Journal of Organizational Behavior

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Volume 27 Issue 4 (June 2006), Pages 403-543

Underemployment, job attitudes, and turnover intentions (pages 509-536)


We surveyed three distinct samples of employees (Ns of 238, 102, and 981) in order to examine relations among various types of underemployment, job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and turnover intentions. Each dimension of underemployment is explored as a case of poor person‐job fit, and the fit literature is used to produce hypotheses about these relations. We also developed and validated the 9‐item Scale of Perceived Overqualification (SPOQ) to tap employee perceptions of surplus education, experience, and KSAs (knowledge, skills, and abilities). In general, perceptions of underemployment were associated with poor job satisfaction, particularly for facets with a direct causal relationship with the specific dimension of underemployment, such as overqualification and satisfaction with work. Perceived overqualification was also related to lower affective commitment, and higher intentions to turnover. For part‐time work, negative attitudes were only found when employees expressed a preference for full‐time work; a similar trend was not found for temporary workers, however. Implications for theory, research, and practice are delineated. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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