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Boris Baltes


There has been a recent focus on person-organization fit (P-O fit), or the extent to which an individual 'fits' with an organization. Previously, the focus had been on the more specific notion of person-job fit (P-J fit), or the extent to which an individual 'fits' with a particular job. In both applied and academic settings, it is being realized that the degree to which an individual fits with the organization as a whole, as opposed to a specific job, is predictive of many important work outcomes. This study replicated and expanded on prior research by using actual job seekers/employees making real job choices, and engaging in actual job behaviors, as opposed to using subjects in a laboratory setting, as is the case with much of the existing research. Further, this study I expanded on the current state of the field because it employs a broader definition of P-O fit than a majority of previous studies, which have primarily used a "value-oriented" definition. This was a longitudinal study, with a sample consisting of summer interns at a large manufacturing company. The interns were surveyed on individual differences, work outcome variables, and perceived level of P-O fit with the organization at different points in time throughout the interns' tenure with the organization. Surveys were administered at three points during a 12-week period (entry, mid-internship or 6 weeks, end of internship). Job offer and acceptance data was also captured. The study found subjective P-O fit to significantly predict important work outcomes such as Willingness to Recommend the Organization to Others, Satisfaction, and Intent to Accept a job offer. Further, results revealed that P-O fit levels change over time, however evidence was not found to support that socialization plays a significant role in this change as was hypothesized. The number of socialization activities an individual engages in was found to be a significant predictor of overall satisfaction with co-workers and supervisor. Findings also identified Conscientious as a significant moderator in the relationship between P-O fit and a number of work outcomes, which leads to a better understanding of the variables that affect this relationship. Limitations and suggestions for future research are presented.

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