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Title:Not all misfit is equal: a re-examination of vocational interest fit and job satisfaction
Author(s):Wiegand, Justin P
Director of Research:Drasgow, Fritz
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Drasgow, Fritz
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Rounds, James; Newman, Daniel; Cardador, Teresa
Department / Program:School of Labor & Empl. Rel.
Discipline:Human Res & Industrial Rels
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):person-environment fit
vocational interests
polynomial regression
response surface methodology
job satisfaction
Abstract:Vocational interest researchers have long held that individuals will be satisfied when their interests match the characteristics of their work environment. Yet, meta-analyses have found little relationship between interest fit and overall job satisfaction. Notably, studies underlying past meta-analyses suffered from a common limitation—they rarely accounted for differences between unique forms of misfit, environmental excess and deficiency. Accounting for this limitation, I extend theories of need fulfillment and complementary fit using RIASEC interests, to suggest the fit – job satisfaction relationship is asymmetric: job satisfaction is higher when environments exceed individuals’ preferences for certain types of work (excess) than when environments fail to meet them (deficiency). I used polynomial regression and response surface methodology (including an extension for non-commensurate measures) to evaluate misfit asymmetry. Across three large-sample studies, I examined person-vocation and person-job fit using multiple environmental interest measures (incumbent average ratings, expert-ratings, and self-ratings). Results suggest misfit asymmetry exists across RIASEC interests, but the form of asymmetry is different for different interests. Across the studies, Investigative, Artistic, and female’s Realistic interests generally followed my asymmetry hypothesis—job satisfaction was higher for excess than deficiency (i.e., job satisfaction was higher when environmental interest ‘supplies’ exceeded employee interest ‘needs’). Unexpectedly, for Enterprising, Conventional, and male’s Realistic interests the opposite form of asymmetry emerged—job satisfaction was higher for deficiency than for excess (i.e., job satisfaction was higher when environmental interest ‘supplies’ failed to meet employee interest ‘needs’). Implications for fit theory, career counseling, and employment selection are discussed.
Issue Date:2018-04-15
Rights Information:© 2018 Justin P. Wiegand
Date Available in IDEALS:2018-09-04
Date Deposited:2018-05

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