Job characteristics, job resources and work-related outcomes: role of person-organisation fit

Date06 August 2018
DOIhttps://doi.org/10.1108/EBHRM-04-2017-0022
Pages118-136
Publication Date06 August 2018
AuthorPushpendra Priyadarshi,Rajesh Premchandran
SubjectHR & organizational behaviour,Global HRM
Job characteristics, job resources
and work-related outcomes:
role of person-organisation fit
Pushpendra Priyadarshi and Rajesh Premchandran
Department of Human Resource Management,
Indian Institute of Management Lucknow, Lucknow, India
Abstract
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to examine and understand the role of person-organisation (P-O) fit in
mediating the relationship between job resources and work-related outcomes. The need to study the
antecedents of P-O fit, dearth of its literature in India, and growing importance of ensuring congruence
between the environment and the individual in a diverse workplace, to recruit and retain the employees,
underlines the significance of this research. In addition to the mediating role of P-O fit, it was hypothesised
that co-worker support and decision latitude will lead to an increase in P-O fit and, in turn, be positively
related to work engagement (WE), job satisfaction ( JS) and organisational commitment (OC).
Design/methodology/approach Two-phased time-lagged data were collected from a total sample of 213
middle- and senior-level executives working in India. The data consisted of a self-report questionnaire on skill
discretion, decision authority and co-worker support in Phase 1 and P-O fit, WE, OC and JS scales in Phase 2.
Findings Structural equation modelling was simultaneously used to test the hypothesised relationships.
It emerged that co-worker support and skill discretion positivelycorrelated with P-O fit. It was found that P-O
fit mediated the relationship between co-worker support and JS and OC. It also established partial mediation
between co-worker support and WE, and between skill discretion and JS, organisational commitment and
WE. The findings of this study, therefore, have profound implications for researchers as well as for practicing
managers highlighting the need for a better job design and creating a supportive work environment.
Research limitations/implications Though the data were collected in two phases, the study design
went through a time lag of four weeks, and thereby provided tests of association and not of robust causal
relationships. A longitudinal design could be adopted for future research, to enable making inferences about
the causal nature of these relationships. The second limitation of the study is its reliance on self- reports as the
single source of data.
Originality/value This is the first study to examine job resources as antecedents of P-O fit using a
supplementary fit argument. Further, very few studies have explored P-O fit as a mediating variable and less
than 2 per cent of published papers on P-O fit have been studied in the Indian context. Practitioners can
employ findings to create interventions to generate more positive organisational outcomes.
Keywords Job satisfaction, Work engagement, India, Affective commitment, Job resource,
Person-organization fit, Structural equational model
Paper type Research paper
1. Introduction
Research suggests that employees and organisations are most pr oductive when their values,
requirements and interests are aligned. Consequences of this alignment, referred to as person-
organisation (P-O) fit, has been a burgeoning subject of interest to researchers focussed on
increasing employee commitment, satisfaction, retention (Chatman, 1991; Hoffman and
Woehr, 2006; Meglino et al., 1989), higher organisational performance (Govindarajan, 1989;
Meglino et al. 1989) and work attitudes (Dawis and Lofquist, 1991).
A work environment provides the physical, psychological, social and organisational
characteristic to a job, to stimulate personal development and facilitate fulfilment of job
demand, (Bakker et al., 2007; Schaufeli and Bakker, 2004) that can influence employees attitude
and behaviour. In this regard, skill discretion, job autonomy and co-worker support, as job
resources for a workplace, have received considerable attention in organisational psychology,
besides being well-established antecedents of key organisational outcomes. Moreover,
literature on P-O fit seems to have considerably focussed on the impact as an antecedent of
Evidence-based HRM: a Global
Forum for Empirical Scholarship
Vol. 6 No. 2, 2018
pp. 118-136
© Emerald PublishingLimited
2049-3983
DOI 10.1108/EBHRM-04-2017-0022
Received 6 April 2017
Revised 25 August 2017
Accepted 9 September 2017
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at:
www.emeraldinsight.com/2049-3983.htm
118
EBHRM
6,2
employees job outcomes, notably, satisfaction and turnover intent. However, the outcomes of
job resources (Schaufeli and Bakker, 2004) and relationship of P-O fit with job satisfaction (JS),
work engagement (WE) and OC have been largely studied independently. Yet, job resources
are symbolic of the support an organisation extendsas employees try andfit in. Consequently,
the study proposes that both, job resources and P-O fit, are tightly enmeshed within employees
psyche. It is crucial to observe the joint effects of both frameworks, simultaneously, to
understand their full effect on employeesoverall satisfaction, commitment and WE.
Second, the majority of research on P-O fit has focussed on western situations and
research in different cultural settings. It is, hence, necessary to assess the generalisability of
P-O fit theory (Chen et al., 2016; Zhong and Lin, n.d.). Santos and Domenico, in their
bibliometric study, researched 120 documents on P-O fit and found only 3 documents with
an Indian context. Further, the review showed that there is a skewed concentration in the
footprints of researchers who have published articles on P-O fit. Six authors were
accountable for 8.2 per cent of the production (dos Santos and De Domenico, 2015). This is
alarming, given the size and global impact of the Indian workforce.
For example, while prior research has established that poor P-O fit leads to a turnover
(Arthur et al., 2006; Boon et al., 2011) that can cost an organisation between 50 and 60 per cent of
a persons annual salary (Allen, 2008), the paucity of research on P-O fit in India is concerning,
especially as the retention level of Indian organisations is lower than their global peers. Further,
in India, 35 per cent of the workforce has a tenure of less than two years, according to the PwC
Saratoga India Survey (Sankar and Alaganandan, 2012). Hence, in an emerging market like
India, where attrition rates range from 20 to 50 per cent in service industries, there is a need to
explore the construct of P-O fit much more in detail, and understand the drivers and
interventions that can improve the fit and lead to positive organisational outcomes.
Additionally, in the Indian context, collectivism and power distance represent two
cultural dimensions, that may have a significant impact on employeesrelationship with
their workplace environment. In a highly collectivist culture, employees have greater
emotional dependence on institutions and organisations (Hofstede, 2001). Hofstede (1984)
noted that high-power distance societies are associated with centralised decision structures,
limited decision latitude, formal rules, concentration of authority and tall organisational
pyramids. This study explores how skill discretion and decision authority influence job
outcomes through P-O fit, by exploring how respondents, potentially divergent on
collectivism and power distance from their western counterparts, perceive autonomy.
Furthermore, recognising a general sense of connectedness to others in collectivist cultures
(Cai et al., 2013; Sedikides et al., 2015), we explore the role of co-worker support as an
antecedent of P-O fit. This is especially relevant as Schneiders Attraction-Selection-Attrition
(ASA) model posits that a key determinant of the relationship between the person and
organisation is the fit between both their values (Schneider, 1987; Schneider et al., 1997).
Moreover, interpersonal and social relations being key components of job resources that
impact work engagement and satisfaction are an interesting avenue for research (Bakker et al.,
2004), to examine the role of co-worker support and co-examine job resources and P-O fit theories.
In the above background, this research aims to develop and test a research model to
understand the effect of co-worker support, autonomy and skill discretion, as components of
job resources, on work-related outcomes through the lens of P-O fit. This will contribute to
literature in two major ways. First, exploring a P-O fit-based pathway to work engagement,
JS and organisational commitment (OC) will add to the literature on job resources
(Schaufeli and Bakker, 2004). Second, P-O fit will be looked through a non-western context,
and the limits of generalisability of P-O fit theory (Westerman and Vanka, 2005) and
Schneiders ASA theory will be tested by looking at value similarities in an Indian context.
These will be accomplished by exploring the possibility of P-O fit playing a mediating role
between the antecedent and consequent variables.
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Role of person-
organisation fit

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