, type of sector, and work-related contextual features. Based on results of probit regression analysis, we provide evidence that all these group of factors can jointly predict the state of job dissatisfaction, the absence of job turnover and job lock (being 'stuck' at job). Moreover, our results suggest that the adaptation to job dissatisfaction could be better understood if personality attributes (such as self-esteem) are included in the analysis. Thus, this study expands our understanding of how and why employees might feel 'stuck' at work and fall in a state of job lock.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)587-610
Number of pages24
JournalSocial Indicators Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2013


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