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On the association between perceived overqualification and adaptive behavior.

Wu, Chia-Huei and Tian, Amy Wei and Luksyte, Aleksandra and Spitzmueller, Christiane (2017) 'On the association between perceived overqualification and adaptive behavior.', Personnel review., 46 (2). pp. 339-354.


Purpose The purpose of this paper is to offer an autonomous motivation perspective to explore the relationship between perceived overqualification and adaptive work behavior and examine job autonomy as a factor that may moderate the association. Design/methodology/approach The hypotheses were tested in two culturally, demographically, and functionally diverse samples: sample 1 was based on North American community college employees (n=215); sample 2 was based on full-time workers, employed in a Chinese state-owned enterprise specializing in shipping (n=148). Findings In study 1, perceived overqualification was negatively related to self-rated adaptive behavior. A follow-up study 2 extended these findings by demonstrating that perceived overqualification was negatively related to supervisor-rated adaptive work behavior when job autonomy was low, rather than high. Research limitations/implications The results of this research offer an autonomous motivation perspective to explain why perceived overqualification relates to adaptive behavior and suggests a job design approach to encourage adaptive behaviors of people who feel overqualified – a sizable segment of the current workforce. Originality/value This is one of the first studies to explore adaptive behavior of workers who feel overqualified – an outcome that has not been examined in this domain. The findings further point out what can be done to encourage adaptive behaviors among overqualified employees.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Publisher statement:This article is © Emerald Group Publishing and permission has been granted for this version to appear here ( Emerald does not grant permission for this article to be further copied/distributed or hosted elsewhere without the express permission from Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
Date accepted:02 April 2016
Date deposited:16 July 2018
Date of first online publication:28 February 2017
Date first made open access:16 July 2018

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