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Person–job fit and job involvement: the curvilinear effect and the moderating role of goal orientation

Dong Ju (Business School, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China)
Jingjing Yao (People, Organizations and Negotiation, IESEG School of Management, Lille, France)
Li Ma (Guanghua School of Management, Peking University, Beijing, China)

Journal of Managerial Psychology

ISSN: 0268-3946

Article publication date: 18 March 2021

Issue publication date: 8 June 2021

725

Abstract

Purpose

Job involvement is an important predictor of how well employees perform and feel at work. However, despite fruitful findings, little is known about how person–job (P–J) fit affects job involvement.

Design/methodology/approach

This study used a cross-sectional design and collected data from 375 employees and 50 managers. Multivariate regression was applied to test the moderated curvilinear model.

Findings

This study found an inverted U-shaped relationship between P–J fit and job involvement. For employees with a strong performance goal orientation, maximum job involvement occurred at a higher level of P–J fit, whereas for employees with a strong learning goal orientation, maximum job involvement occurred at a moderate level of P–J fit.

Practical implications

Managers should be aware that solely maximizing fit may not constantly yield positive outcomes, and that ignoring differences in employee needs and goals may be counterproductive.

Originality/value

The study challenges the conventional wisdom that a high P–J fit is always productive by showing that a high fit may sometimes jeopardize job involvement, particularly for certain employees.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This research was supported by grants funded by National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 71702175, 71632002).

Citation

Ju, D., Yao, J. and Ma, L. (2021), "Person–job fit and job involvement: the curvilinear effect and the moderating role of goal orientation", Journal of Managerial Psychology, Vol. 36 No. 5, pp. 433-446. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMP-02-2020-0095

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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