(Dys)functional attachments? How community embeddedness impacts workers during and after long-term unemployment

Timothy P. Munyon, Laura T. Madden, Timothy M. Madden, Eran Vigoda-Gadot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Long-term unemployed workers are individuals who have been unemployed continuously for six or more months. Evidence shows that this form of unemployment is particularly deleterious, necessitating inquiry into factors that influence the duration of unemployment for these workers and their readjustment to work. Embeddedness theory sheds new light on this problem by predicting that community attachments exert a powerful influence on the choices and mobility of employees, raising the possibility that the attachments functionally embedding employees in jobs also may limit the choices and mobility of unemployed workers. However, upon re-employment, the theory also predicts that community embeddedness would facilitate positive work attitudes and attachments, thus becoming functional for re-employed workers. Accordingly, our focal purpose in this paper is to explore how community embeddedness impacts workers during long-term unemployment and upon re-employment. Incorporating a sample of long-term unemployed workers over two time periods, we find that unemployment duration extends as community embeddedness and worker age increase and that community embeddedness affects job embeddedness, job satisfaction, and turnover intentions upon re-employment as a function of job search effort.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-50
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Vocational Behavior
StatePublished - Jun 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier Inc.


  • Age
  • Community embeddedness
  • Job search
  • Long-term unemployed
  • Off-the-job embeddedness
  • Unemployment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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