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The relationship between person-organization fit and job satisfaction

Pei Chen (School of Public Administration, Southwestern University of Finance and Economics, Sichuan, China)
Paul Sparrow (Management School, Lancaster University, Lancaster, United Kingdom)
Cary Cooper (Manchester Business School, Manchester University, Manchester, United Kingdom)

Journal of Managerial Psychology

ISSN: 0268-3946

Article publication date: 4 July 2016



Drawing upon the theory of conservation of resources to argue the importance of job stress as an important variable that mediates the person-organization (P-O) fit-job satisfaction relationship, and supervisor support as an important moderating variable that moderates the relationship between P-O fit and job stress, the purpose of this paper is to test a moderated mediation model.


Data were collected from 225 employees in 12 catering service organizations in Beijing. An integrated mediation and moderation model was evaluated.


The study illustrates both some new mechanisms and the boundary conditions between P-O fit and job satisfaction. Job stress mediates the relationships between P-O fit and job satisfaction; supervisor support moderates the linkage of P-O fit, job stress, and job satisfaction. The corresponding moderated mediation model was supported.

Research limitations/implications

The question of causality cannot be determined because of the cross-sectional research design; self-report is a necessary strategy for the assessment of subjects’ appraisals. However, it requires some caution in interpreting the results.

Practical implications

The findings offer a better understanding of the way P-O fit is able to affect job satisfaction. Actions designed to promote P-O fit may be useful in reducing employees’ stress and result in higher job satisfaction. To enhance the relationships between P-O fit and employees’ job satisfaction through supervisor support, supervisors should develop a positive form of reciprocation by helping employees to solve the real problem they are facing.


No previous studies have investigated influencing factors of employees’ satisfaction from the perspective of individual and organizational interfaces.



Chen, P., Sparrow, P. and Cooper, C. (2016), "The relationship between person-organization fit and job satisfaction", Journal of Managerial Psychology, Vol. 31 No. 5, pp. 946-959.



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