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Title: Cognitive Ability, Person-Job Fit, and Occupational Mobility: a Process Model and Longitudinal Analysis
Resulting in 1 citation.
1. Wilk, Steffanie Louise
Cognitive Ability, Person-Job Fit, and Occupational Mobility: a Process Model and Longitudinal Analysis
Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Minnesota, 1995
Cohort(s): NLSY79
Publisher: UMI - University Microfilms, Bell and Howell Information and Learning
Keyword(s): Cognitive Ability; Industrial Relations; Job Analysis; Job Rewards; Mobility, Interfirm; Mobility, Job; Mobility, Labor Market; Modeling; NLS of H.S. Class of 1972; Vocational Guidance

This study attempted to develop and test a model of job mobility as a function of congruence between abilities and job complexity. The gravitational hypothesis (McCormick, Jeanneret and Mecham, 1972; McCormick, DeNisi and Staw, 1979), a keystone of this objective, posits that individuals will sort themselves into jobs that are commensurate with their ability level. A first objective of this research was to examine empirically the gravitational hypothesis. A second objective of this study was to examine the effect of fit between ability and job complexity on both (a) satisfaction with the tasks and duties of the job and (b) changes in job complexity over time. This created a triad of key variables: FIT (between ability and job complexity), Job Satisfaction (specifically the facet focusing on the tasks and duties of the job itself), and Job Complexity Changes (including both intra- and inter-organizational mobility). Specifically, this research tested the notion that better fit would lead to higher job satisfaction and fewer job complexity changes. Further, this research examined the indirect effect between fit and job complexity changes through job satisfaction, hypothesizing that higher job satisfaction would lead to fewer job complexity changes. Two national, longitudinal datasets were used to test the hypotheses: the National Longitudinal Study of the Class of 1972 and the National Longitudinal Survey of Labor Market Experience--Youth Cohort. Support was found for the gravitational hypothesis. Ability was a predictor of job complexity level over time, even after controlling for variables such as education. As for the linkages between the triad of key variables, only the linkage between ability-job complexity fit and job satisfaction was not supported. The linkage between ability-job complexity fit and changes in job complexity wassupported, where the better the match between ability and job complexity the less likely a change in job complexity in future time periods. The linkage between job satisfaction and job complexity change was supported where the higher the job satisfaction the less likely a change in job complexity. These results have implications for employers, vocational counselors and applicants. Suggestions for improving the ability-job complexity match are provided.
Bibliography Citation
Wilk, Steffanie Louise. Cognitive Ability, Person-Job Fit, and Occupational Mobility: a Process Model and Longitudinal Analysis. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Minnesota, 1995.