On the Association between Perceived Overqualification and Adaptive Behavior

35 Pages Posted: 1 May 2016

See all articles by Chia‐Huei Wu

Chia‐Huei Wu

Durham University

Amy Wei Tian

Curtin University - School of Marketing

Aleksandra Luksyte

The University of Western Australia

Christiane Spitzmueller

University of Houston - Department of Psychology

Date Written: April 28, 2016

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this research was 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.

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. Our findings further point out what can be done to encourage adaptive behaviors among overqualified employees.

Keywords: Perceived overqualification, adaptivity, job design, job autonomy, underemployment

Suggested Citation

Wu, Chia‐Huei and Wei Tian, Amy and Luksyte, Aleksandra and Spitzmueller, Christiane, On the Association between Perceived Overqualification and Adaptive Behavior (April 28, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2772262 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2772262

Chia‐Huei Wu (Contact Author)

Durham University ( email )

Old Elvet
Mill Hill Lane
Durham, Durham DH1 3HP
United Kingdom

Amy Wei Tian

Curtin University - School of Marketing ( email )

Australia

Aleksandra Luksyte

The University of Western Australia ( email )

35 Stirling Highway
Crawley, Western Australia 6009
Australia

Christiane Spitzmueller

University of Houston - Department of Psychology

United States

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