Person-Environment Fit Theory

Topic: Applied Psychology
Words: 3008 Pages: 3

Person Environment Fit and Job Satisfaction

Previously conducted research on the relationship between these variables provides valuable insights as per the validation of the hypothesis. A meta-analysis conducted by Ahn and Lee (2019) was based on 15,589 employees whose person-environment fit was analyzed against job-related variables. The scholars integrated person-organization and person-job fit into the first variable, and job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and intention to leave into the second variable. The findings of the study indicate that there is a strong positive relationship between person-environment fit and job satisfaction. Moreover, Redelinghuys et al. (2020), Redelinghuys et al. (2019), and Rocconi et al. (2020) validated the positive relationship between person-environment fit and job satisfaction when it is reinforced by leadership or organizational culture. Similar findings were delivered by Deschênes (2020), who identified that among the components of person-environment fit, the person-job fit was most vividly correlated with job satisfaction.

Moreover, the aspect of age influence on the relationship between the variables was addressed by Rauvola et al. (2019). This study identified that job satisfaction of older adults was more dependent on person-organization fit, while younger employees’ job satisfaction was more significantly influenced by person-job and person-group fit. A study by Gander et al. (2020) used a nationally representative sample of the employed adult population to measure the person-environment and character strengths influence on job and life satisfaction. It was found that the stronger the character and the better the person-environment fit, the higher the level of job and life satisfaction. Furthermore, other authors concentrated on the impact of person-environment fit on job satisfaction in different fields of occupation and types of organization; the findings unanimously indicated a positive relationship between variable as found in federal employees, police officers, and project management professionals (Wang & Brower, 2018; Wang et al., 2020; White et al., 2021). Thus, the reviewed scholarly literature allows for supporting the hypothesis.

H1: There is a positive relationship between person-environment fit and job satisfaction.

Psychological Capital and Job Satisfaction

Several studies have been found to provide information on the moderating influence of psychological capital, including optimistic worldview, self-efficacy, resilience, and family support, on job satisfaction. According to Kun and Gadanecz (2019) and Aydin Sünbül and Aslan Gördesli (2021), whose primary area of concern was the educational field and teachers’ job experience, psychological capital predetermines better job satisfaction. Valuable insight on the correlation between health outcomes and psychological money was contributed by Diržytė and Perminas (20201), who found that people with fewer health issues demonstrate a higher level of psychological wellbeing, implying better opportunities for life and job satisfaction. A similar field-focused safety-management-related research on the correlation between the two variables found a positive relationship between psychological capital and safety compliance (Ye et al., 2020). Similarly, using data collected from a female sample with the help of a self-reported questionnaire, Ganji and Johnson (2020) identified the positive effect of family support on women’s job retention and satisfaction. Furthermore, Huynh and Hua’s (2020) research on the factors influencing job satisfaction and organizational commitment using data from employees at small- and medium-sized enterprises in Vietnam found that job satisfaction and psychological wellbeing were essential determinants for job commitment.

H2: There is a positive relationship between psychological capital and job satisfaction.

Job Satisfaction and Organizational Commitment

Previous studies investigating the effect of job satisfaction on organizational commitment in various fields provide the basis for supporting the hypothesis. Indeed, according to Romi et al. (2021) and Jigjiddorj et al. (2021), higher levels of job satisfaction led to better organizational performance, compliance with corporate policies and culture, as well as a commitment to the job. Moreover, as found by Zhu et al. (2014), job satisfaction and commitment are the driving forces of sustainable organizational development; identified positive relationships between job satisfaction and loyalty were proposed for practical use. However, as found by Goujani et al. (2019), not all categories of employees as derived from the loyalty matrix have a higher commitment as a result of job satisfaction; namely, the category of hostage employees showed a low level of loyalty. Nonetheless, the positive effect has been persistent in a general population of the reviewed studies.

H3: There is a positive relationship between job satisfaction and organizational commitment.

Job Satisfaction and Intention to Leave

As the review of previous studies suggests, lower job satisfaction triggers a higher level of likelihood to leave a job. According to Jiang et al. (2019), such factors as job satisfaction, payment, workload, and others, had a negative relationship with the intentions to resign. Similar findings were presented by Sasso et al. (2019) and Al-Muallem and Al-Surimi (2019), who identified that an increased level of nurses’ turnover and pharmacists’ intention to leave was highly dependent on diminished job satisfaction. Moreover, study results obtained by Mashuri and Maharani (2019) support the hypothesis and indicate negative relationships between the two variables. Therefore, since previous research findings provide relevant, verifiable, and credible data on the correlation between job satisfaction and the likelihood to leave a job, one might conclude by supporting the hypothesis.

H4: There is a negative relationship between job satisfaction and intention to leave.

Engagement Moderating Person-Environment Fit and Job Satisfaction

One might assert that engagement moderates the relationship of dependence between the independent variable of person-environment fit and the dependent variable of job satisfaction based on the anticipated increased value of person-environment fit under the influence of engagement, which will ultimately affect job satisfaction, increasing it. Accordingly, managers can promote fit between jobs and employees to achieve an organizational fit and improve job satisfaction. The awareness of managers of the moderating effect of engagement can serve as the foundation for implementing practical actions in terms of organizational design, as well as employee socialization and retention. However, the person-environment fit is not to be considered as a general agenda but regarding fit perceptions, thus supporting employees on their developmental trajectories (Wang et al., 2020). By remaining aware of person-environment fit and job satisfaction dependence, managers can successfully regulate the organizational mechanisms.

The evidence regards personal resources as predictors of job satisfaction, but scholars do not consider job engagement as a mediator of productivity and job satisfaction (Redelinghuys et al., 2019; Rocconi et al., 2020). Moreover, the range of psychological phenomena that correlate with work engagement or pretend to be prerequisites is wide enough, and their role is not clearly defined. For example, self-efficacy is associated with enthusiasm, and it can be both a prerequisite and an effect. Perhaps employees with more resilience are more capable of remaining interested in work and ready to overcome various difficulties in work, which correlates with resilience as a personal resource. Therefore, an in-depth understanding of engagement as a moderator requires additional theoretical and empirical testing that can be conducted in future studies.

H5: There is a positive correlation between person-environment fit and job satisfaction as moderated by engagement, which increases the value of person-environment fit and job satisfaction.

Engagement Moderating Psychological Capital and Job Satisfaction

A positive change in the value of psychological capital, as an independent variable, will result in the consecutive positive change in the dependent variable, job satisfaction. Engagement, as a moderator in the causal relationship between an independent variable and dependent variable, might either increase or decrease their relationship. In this case, engagement can be regarded as a stable and deeply emotional and motivational state affecting various mental processes, which does not focus on any specific object or form of behavior but describe an employee’s attitude to work in general. It provides resources, such as physical, social, and organizational aspects, which help to facilitate work requirements associated with high psychophysiological and psychological costs (Kun & Gadanecz, 2019). For example, conflict resolution, overtime work, and stress are moderated through a high degree of engagement, which is essential to achieve the set work goals and stimulate the personal and professional growth of employees.

There is a need to investigate engagement as a moderator between psychological capital and job satisfaction. In particular, since psychological capital is a resource of socio-psychological relations, due to which an employee is able to successfully achieve the intended goals, one should discover the connection between both dimensions. Despite the fact that both variables function in different ways in terms of a person’s job-related attitudes and behaviors, they should have the same result, such as an increase in the quality of a person’s work, therefore, a rise in job satisfaction (Aydin Sünbül & Aslan Gördesli, 2021). Moreover, the ability of engagement to either improve or deteriorate job satisfaction caused by psychological capital specifics is critical to study to gain the awareness of the issues to integrate or avoid in a workplace.

H6: There is a moderating effect of engagement on psychological capital, which, in turn, improves job satisfaction.

Engagement Moderating Job Satisfaction and Organizational Commitment

Since engagement is not a causal result of job satisfaction, it moderates the relationship between independent (job satisfaction) and dependent (organizational commitment) variables. There is a need to explore the relationships between organizational commitment and job satisfaction in the context of employee performance and engagement. Moral considerations compose one of the components of employee engagement. On the one hand, a satisfied employee is more likely to feel a moral obligation to act loyal to the company. On the other hand, the continuity obligation expresses the concept that the commitment to work is dependent on the balance of costs and benefits for a certain employee. Future research is necessary to identify various methods and strategies to increase organizational commitment through improving the job satisfaction of employees. These include strategies when employees can work together in a way that creates a strong bond. Those who feel a strong attachment and connection to the workplace demonstrate a higher level of commitment to the organization (Jigjiddorj et al., 2021; Romi et al., 2021). Based on the results obtained, a number of recommendations for the development of employee commitment can be made.

H7: Engagement moderates causal relationships between job satisfaction and organizational commitment, where the latter depends on the former.

Engagement Moderating Job Satisfaction and Intention to Leave

Since there is a negative relationship between job satisfaction and intention to leave, the value of engagement as a moderator between independent (job satisfaction) and dependent (intention to leave) variables will predetermine the relationship between the variables. It is important to identify the role of engagement in the impact of low job satisfaction on an employee’s search behavior, which the degree of his or her activity in looking for alternatives and considering proposals for other jobs. An unsuccessful search for alternatives determines the employee’s intention to stay in the organization, and a successful one strengthens the intention to leave (Mashuri & Maharani, 2019). Future research should be devoted to comprehensively considering organizational and personal factors that determine the departure or continuation of work in the organization. In particular, a hypothesis is that low job satisfaction positively correlates with the intention to leave work because of an unfavorable psychological atmosphere in the workplace, the tension in professional responsibilities, and dissatisfaction with the leadership, which determine the extent of engagement.

In turn, increased attention to workplace relationships, stress at work, and comfort for the employee is a characteristic feature of this issue, which allows assuming that an organization can influence the decision of employees to stay, creating a favorable atmosphere aimed at retention of employees in the company and developing a sense of organizational citizenship in employees. The stimulation of their engagement in the life of the company can be explored based on care demonstration, provision with access to timely and relevant information, and training in the workplace.

H8: Engagement as a moderator predetermines the relationships between job satisfaction and the intention to leave an organization.

Job Satisfaction Mediating Person-Environment Fit and Organizational Commitment

Since there is a positive relationship between person-environment fit and organizational commitment, job satisfaction might be regarded as a mediator between the variables.

H9: There is a positive impact of job satisfaction as a mediator on person-environment fit (an independent variable), resulting in organizational commitment (a dependent variable) since a satisfied workforce is more likely to perform optimally and remain loyal to an organization.

Job Satisfaction Mediating Person-Environment Fit and Intention to Leave

Job satisfaction is a mediator in the person-environment fit and intention to leave relationship since person-environment fit predetermines job satisfaction, which ultimately affects intention to leave.

H10: There is a positive relationship between a high person-fit environment (an independent variable) and low intention to leave (a dependent variable) as job satisfaction mediates a person-fit environment as a dominant force in one’s career.

Job Satisfaction Mediating Psychological Capital and Organizational Commitment

Job satisfaction is a mediator between psychological capital and organizational commitment due to the dependence of job satisfaction on psychological capital, which generates organizational commitment.

H11: There is a mediating role of job satisfaction regarding psychological capital (an independent variable), the amount of which impacts the level of organizational commitment (a dependent variable).

Job Satisfaction Mediating Psychological Capital and Intention to Leave

The mediating effect of job satisfaction on psychological capital and intention to leave is validated by the dependence of job satisfaction on psychological capital; job satisfaction level predetermines intention to leave.

H12: Job satisfaction as a mediator enriches psychological capital (an independent variable), which reduces the intention to leave (a dependent variable) since having meaningful job experiences is attractive to employees.

Theories to Explain the Framework

Affect Theory

An affect theory by Locke is another theoretical foundation that can be used to explain the chosen framework. This theory claims that job satisfaction is largely determined by the value people to assign to the various aspects of their work, as well as the extent to which their job-related expectations are met. Morin (2018) emphasizes that the underlying argument is that an individual’s values inform his or her expectations, while the discrepancy between the anticipated benefits and reality identify either satisfaction or dissatisfaction. With regard to the target framework, the affect theory is beneficial to explore the intention to leave, psychological capital, and person-environment fit, and organizational commitment.

The affect theory is valuable to utilize to better understand how employees identify and view their job satisfaction and associated workplace settings and changes. The key idea to be considered in future research is that the discrepancy between job requirements and an individual’s needs and abilities determines job satisfaction. In addition, this theory states that the extent to which a person values one or another aspect of the job impacts his or her job satisfaction, while this impact can be either positive or negative. By using the affect theory as a framework, it would be possible to analyze the relationships between the identified variables in a more detailed and comprehensive manner.

Person-Environment Fit Theory

According to a person-environment fit theory, there are reciprocal relationships between an individual and his or her environment, which means that both people and their contexts can impact each other. This theory postulates that a combination of individual resources and environmental factors identify the ability to adapt to changes (Morin, 2018). In terms of this theory, the fit between a person and environment predetermines a person’s behaviors and motivations. This theory can be used as a theoretical framework to better understand the relationships between engagement moderating person-environment fit and job satisfaction, intention to leave, and organizational commitment, as well as job satisfaction mediating the mentioned variables.

The personality dimension can be researched in terms of the amount of employee knowledge, skills, and competencies, while the environment can be considered as corresponding skills and abilities required for the work process. For instance, the discrepancy between the value of a person as an employee and his or her firm can serve to predict the intention to leave. The characteristics of the environment can include income and opportunities from its side designed to meet the needs of employees, as well as requirements for their abilities. For example, the workload may not meet the employer’s requirements, also posing a threat that the employees will not meet other requirements. Another potential implication of the identified theory is assessing to what extent an employee seeks to control the pace of work and to what extent this or her control is provided by technological capabilities. The organization, in turn, can take measures to address negative aspects and increase organizational commitment through greater job satisfaction. For example, an organization may change its approach to recruiting, promotion, and training.

Telecommunications as the Study Context

The UAE information and communications technology (ICT) sector can be characterized by significant growth within the last decades, where the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA) is the main responsible party. The government of the UAE sets a high priority on the development and implementation of ICT in various spheres of life. While the UAE pays great attention to measuring the satisfaction of employees at the workplaces, the evidence is quite limited regarding the ICT sector. In their study, Murali and Aggarwal (2020) explored the impact of the transformational leadership style on employee engagement and job satisfaction. The authors revealed that there is a strong positive correlation between the mentioned leadership style and employee engagement. Accordingly, it is assumed that higher employee engagement serves as a moderator of organizational commitment and person-environment fit (Murali & Aggarwal, 2020). The study also demonstrates that employee engagement enhances the confidence of employees regarding their performance, which can be considered as a positive impact on psychological capital accumulation.

As for job satisfaction of employees as a mediating factor in the UAE ICT sector, the companies strive to use this concept to manage associated variables, such as person-environment fit, organizational commitment, and intention to leave. However, the relationships between these variables and the mediating factor are not yet properly studied in this field. Abdulla et al. (2011) state that the collectivist culture of the UAE makes external and internal factors of job satisfaction important. Therefore, further studies are critical to establishing specific relationships between the above-mentioned variables so that the findings can benefit in adjusting the ICT sector workplaces through employee engagement and job satisfaction.


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