Consequences of Individual’s Fit at Work


The research by Kristof-Brown et al. (2005) revolved around P.J, P.G, P.O, and P.S fits in the workplace. The study aimed to outline how the individual fits with the various aspects of the work environment. The scholars also analyzed how the work environment influences individuals’ attitudes and behaviors. The research was carried out by Amy L. Kristof-Brown, Ryan D. Zimmerman, and Erin C. Johnson from the Australian University of Iowa in 2005. The current paper is a critique of this research. The author of this paper will summarize the research and critically analyze the weaknesses and strengths of the study. The aim is to look at what Kristof-Brown et al. (2005) may have missed out on in conducting their study.

Research Summary

As already stated, the research was carried out to investigate the P.J, P.G, P.O, and P.S fits in a contemporary organization. The scholars looked at how the fits relate to individuals and the various aspects of a work environment. The research analyzed literature from various articles reporting studies touching on the subject matter. Kristof-Brown et al. (2005) used quantitative analysis in the research.

From the research carried out by Kristof-Brown et al. (2005), clear demarcations between P.J, P.G, P.O, and P.S fits were established (Bretz & Judge, 1994, p. 531). Such demarcations are necessary for appreciating how the attitudes and behaviors of individuals at the workplace are influenced by ‘fit’. The research looked at how the moderate relationship between all the fits underscores their respective uniqueness. From such uniqueness, the researchers argue, individuals can discern the various aspects of their work environment. In particular, the researchers found that the relationship between PS fit and the other types of fits was almost negligible. Several conclusions are drawn from the relationship. For example, it is concluded that workers do not regard the managers as representatives of the business owners.

The researchers assessed the findings of other studies revolving around the various types of fits. Kristof-Brown et al. (2005) concluded that the majority of scholars in this field agree on the uniqueness of each fit. An example of such a study is the one by Kristof-Brown, Jansen & Colbert (2002, p. 985). Cumulatively, results from the other studies allude to the fact that PE fit is a multifaceted concept. It comprises several constituent sub-types of fit. From this, the researchers conclude that fit is relevant in the interaction between individuals and the environment they work in.

The current paper is, as earlier mentioned, a critique of the research conducted by Kristof-Brown et al. (2005). In this paper, the author is going to analyze several aspects of the aforementioned research paper. Such issues include the strengths of PE in the workplace, as well as the weaknesses, as discussed by the researchers. The critique of the findings made by the scholars is the backbone of this paper. The author finds that the kind of PE discussed by Kristof-Brown et al. (2005) is static. The static nature of the PE is precisely why this paper will look at a more dynamic model of the same.

Weaknesses of the Research Paper

In this paper, the author finds it quite positive that Kristof-Brown et al. (2005) relied on multiple sources of information for their review of PE. It is worth noting the information used in reviewing P.V and P.J fits. According to Edwards & Parry (1993, p. 1580), most of the studies reviewed had some methodological errors. The errors can lead to misinterpretations of the results obtained. The author of this paper is against the use of erroneous data. The researchers shouldn’t make definitive judgments, especially with the realization that their results may be flawed (Kristof-Brown & Stevens, 2001).

The use of polynomial regression is another weakness of this research. Kalliath, Bluedorn & Strube (1999, p. 1181) argue that fit relationships cannot be conclusively supported by the data obtained using polynomial regressions. There are various reasons for this observation. For example, the data obtained from such computations can only be used to establish the link between ‘P’ and ‘E’. The data proves that the link between the two fits is advantageous to the employee (Lachman & Aranya, 1986). The above issues highlight some of the major weaknesses that the researchers failed to address in their study.


The researchers made attempts to negate the weaknesses highlighted above. Their meta-analysis was conclusive. According to Robbins & Judge (2011), the comparison of literature from diverse sources yields a wide range of attitudinal and behavioral traits. The same proves quite beneficial in the overall conceptualization of fit.

Suggestions for Improvement

The author of this paper finds that the said study was static. The author postulates that P.E is an indication of the relationship between peoples’ traits and the environments they work in (Schneider et al., 2000, p. 13). Given this postulation, the author feels that Kristof-Brown et al. (2005) should have looked at the effects of P.E on the entire organization. The author feels that several models of P.E fit should have been explored. The different models reflect the dynamic interplay between the individuals and the environment they are in (Daft, 2009). Furthermore, Kristof-Brown et al. (2005) should have used both qualitative and quantitative research methods as opposed to simply relying on a quantitative approach.


Bretz, R. D., & Judge, T. A. (1994). The role of human resource systems in job applicant decision processes. Journal of Management, 20(3), 531-551.

Daft, R. (2009). Organization theory and design (10th ed.). Melbourne: South-Western College Publication.

Edwards, J. R., & Parry, M. E. (1993). The use of polynomial regression equations as an alternative to difference scores in organizational research. Academy of Management Journal, 36(6), 1577–1613.

Kalliath, T. J., Bluedorn, A. C., & Strube, M. J. (1999). A test of value congruence effects. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 20(7), 1175–1198.

Kristof-Brown, A. L., Jansen, K. J., Colbert, A. E. (2002). A policy-capturing study of the simultaneous effects of fit with jobs, groups, and organizations. Journal of Applied Psychology, 87(5), 985–993.

Kristof-Brown, A. L., Zimmerman, R. D., & Johnson, E. C. (2005). Consequences of individuals’ fit at work: A meta-analysis of person-job, person-organization, person-group, and person-supervisor fit. Personnel Psychology, 58, 282-342.

Kristof-Brown, A., & Stevens, C. K. (2001). Goal congruence in project teams: Does the fit between members’ personal mastery and performance goals matter?. Journal of Applied Psychology, 86, 1083–1095.

Lachman, R., & Aranya, N. (1986). Evaluation of alternative models of commitments and job attitudes of professionals. Journal of Occupational Behavior, 7, 227–243.

Robbins, S. P., & Judge, N. (2011). Organizational behavior (14th ed.). New Jersey: Pearson Education.

Schneider, B., Goldstein, H., & Smith, D. (2000). The ASA Framework: An update. Persona Psychology,13, 10-16.

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