The relationship between person-organization fit and job satisfaction

Pei Chen, Paul Sparrow, Cary Cooper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose – Drawing upon the theory of conservation of resources to argue the importance of job stress as an important variable that mediates the person-organization (P-O) fit-job satisfaction relationship, and supervisor support as an important moderating variable that moderates the relationship between P-O fit and job stress, the purpose of this paper is to test a moderated mediation model. Design/methodology/approach – Data were collected from 225 employees in 12 catering service organizations in Beijing. An integrated mediation and moderation model was evaluated. Findings – The study illustrates both some new mechanisms and the boundary conditions between P-O fit and job satisfaction. Job stress mediates the relationships between P-O fit and job satisfaction; supervisor support moderates the linkage of P-O fit, job stress, and job satisfaction. The corresponding moderated mediation model was supported. Research limitations/implications – The question of causality cannot be determined because of the cross-sectional research design; self-report is a necessary strategy for the assessment of subjects’ appraisals. However, it requires some caution in interpreting the results. Practical implications – The findings offer a better understanding of the way P-O fit is able to affect job satisfaction. Actions designed to promote P-O fit may be useful in reducing employees’ stress and result in higher job satisfaction. To enhance the relationships between P-O fit and employees’ job satisfaction through supervisor support, supervisors should develop a positive form of reciprocation by helping employees to solve the real problem they are facing. Originality/value – No previous studies have investigated influencing factors of employees’ satisfaction from the perspective of individual and organizational interfaces.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)946-959
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Managerial Psychology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jul 2016


  • Job satisfaction
  • Mediation
  • Moderation
  • Person-organization fit
  • Service industry
  • Stress


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