Publications on Worker Interests and Job Fit
Announcing several publications on worker interests and job fit:
- Misfit Matters: A Re-Examination of Interest Fit and Job Satisfaction. Justin Wiegand, Fritz Drasgow, and James Rounds. Journal of Vocational Behavior.
Published under an open access license (i.e., free to all!), this paper addresses the disconnect between vocational interest researchers long held contention that individuals will be satisfied when their interests match the characteristics of their work environments and meta-analyses that have found little relationship between interest fit and overall job satisfaction. Using novel methods (Polynomial Regression and Response Surface Methodology) to account for asymmetry between interest misfit and job satisfaction, we find that:
- Misfit asymmetry often exists for interests and job satisfaction
- The form of asymmetry may change across fit comparison methods and interests
- Job satisfaction sometimes increases for fit from low to high levels of the person and environment variables.
These findings largely differ from the constraints imposed by single-index fit measures characterizing much of past interest fit research. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
- Does More Mean Less? Interest Surplus and the Gender Gap in STEM Careers. M. Teresa Cardador, Rodica Damian, Justin Wiegand. Journal of Career Assessment.
This paper examines the persistent gender gap in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) career choices, a perplexing problem for researchers and policy makers alike. We contribute to research on the gender gap in STEM careers by testing a “surplus model” of vocational interests as a predictor of STEM career choice. The model suggests that, controlling for ability, female adolescents with strong STEM-related interest should be less likely to pursue STEM careers when they also have strong interests in other areas, due to wider career options. This model was tested in a large, national, longitudinal data set and results were translated into differences in annual wages. Our findings illuminate the predictive validity of a surplus model of interests on STEM career choice across gender, provide insight into the gender gap in STEM, and suggest opportunities for future research.
Job Satisfaction and Union Participation: The Role of Fit. Justin Wiegand and Robert Bruno. Labor Studies Journal.
This paper examines job satisfaction’s role as an antecedent to union participation. Job satisfaction has often been suggested to related negatively to union participation, but meta-analyses of the relationship generally fail to support this claim. We suggest a negative job satisfaction–union participation relationship exists only among workers lacking similar work interests than their colleagues (low “person-workgroup fit”). Analysis of worker data across three unions located in a large Midwestern city support fit’s moderating role—relatively high fit workers participate in union activities irrespective of their job satisfaction, but workers with relatively low fit participate more when dissatisfied with their jobs. The findings inform theory on antecedents of union participation and the strategic choices unions face in organizing and strengthening lay activism.