Fitting In at Work: Perceptions of Organizational Fit as a Resource for Employees

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8943753151_170202054f_zWorking with others can be a challenge, not only in terms of navigating the different personalities and behaviors of coworkers, but also in terms of feeling part of an organization. In the paper, “Do I Fit In? Perceptions of Organizational Fit as a Resource in the Workplace Stress Process,” recently published in Group & Organization ManagementJeremy D. Mackey of Auburn University, Pamela L. Perrwé of Florida State University, and Charn P. McAllister of Florida State University discuss how employee perceptions of organizational fit can impact intrapersonal and interpersonal performance. Specifically, positive organizational fit seems to have a favorable impact on stress processes.

The abstract from their paper:

A large number of research studies in the stress literature over the previous 20 years have examined how organizational demands influence experienced stress; however, little research has examined how perceptions of organizational fit influence experienced stress and the stress process. In the present study, we use the conservation of resources (COR) theory to examine how perceptions of GOM_Feb_2016.inddhindrance stressors, challenge stressors, and organizational fit (i.e., a resource) affect employees’ intrapersonal (i.e., job satisfaction and work intensity) and interpersonal (i.e., interpersonal workplace deviance and work-to-family conflict) outcomes through job strain (i.e., job tension) and motivational (i.e., vigor) cognitive stress processes. Results from three samples of data (nSample 1 = 268, nSample 2 = 259, nSample 3 = 168) largely supported the hypothesized model and suggested that perceptions of organizational fit can be a resource associated with favorable effects on employees’ stress processes. Thus, we contribute to the stress and fit literatures by proposing and demonstrating empirical support for a COR theoretical explanation of why perceptions of organizational fit are a resource for employees. The results are important because they help provide a broader view of the effects of perceptions of organizational fit on employees’ stress processes than offered by prior research and suggest that organizational leaders have the opportunity to help employees manage workplace stress by fostering perceptions of organizational fit. Implications of results for theory and practice, strengths, limitations, and directions for future research are presented.

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*Figures image credited to Sonny Abesamis (CC)

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