In the present study, we investigated the relationships between objective overqualification, perceived overqualification, and job satisfaction based on the tenets of P-E fit theory, a commonly-used theoretical framework in the overqualification literature. Specifically, we tested whether employee perceptions of overqualification mediate the relationship between objective overqualification and job dissatisfaction. Results across two studies indicated that objective overqualification and job satisfaction independently predicted perceived overqualification, which contradicts the prevailing view in the literature of unidirectional effects between overqualification and strain outcomes. Study 1 used a cross-sectional survey of recent college graduates to test the overall mediation model. Although the model was supported, the relationship between objective overqualification and job satisfaction was not significant, raising the question of whether the hypothesized predictive relationship between perceived overqualification and job satisfaction is reversed. Study 2 tested directionality in the relationship between perceived overqualification and job satisfaction using a three-wave longitudinal panel design in a sample of full-time university staff employees. Results indicated that job dissatisfaction predicts subsequent perceived overqualification rather than the reverse.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was funded by the University of South Florida.
© 2019 Elsevier Inc.
- Job satisfaction
- Person-environment fit theory
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Psychology
- Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
- Life-span and Life-course Studies