Contents Person-Organisation Fit2 Forms of P-O fit2 Measures of P-O fit3 Antecedents and outcomes of P-O fit3 Impacts of P-O fit on organisation and individuals4 Performance4 Turnover4 Homogeneity and creativity5 Comparison P-O fit with P-J fit5 Effective management of person-organisation fit6 Importance of Assessing P-O fit in employee selection6 Nurturing P-O fit after the selection process7 Managing P-O fit in organisation with high diversity7 Conclusion10 References12 Bibliography16 Person-Organisation Fit
Person-Organisation fit(P-O fit) is broadly defined as the compatibility between people and organisations (Kristof 1996); a compatibility of values and expectations between employee and employer. It is the congruence of an individual’s beliefs and values with the culture, norms, and values of an organization. Forms of P-O fit Kristof (1996) further explains – P-O Fit has three main forms. * The first is supplementary fit. It exists when the characteristics of one thing are similar to the same characteristics of something else. * The two other forms of P–O fit are different aspects of complementary fit.
Rather than similarity, complementary P–O fit is about one of the parties (the individual or the organization) making the other whole (Muchinsky and Monahan, 1987). It can take several forms such as needs–supplies or demands–abilities relationships (Kristof, 1996). A high level of individual complementary P–O fit exists when the organization supplies what the individual needs. A high level of organizational complementary P–O fit exists when an individual has the abilities, attitudes etc. that the organization demands. Measures of P-O fit
Person’s fit to the organisation can be measured on four different levels * Measuring similarity between characteristics of people and organisations * Measuring the goal congruence with organisational leaders or peers (Vancouver, Millsap & Peters 1994) * Measuring similarity between individual preferences or needs and organisational systems and structures (Cable & Judge 1994) –this reflects the needs-supplies fit perspective. * Measuring similarity between characteristics of an individual personality and organisational climate-sometimes labelled as organisational personality. Bowen et al 1991) Antecedents and outcomes of P-O fit According to Schneider’s (1987) ASA (Attractive-Selection-Attrition) framework people and organisations are attracted to each other based on their similarity. Thus both applicant job choice behaviour and organisations’ hiring practices are the major antecedents of P-O fit. Following organisation entry individual and organisational socialisation practices contribute to P-O fit. Socialisation helps establish P-O fit between newcomers and organisation (Chatman 1991; Cable & Parsons, 2001) Impacts of P-O fit on organisation and individuals
High level of P-O fit is related to a number of positive outcomes. P-O fit is correlated to work attitudes like job satisfaction and organisational commitment, organisational citizenship, self reported team work, creativity, and contextual performance (Boxx, Odom and Dunn, 1991; Chatman 1991). It can also predict intention of quit and turnover. Performance Holland (1985) stated that individuals will achieve greatest performance when their skills and traits fit those of the organization. In support of this statement, Caldwell & O’Reilly (1990) found that P-O fit is positively related to job performance. Turnover
Research examining the relationship between P-O fit and turnover suggests that employees whose values match those of their organization are less likely to experience feelings of incompetence or anxiety (Chatman, 1991). In contrast, employees who do not have a strong fit will either self-select out or will be released by the organization. For this reason, employees who fit with the organization are likely to have higher job satisfaction and lower intentions to quit than those who do not. This is also a measure of organizational commitment (Caldwell & O’Reilly, 1990; Chatman, 1991; Saks & Ashforth, 1997; Vancouver et al. 1994). Homogeneity and creativity P-O fit research also suggests that employees who have strong fit also possess certain degree of similarity or homogeneity (Lopez & McMillan-Capehart, 2003). As a result, a criticism of P-O fit is that it results in employees who think similarly and thus there is less innovation and creative in the organization. Payne, Lane & Jabri (1990) have questioned the desirability of too great a fit in creative industries, as ‘group think’ is detrimental to the innovation process. Comparison P-O fit with P-J fit Person-Job fit (P-J fit) is the most common way fit is defined by organizations.
Person-Job fit involves the measurement of what we often refer to as “hard” information about a candidate’s suitability for the tasks that are required for successful performance of a specific job (Handler. C 2004). “Hard” aspects of P-J Fit include things such as a candidate’s specific skills, their levels of knowledge about specific subject matter, and their cognitive abilities. On the other hand, the elements of P-O Fit are rather soft. That is to say, it’s much more difficult to examine the job-related outcomes of a match between person and an organization as it elates to abstract concepts such as “values” and “culture” then it is to examine the outcomes of the match between harder traits, such as a person’s mathematical ability and the related aspects of their job performance. Just because it’s softer in nature and involves less objective constructs then P-J Fit, that doesn’t mean P-O Fit is any less important. These insights on the two fit concepts suggest that they are complimentary measures that should account for different aspects of job performance and other organisational behaviors of an employee.
Effective management of person-organisation fit As can be seen from the nature of the P-O fit, its involvement in the organisation and individual development starts at the selection process itself. It is then nurtured to grow by socialisation trends in the organisation. In this section effective management of P-O fit at various stages is discussed in detail Importance of Assessing P-O fit in employee selection In employee selection research , P-O fit can be conceptualised as the match between applicant and broader organisational attributes. Judge & Ferris, 1992;Rynes & Gerhart, 1990). P-O fit is very important in maintaining the flexible and committed workforce that is necessary in a competitive business environment and a tight labor market. (Bowen, Ledford &Nathan,1991;Kristof 1996) Schneider’s (1987) ASA framework suggests that the sort of people within an organisation shape that organisation, yet that the culture of an organisation endures through changes in personnel. There is then, a dynamic interaction between the people entering and leaving an organisation and its cultural characteristics.
Cultural fit hence may be an important yet unnoticed factor in selection. (Kwiatkowski, 2003). For this reason structured interviews may be more successful than traditional interviews because they focus factors that better predict performance (job knowledge, interpersonal skills and P-O fit. ) As the technology has an exponential growth in the modern world, Psychometric and integrity testing (Schmidt and Hunter 1998) are most effective in assessing general intelligence and other personality factors. These tests can give some insight of personality traits of the applicant which can then be assessed to atch with the organisational culture. Nurturing P-O fit after the selection process Having found the best employees to fit into the organisation through recruiting, It is equally important for the organisation to give significance to employees within the organisation keep their P-O fit motive at higher level. The organisations though may have achieved congruence of goal and value between them and the employees, but there is a factor of uniqueness which cannot be ignored. Most of the organisations will have people from diverse cultural background.
As an organisation to be successful, the management has to achieve and maintain the P-O fit effectively. Some means of achieving P-O fit in diverse culture organisation are discussed below. Managing P-O fit in organisation with high diversity The degree of dissimilarity (or diversity) between an employee and his or her co-workers will impact whether or not the employee feels that he or she fits in with the firm. Hobman, Bordia, & Gallois (2003) found that employees who perceive themselves to be dissimilar from their work group also experienced greater conflict with group members as well as task-related conflict.
When employees are dissimilar from the prototypical group, either visually or due to information gaps, they are less likely to feel that they belong in the organization. Some of the factors that can moderate the effect of diversity are discussed here. Organizational Climate Organizational climate reflects elements of the organizational environment, such as policies, processes, and values that are perceived by employees. Individual behaviors are often a result of perceptions of the work environment more so than of the reality of the work environment (James & James, 1989).
Organizations that embrace employee differences create an environment in which “all members and their cultures are appreciated and utilized to achieve organizational success” (Richard & Grimes, 1996: 165). Consequently though employees may be dissimilar, the negative outcomes of dissimilarity will be diminished while the positive outcomes will be reinforced. Organizational Socialization Socialization helps determine the level of cultural congruence between the individual and the organization.
Therefore, in an effort to increase perceptions of P-O fit, firms implement socialization tactics that are based on the organization’s culture. As such, socialization plays an important role in determining P-O fit. The socialization tactics (Jones,1986 and Van Maanen & Schein 1979) can be individualized and institutionalized. Institutionalized socialization tactics Institutionalized socialization refers to the way in which organizations provide employees with explicit guidelines about the sequence and timing of progression in an organization (Allen & Meyer, 1990).
It is characterized by a structured program that encourages a custodial role orientation (i. e. employees passively accept preset roles and thus maintain homogeneity) (Jones, 1986). Institutionalized socialization produces a more homogeneous organization where innovation is inhibited and employees respond to situations very similarly. According to Allen & Meyer (1990), institutionalized socialization tactics may have a negative effect on creativity and innovation. Individualized Socialization Tactics
Individualized socialization involves allowing employees to make decisions regarding how tasks should be performed. There are fewer schedules, guidelines, and procedures in an organization that implements individualized tactics. An organization that employs individualized socialization is more heterogeneous because innovation is encouraged and accepted. Individualized socialization tactics promote an organization that capitalizes on differing beliefs and values. In the past, these tactics have been positively related to performance but negatively related to conflict (Ashforth & Saks, 1996; Jones, 1983, 1986).
Through encouraging employees to develop innovative roles and appreciating individuals’ differing beliefs and values, organizations may create a workplace where dissimilar employees feel valued and an important part of the success of the organization. The use of individualized socialization tactics should result in mutual respect for one another and acknowledgement of the benefits associated with diversity (i. e. creativity, innovation, and problem solving). Individualized tactics should reduce discrimination in the workplace and provide more role models or entors. As a result, dissimilar employees should not be excluded from the networks and social groups because these tactics encourage and promote staffing decisions regarding diverse individuals. Organizations will benefit from the positive consequences of diversity if tactics are used that encourage and promote diversity in the workplace. Therefore, organizations that seek to take advantage of the benefits associated with employee dissimilarity may experience the positive consequences and not the negative through using individualized tactics.
This socialization process leads to a multicultural organization in which “all members and their cultures are appreciated and utilized to achieve organizational success (Richard & Grimes, 1996: 165). The result is an increase in creativity, problem solving, job satisfaction, and organizational commitment and a decrease in conflict and turnover (Richard & Grimes, 1996). Conclusion As the concept of Organisational culture and organisation-person fit become increasingly the order of the day for many organisations to become successful, the need to manage the P-O fit has become highly important. Watt B, Busine M. Wienker E. (2005) suggest several ways organisations can embed and assess fit as part of their recruitment and selection process. • Articulate the value proposition up front through recruitment advertising , which will enable in attracting the ‘right’ people. • Use tools such as Realistic Job Previews and/or ‘Day in the Life’ profiles to help applicants self screen. • Describe values in behavioural terms and use behavioural-based questions to assess suitability. Alternatively, identify competencies that align with the core values and ensure that interview questions are constructed to address these.
Integrating P-O Fit in Diverse Employees and Dynamic workforce As the knowledgeable employee base has become much more competative many people expect employers to reward for work and to provide development opportunities rather than to recompense tenure or longevity in post. There is an increasing evidence that younger people are considering jobs as temporary. Positions in organisations that offer development, interesting work and equitable reward are seen more attracting than those offering stability or longevity of employment. So also is diversity a part of our society and therefore the workforce.
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