This study investigates the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on employee job performance trajectories, and further examines the moderating effects of different sources of status. Drawing from event system theory (EST), we propose that employee job performance decreases upon COVID-19 onset, but gradually increases during the postonset period. Furthermore, we argue that status from society, occupation, and workplace functions to moderate such performance trajec-tories. We test our hypotheses with a unique dataset of 708 employees that combines survey responses and job performance archival data over 21 consecutive months (10,808 observations) spanning the preonset, onset, and postonset periods of the initial encounter with COVID-19 in China. Utilizing discontinuous growth modeling (DGM), our findings indicate that the onset of COVID-19 created an immediate decrease in job performance, but such decrease was weakened by higher occupation and/or workplace status. However, the postonset period resulted in a positive employee job performance trajectory, which was strengthened for employees with lower occupational status. These findings enrich our understanding of COVID-19's impact on employee job performance trajectories, highlight the role of status in moderating such changes over time, and also provide practical implications to understand employee performance when facing such a crisis.
- Discontinuous growth modeling
- Event system theory
- Job performance trajectories