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Employees today face a number of threats to their work and financial well-being (i.e., economic stress). In an aim to provide an agenda and theoretical framework for research on multilevel outcomes of economic stress, the current chapter considers how employees’ economic stress gives rise to emergent outcomes and how these emergent outcomes feed back to influence well-being. Specifically, we draw from Conservation of Resources theory to integrate competing theoretical perspectives with regard to employees’ behavioral responses to economic stress. As employees’ behaviors influence those with whom they interact, we propose that behavioral responses to economic stress have implications for group-level well-being (e.g., interpersonal climate, cohesion) and group-level economic stress. In turn, group-level and individual-level behavioral outcomes influence well-being and economic stress in a multilevel resource loss cycle. We discuss potential opportunities and challenges associated with testing this model as well as how it could be used to examine higher-level emergent effects (e.g., at the organizational level).

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Book Chapter

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