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recent call to “explore more complex models, including mediation and moderation” in person job fit research
(McKee-Ryan & Harvey, 2011, p. 980). Notably, we explore the proposed moderated mediation model in a sample
of professional workers, who are highly trained experts with valued credentials. They are likely to be employed in
more complex and interesting jobs than those lacking qualifications. Extending person job fit theory, we argue that
these workers also are susceptible to misfit (i.e.,overqualification). Being overqualified can be a stressful experience
for everybody, including professional workers, which may lead them to engage in undesirable behaviors that can
jeopardize their career jobs.
Second, as shown in Figure 1, we proposed that both cognitive (i.e., organization-based self-esteem) and affective
(i.e.,anger toward employment situation) reactions could account for the potential impact of perceived
overqualification on CWB. Specifically, extending person environment fit research, we will demonstrate that mis-
match (i.e., overqualification) simultaneously influences people’s thoughts and feelings about this unpleasant and
stressful situation. It will also extend work frustration aggression model (Fox & Spector, 1999) by showing that
stressful events (i.e., overqualification) result in CWBs not only because they trigger immediate and impulsive reac-
tions but also because they lead to less spontaneous, more deliberate responses.
Third, we build on person environment fit theory to propose that there will be individual differences in the extent
to which people are sensitive to misfit. We argue that overqualified people who are particularly attuned to incidents
of unfair treatment (i.e., with higher levels of justice sensitivity) may be particularly bothered (e.g., appraising lower
self-worthiness and feeling angrier) by the person job misfit. Considering its complex downstream effect, our model
essentially suggests that justice sensitivity moderates the indirect effect of perceived overqualification on CWB.
Finally, our study also represents a substantial step forward in terms of research methodology for studying
overqualification. In particular, our model is tested using time-lagged, multi-source data collected from a sample
of 224 employees and their supervisors. Supporting the proposed moderated mediation model, our results showed
that controlling for several of the strongest predictors of CWB (e.g., neuroticism and multidimensional justice), per-
ceived overqualification still contribute to misbehaviors that could cause serious problems for organizations and
their members, and why and when these effects might occur.
252 S. LIU ET AL.
Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. J. Organiz. Behav. 36, 250 271 (2015)