Mediation and moderation job fit research

recent call to “explore more complex models, including mediation and moderation” in person-job fit research (McKee-Ryan & Harvey, 2011, p. 980). Notably, we explore the proposed moderated mediation model in a sample of professional workers, who are highly trained experts with valued credentials.

They are likely to be employed in more complex and interesting jobs than those lacking qualifications. Extending person job fit the theory, we argue that these workers also are susceptible to misfit (i.e., overqualification).

Being overqualified can be a stressful experience for everybody, including professional workers, which may lead them to engage in undesirable behaviors that can jeopardize their career jobs.

Second, as shown in Figure 1, we proposed that both cognitive (i.e., organization-based self-esteem) and affective(i.e., anger toward employment situation) reactions could account for the potential impact of perceived overqualification on CWB.

Specifically, extending person-environment fit research, we will demonstrate that mismatch (i.e., overqualification) simultaneously influences people’s thoughts and feelings about this unpleasant and stressful situation.

It will also extend the work frustration-aggression model (Fox & Spector, 1999) by showing that stressful events (i.e., overqualification) result in CWBs not only because they trigger immediate and impulsive reactions but also because they lead to less spontaneous, more deliberate responses.

Third, we build on the person-environment fit theory to propose that there will be individual differences in the extent to which people are sensitive to misfits.

We argue that overqualified people who are particularly attuned to incidents of unfair treatment (i.e., with higher levels of justice sensitivity) may be particularly bothered (e.g., appraising lower self-worthiness and feeling angrier) by the person job misfit.

Considering its complex downstream effect, our model essentially suggests that justice sensitivity moderates the indirect effect of perceived overqualification on CWB. Finally, our study also represents a substantial step forward in terms of research methodology for studying overqualification.

In particular, our model is tested using time-lagged, multi-source data collected from a sample of 224 employees and their supervisors. Supporting the proposed moderated mediation model, our results showed that controlling for several of the strongest predictors of CWB (e.g., neuroticism and multidimensional justice), perceived overqualification still contributes to misbehaviors that could cause serious problems for organizations and their members, and why and when these effects might occur.

252 S. LIU ET AL.

Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. J. Organiz. Behav. 36, 250 271 (2015) DOI: 10.1002/job