Person-Environment Fit in Organizational Settings

Cheri Ostroff

in The Oxford Handbook of Organizational Psychology, Volume 1

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199928309
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Person-Environment Fit in Organizational Settings


The purpose of this chapter is to review and synthesize research on the fit, congruence, and alignment between individuals and their organizational environment. Theoretical foundations and conceptualizations of person–environment (PE) fit are reviewed, highlighting areas of ambiguity and controversy. The framework of fit addresses different fit perspectives (similarity, fulfillment, and compilation), fit to different hierarchical levels (person-individual, person-job, person-group, and person-organization fit), and different modes of defining the environment (person-based versus situational-based). Distinctions are drawn between objective and subjective fit, and a set of organizational and individual differences variables are hypothesized to increase the convergence between the two. Further, misfit is defined, and moderators of the relationship between fit, misfit, and individual outcomes are suggested. Finally, the notion that individuals simultaneously desire to fit in terms of being similar to others and being distinctive from others is addressed as a means to further future research on the PE fit in organizations.

Keywords: Person-environment fit; person-organization fit; misfit; levels of analysis

Article.  27477 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Organizational Psychology

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribeRecommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »