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Overqualified Employees: Making the Best of a Potentially Bad Situation for Individuals and Organizations

  • Berrin Erdogan (a1), Talya N. Bauer (a1), José María Peiró (a2) and Donald M. Truxillo (a1)

Abstract

One of the “truisms” of personnel selection is that overqualified applicants are likely to be a poor fit and thus experience low job satisfaction and performance and higher turnover. Recently, the issue of overqualification has come to the forefront because of the economic downturn, especially in some European Union countries where unemployment rates are extremely high. However, empirical research on overqualification in the industrial–organizational/organizational behavior literature is limited. In this article, we argue that although there may be drawbacks to overqualification for both organizations and employees, overqualification may also provide a number of positive outcomes for workers and employers alike. We review the limited research on overqualification, noting the positive and negative consequences of overqualification and the conditions under which overqualified employees may be a boon to organizations. We conclude by recommending some possible research streams to better understand the overqualification phenomenon and by making recommendations for organizational practices.

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Corresponding author

E-mail: berrine@sba.pdx.edu, Address: School of Business Administration, Portland State University, 631 SW Harrison Street, Portland, OR 97207

References

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Overqualified Employees: Making the Best of a Potentially Bad Situation for Individuals and Organizations

  • Berrin Erdogan (a1), Talya N. Bauer (a1), José María Peiró (a2) and Donald M. Truxillo (a1)

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