Job-fit theory and personal development


This blog entry is a personal reflection upon the job-fit theory and the development of peronal skills.

The Job-fit theory states that satisfaction is highest and turnover lowest when personality and occupation are in alignment (Ch5) but isn’t it the case that one’s personality can still change quite a lot? In fact, I hope that I will still change (towards a better self, of course) as I learn and grow in an organization. Meeting different personalities, experiencing work/study programs abroad or discovering a new area of interest has always given me and my values new inputs and reasons to develop into a different direction. Therefore, can’t satisfaction be increased by giving people the opportunity to grow further?

My diverse interests often depend on the input I get from my environment and the people that are currently influencing me the most.Therefore, I believe that an organizational culture and especially supervisors can have a great impact on one’s thoughts and further development. During an internship at a bank, for instance, I experienced an affiliative however demanding leadership style by my boss. She was a very self-confident lady and admired by the people in her department. As we discussed in class as well I was wondering if she had always been able to guide people that well intuitively or whether she actually acquired these skills with experience and self-development. Building good relationships or being able to communicate effectively are certainly skills that can be sharpened and trained with experience and discipline. Since these are key in being a good leader I believe that leaders need a certain set of given things, such as a certain level of IQ, but that most of what makes a good leader is actually acquired. I came across a very interesting book called Leadership Effectiveness Training. The book can be described as an on-going learning experience which helped me acquire a much better understanding and ability to work with people. Thomas Gordon, the author, is a well-known psychologist and recognized as a pioneer in teaching communication skills and conflict resolution. This book supports the view that leaders are not born but rather made and gave me a deeper understanding in how to acquire these skills. It actively teaches how to make use of active listening, I-messages, and no-lose conflict resolution due to a catalogue of examples where I could relate myself to. Each person will find examples they have already experienced or can relate to. Here, a concrete set of tools and skills are introduced that help to succeed in today’s workplace and step up as a leader.

Often, people do not know exactly what they are good at or realize particular strength during projects and tasks. Thus, the Job-fit theory seems to be rather short-term oriented and narrow minded. In my judgement, a Person-Organization fit is a better approach in finding the social capita of one’s organization since it is unlikely to change deep values and one’s cultural view upon situations. Personality, however, can and should be developed further over time.




Gordon, T. (2001). Leader effectiveness training, L.E.T: Proven skills for leading today’s business into tomorrow. New York, N.Y: Berkley Pub. Group

Bass, B. M. (2000). The future of leadership in learning organizations. Journal of Leadership Studies, 7(3), 18-40.

Barrick, M. R., Mitchell, T. R., & Stewart, G. L. (2003). Situational and motivational influences on trait–behavior relationships. In M. R. Barrick, & A. M. Ryan (Eds.), Personality and work: Reconsidering the role of personality in organizations (pp. 60–82). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Hofstede, Geert (1980). Motivation, leadership, and organization: Do American theories apply abroad? Organizational Dynamics, 9(1): 42-63.



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