The effects of perceived Artificial Intelligence’s competence on employee’s job insecurity and work cynicism Moderated mediation by work meaningfulness

Main Article Content

JiYoung Park
YeSeul Jung


Rapid advances in technology in Artificial Intelligence(AI) influence work and workplace. In this study, we aimed to investigate how an employee’s perception of AI’s competence impacts their job insecurity and work cynicism. In an experimental study (Study 1) using a sample of 214 Korean employees, we found that an employee’s perception of AI’s competence increased work cynicism via increased job insecurity. In Study 2, using a sample of 242 American workers, we revealed that the employee’s judgment on AI’s competence positively related to work cynicism, and job insecurity partly mediated the relationship. As hypothesized, the moderating role of work meaningfulness was found. The relationship between job insecurity and work cynicism was stronger for those with a high level of work meaningfulness than those with a low level of work meaningfulness. Also, the mediating effect of job insecurity was moderated by work meaningfulness in the relationship between perceived competence of AI and work cynicism. We discussed implications, limitations, and recommendations for future research.


Metrics Loading ...

Article Details

How to Cite
Park, J., & Jung, Y. (2020). The effects of perceived Artificial Intelligence’s competence on employee’s job insecurity and work cynicism: Moderated mediation by work meaningfulness. Korean Journal of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 33(2), 145–175. Retrieved from
Empirical Articles


Acemoglu, D., & Restrepo, P. (2017). Robots and jobs: Evidence from US labor markets. NBER working paper 23285.

Aiken, L. S., & West, S. G. (1991). Multiple regression: Testing and interpreting interactions. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

Aleksander, I. (2017). Partners of humans: A realistic assessment of the role of robots in the foreseeable future. Journal of Information Technology, 32(1), 1-9.

Andersson, L. M., & Bateman, T. S. (1997). Cynicism in the workplace: some causes and effects. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 18(5), 449-469.<449::aid-job808>;2-o

Ashford, S. J., Lee, C., & Bobko, P. (1989). Content, cause, and consequences of job insecurity: A theory-based measure and substantive test. Academy of Management Journal, 32(4), 803-829.

Bakker, A. B., Demerouti, E., De Boer, E., & Schaufeli, W. B. (2003). Job demands and job resources as predictors of absence duration and frequency. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 62(2), 341-356.

Baron, R. M., & Kenny, D. A. (1986). The moderator-mediator variable distinction in social psychological research: Conceptual, strategic, and statistical considerations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51(6), 1173- 1182.

Brislin, R. W. (1970). Back-translation for cross-cultural research. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 1(3), 185-216.

Brougham, D., & Haar, J. (2018). Smart technology, artificial intelligence, robotics, and algorithms (STARA): employees’ perceptions of our future workplace. Journal of Management & Organization, 24(2), 239-257.

Bunderson, J. S., & Thompson, J. A. (2009). The call of the wild: Zookeepers, callings, and the double-edged sword of deeply meaningful work. Administrative Science Quarterly, 54(1), 32-57.

Cartwright, S., & Holmes, N. (2006). The meaning of work: The challenge of regaining employee engagement and reducing cynicism. Human Resource Management Review, 16(2), 199-208.

Caruso, E. M., Gilbert, D. T., & Wilson, T. D. (2008). A wrinkle in time: Asymmetric valuation of past and future events. Psychological Science, 19(8), 796-801.

Cassar, V., & Briner, R. B. (2011). The relationship between psychological contract breach and organizational commitment: Exchange imbalance as a moderator of the mediating role of violation. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 78(2), 283-289.

Chamberlain, R., Mullin, C., Scheerlinck, B., & Wagemans, J. (2018). Putting the art in artificial: Aesthetic responses to computer-generated art. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 12(2), 177-192.

Credé, M., Harms, P., Niehorster, S., & Gaye-Valentine, A. (2012). An evaluation of the consequences of using short measures of the Big Five personality traits. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 102(4), 874-888.

Cuddy, A. J., Glick, P., & Beninger, A. (2011). The dynamics of warmth and competence judgments, and their outcomes in organizations. Research in Organizational Behavior, 31, 73-98.

De Hoogh, A. H., & Den Hartog, D. N. (2009). Neuroticism and locus of control as moderators of the relationships of charismatic and autocratic leadership with burnout. Journal of Applied Psychology, 94(4), 1058-1067.

De Witte, H. (2005). Job insecurity: Review of the international literature on definitions, prevalence, antecedents and consequences. SA Journal of Industrial Psychology, 31(4), 1-6.

Debus, M. E., König, C. J., & Kleinmann, M. (2014). The building blocks of job insecurity: The impact of environmental and person related variables on job insecurity perceptions. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 87(2), 329-351.

Demerouti, E., Mostert, K., & Bakker, A. B. (2010). Burnout and work engagement: A thorough investigation of the independency of both constructs. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 15(3), 209-222.

Dietvorst, B. J., Simmons, J. P., & Massey, C. (2015). Algorithm aversion: People erroneously avoid algorithms after seeing them err. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 144(1), 114-126.

Dobrow, S. R. (2013). Dynamics of calling: A longitudinal study of musicians. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 34(4), 431-452.

Fast, E., & Horvitz, E. (2017, February). Long-term trends in the public perception of artificial intelligence. In Thirty-First AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence.

Fiske, S. T., Cuddy, A. J. C., & Glick, P. (2007). Universal dimensions of social cognition: warmth and competence. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 11(2), 77-83.

Fiske, S. T., Cuddy, A. J. C., Glick, P., & Xu, J. (2002). A model of (often mixed) stereotype content: Competence and warmth respectively follow from perceived status and competition. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 82(6), 878-902.

Fiske, S. T., Xu, J., Cuddy, A. C., & Glick, P. (1999). (Dis) respecting versus (dis) liking: Status and interdependence predict ambivalent stereotypes of competence and warmth. Journal of Social Issues, 55(3), 473-489.

Gelfand, L. A., Mensinger, J. L., & Tenhave, T. (2009). Mediation analysis: A retrospective snapshot of practice and more recent directions. The Journal of General Psychology, 136(2), 153-178.

Gosling, S. D., Rentfrow, P. J., & Swann Jr, W. B. (2003). A very brief measure of the Big-Five personality domains. Journal of Research in Personality, 37(6), 504-528.

Grant, A. M. (2008). The significance of task significance: Job performance effects, relational mechanisms, and boundary conditions. Journal of Applied Psychology, 93(1), 108-124.

Gwak, Y., Jung, Y., & Sohn, Y. (2017). Who suffers the most from abusive supervision? Korean Journal of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 30(3), 443-464.

Hayes, A. F. (2009). Beyond Baron and Kenny: Statistical mediation analysis in the new millennium. Communication Monographs, 76(4), 408-420.

Hobfoll, S. E. (2001). The influence of culture, community, and the nested‐self in the stress process: advancing conservation of resources theory. Applied Psychology, 50(3), 337-421.

Hovland, C. I., Janis, I. L., & Kelley, H. H. (1953). Communication and Persuasion. Yale University Press.

Huang, G.-h., Wellman, N., Ashford, S. J., Lee, C., & Wang, L. (2017). Deviance and exit: The organizational costs of job insecurity and moral disengagement. Journal of Applied Psychology, 102(1), 26-42.

Jarrahi, M. H. (2018). Artificial intelligence and the future of work: Human-AI symbiosis in organizational decision making. Business Horizons, 61(4), 577-586.

Jiang, L., & Probst, T. M. (2017). The rich get richer and the poor get poorer: Country- and state-level income inequality moderates the job insecurity-burnout relationship. Journal of Applied Psychology, 102(4), 672-681.

Johnson, J. L., & O’Leary-Kelly, A. M. (2003). The effects of psychological contract breach and organizational cynicism: Not all social exchange violations are created equal. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 24(5), 627-647.

Ju, K., Lee, M, Yang, H, & Ryu, D. (2017). The 4th Industrial Revolution and Artificial Intelligence: An Introductory Review. Journal of the Korean Operations Research and Management Science Society, 42(4), 1-14.

Keller, A. C., Spurk, D., Baumeler, F., & Hirschi, A. (2016). Competitive climate and workaholism: Negative sides of future orientation and calling. Personality and Individual Differences, 96, 122-126.

Kim, A., Cho, M., Ahn, J., & Sung, Y. (2019). Effects of gender and relationship type on the response to Artificial Intelligence. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 22(4), 249-253.

Kim, J. Kim, B. & Ha, M (2011). Validation of A Korean version of the Big Five Inventory. Journal of Human Understanding and Counseling. 32(1), 47-65.

Kim, H., & Yoo, T. (2013). The effect of job overload on job burnout. Korean Journal of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 26(2), 317-340.

Fossen, F. M., & Sorgner, A. (2019). New digital technologies and heterogeneous employment and wage dynamics in the United States: Evidence from individual-level data. Retrieved from

Kinnunen, U., Feldt, T., & Mauno, S. (2003). Job insecurity and self-esteem: Evidence from cross-lagged relations in a 1-year longitudinal sample. Personality and Individual Differences, 35(3), 617-632.

Lee, C., Huang, G. H., & Ashford, S. J. (2018). Job insecurity and the changing workplace: Recent developments and the future trends in job insecurity research. Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior, 5, 335-359.

Logg, J. M., Minson, J. A., & Moore, D. A. (2019). Algorithm appreciation: People prefer algorithmic to human judgment. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 151, 90-103.

Lysova, E. I., Allan, B. A., Dik, B. J., Duffy, R. D., & Steger, M. F. (2019). Fostering meaningful work in organizations: A multi-level review and integration. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 110, 374-389.

MacKinnon, D. P., Krull, J. L., & Lockwood, C. M. (2000). Equivalence of the mediation, confounding and suppression effect. Prevention Science, 1(4), 173-181.

Mauno, S., & Kinnunen, U. (2002). Perceived job insecurity among dual-earner couples: Do its antecedents vary according to gender, economic sector and the measure used? Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 75(3), 295-314.

Min, J., Kim, S, Park, Y & Sohn, W (2018). A comparative study of potential job candidates’ perceptions of an AI recruiter and a human recruiter. Journal of the Korean Convergence Society, 9(5), 191-202.

Nam, T. (2019). Technology usage, expected job sustainability, and perceived job insecurity. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 138, 155-165.

Nass, C., Steuer, J., & Tauber, E. R. (1994). Computers are social actors. Conference Companion on Human Factors in Computing Systems - CHI ‘94, 72-78. Presented at the Conference companion.

Ng, A. (2016). Why AI is the new electricity. Nikkei Asian Review Online, 27. Retrieved from

Oelberger, C. R. (2019). The dark side of deeply meaningful work: Work‐relationship turmoil and the moderating role of occupational value homophily. Journal of Management Studies, 56(3), 558-588.

Oh, H. (2018). The fourth industrial revolution and job crisis in the Korean economy. The Korean Economic Forum. 11(2), 93-115.

Oh, C., Song, J., Choi, J., Kim, S., Lee, S., & Suh, B. (2018, April). I lead, you help but only with enough details: Understanding user experience of co-creation with artificial intelligence. Proceedings of the 2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - CHI ’18, 1-13.

Park, G., Kim, M., & Han, Y. (2014). Exploration of predictive variables of emotional labor in subordinate roles and verification of the relations model between emotional labor and burnout. Korean Journal of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 27(1), 267-290.

Park, J., & Sohn, Y. (2018). Effects of subjective social status on meaning of work. Korean Journal of the Science of Emotion & Sensibility, 21(2), 43-60.

Peters, M. A. (2017). Deep Learning, the final stage of automation and the end of work (Again)? Psychosociological Issues in Human Resource Management, 5(2), 154-168.

Preacher, K. J., Rucker, D. D., & Hayes, A. F. (2007). Addressing moderated mediation hypotheses: theory, methods, and prescriptions. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 42(1), 185-227.

Prewett, M. S., Johnson, R. C., Saboe, K. N., Elliott, L. R., & Coovert, M. D. (2010). Managing workload in human-robot interaction: A review of empirical studies. Computers in Human Behavior, 26(5), 840-856.

Probst, T. M., & Lawler, J. (2006). Cultural values as moderators of employee reactions to job insecurity: The role of individualism and collectivism. Applied Psychology, 55(2), 234-254.

Rousseau, D. M. (2001). Schema, promise and mutuality: The building blocks of the psychological contract. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 74(4), 511-541.

Schaufeli, W B., Leiter, M. P, Maslach, C., & Jackson, S. E. (1996). Maslach Burnout Inventory-General Survey (MBI-GS). In C. Maslach, S. E. Jackson, & M. P. Leiter (Eds.), MBI Manual (3rd ed.). Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press.

Schwartz, S. H., & Bardi, A. (2001). Value hierarchies across cultures: Taking a similarities perspective. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 32(3), 268-290.

Shank, D. B., Graves, C., Gott, A., Gamez, P., & Rodriguez, S. (2019). Feeling our way to machine minds: People’s emotions when perceiving mind in artificial intelligence. Computers in Human Behavior, 98, 256-266.

Shin, K (2003). The Maslach Bunout Inventory-General Survey (MBI-GS): An application in South Korea. Korean Journal of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 16(3), 1-17

Shin, S, Ha, M, & Lee, J. (2017). High school students’ perception of Artificial Intelligence: Focusing on conceptual understanding, emotion and risk perception. Journal of Learner-Centered Curriculum and Instruction, 17(21), 289-312.

Shrout, P. E., & Bolger, N. (2002). Mediation in experimental and nonexperimental studies: new procedures and recommendations. Psychological Methods, 7(4), 422-445.

Steger, M. F., Dik, B. J., & Duffy, R. D. (2012). Measuring meaningful work: The work and meaning inventory (WAMI). Journal of Career Assessment, 20(3), 322-337.

Totterdell, P., Wall, T., Holman, D., Diamond, H., & Epitropaki, O. (2004). Affect networks: a structural analysis of the relationship between work ties and job-related affect. Journal of Applied Psychology, 89(5), 854-867.

Van Esch, P., Black, J. S., & Ferolie, J. (2019). Marketing AI recruitment: The next phase in job application and selection. Computers in Human Behavior, 90, 215-222.

Vander Elst, T., Van den Broeck, A., De Cuyper, N., & De Witte, H. (2014). On the reciprocal relationship between job insecurity and employee well-being: Mediation by perceived control? Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 87(4), 671-693.

Won, W. (2019, February 20th). Too good at writing AI: Surprised developers decide not to publish [너무 글 잘쓰는 AI… 깜짝 놀란 개발자들, 비공개 결정]. Chosun Ilbo.

Yoo, T., Lee, H., Ko, Y., Choe, H., Kim, M., Myung, M., … Lee, E. (2019). The content analysis of the Korean Journal of Industrial and Organizational Psychology from 1988 to 2018 and future suggestions. Korean Journal of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 32(3), 297-362.

Złotowski, J., Yogeeswaran, K., & Bartneck, C. (2017). Can we control it? Autonomous robots threaten human identity, uniqueness, safety, and resources. International Journal of Human- Computer Studies, 100, 48-54.