Bored, angry, and overqualified? The high- and low-intensity pathways linking perceived overqualification to behavioural outcomes

Stephanie Andel, Shani Pindek, Maryana L. Arvan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The goal of this study was to propose and assess dual affective mechanisms linking perceived overqualification (POQ) to discretionary negative employee behaviours. Specifically, drawing upon person-job fit theory, we investigated anger and boredom as high-intensity and low-intensity affective mechanisms between POQ and two distinct forms of counterproductive work behaviour (CWB): interpersonal abuse and cyberloafing, respectively. Further, given its potential to reduce the discrepancy between employee abilities and job demands, we examined if task crafting reduces both negative emotions in response to POQ. Employing a sample of administrative university employees, we conducted a time-lagged study to test our hypothesized model. Results supported the notion that abuse and cyberloafing are distinct, distal behavioural outcomes of POQ driven through anger and boredom, respectively. Furthermore, we found that task crafting buffers the passive low-intensity path via boredom, but not the active high-intensity path via anger. Overall, our results demonstrate that the effects of POQ on negative employee behaviours are complex and multifaceted, and that it is valuable to consider these dual affective pathways when refining theory and predicting its various outcomes. Results also suggest that task crafting may serve as a promising workplace intervention that can help combat some of the consequences of POQ.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-60
Number of pages14
JournalEuropean Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis.


  • Perceived overqualification
  • anger
  • boredom
  • counterproductive work behaviour
  • person-job fit
  • task crafting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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