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Kristof-Brown Wins Research Award for Employee/Job Fit Study

Amy Kristof-Brown Amy Kristof-Brown, an associate professor in the Tippie College of Business Department of Management and Organizations at the University of Iowa, has won the Academy of Management Human Resources Division Scholarly Achievement Award for a study of how well employees fit in their jobs.

The study shows that shared values are one of the most important factors in determining the best fit between employers and employees. Also, the study found that a good match between a person and where they work has an impact on their attitude and how they represent the company outside the work environment.

Kristof-Brown, who holds the Weisman/Sinicropi Faculty Research Fellowship, wrote "Consequences of Individuals‚ Fit at Work: A Meta-Analysis of Person-Job, Person-Organization, Person-Group, and Person-Supervisor Fit" with two Tippie College Ph.D. students, Ryan Zimmerman and Erin Johnson. The paper was published in the journal "Personnel Psychology" in 2005.

The study, published in the journal "Personnel Psychology" in 2005, uses meta-analysis, a research technique used for combining the findings of different, potentially conflicting studies on the same question to reveal the underlying meaning of the set of studies as a whole. Kristof-Brown and her colleagues found that employees are most satisfied and the best performers when they have a strong fit with their jobs. Person-job fit most often boils down to having their financial and psychological needs met. Person-organization fit, or compatibility with the company culture, also affects job attitudes and citizenship activities that people do above and beyond their job requirements.

The researchers summarized 172 papers examining a person's compatibility with his or her job, organization, work group, and supervisors. The paper also addressed attributes observed before starting a job-applicant attraction, job acceptance, intent to hire, and job offer-and post-job entry consequences, such as attitudes, withdrawal behaviors, strain, performance, and tenure.

Kristof-Brown and her colleagues found that person-organization fit appears to have a moderate impact on employee attitudes and citizenship activities that people do above and beyond their job requirements, such as helping others or talking positively about the firm. It also appears to have a modest impact on turnover and tenure, but it has very little to no impact on meeting the job requirements. However, how well a person matches with their specific job does impact performance.

The research also found that employees who have the similar values as the organization have the best experiences, stronger than having the same goals as the organization.

The Academy's Human Resources Division presents the award to the authors of the most significant article in human resource management published in recognized journals and research annuals that are generally available to its members. The award is based on the significance and importance of the problem to human resources, how the paper advances research or theory, and the likelihood that the paper will be widely cited in future published work.

Kristof-Brown wrote "Consequences of Individuals‚ Fit at Work: A Meta-Analysis of Person-Job, Person-Organization, Person-Group, and Person-Supervisor Fit" with two Tippie College Ph.D. students, Ryan Zimmerman and Erin Johnson. The paper was published in the journal "Personnel Psychology" in 2005.

The award will be presented at the Academy's annual meeting, August 11-16 in Atlanta.


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