Reconciling Employee Dissimilarity And P-O Fit

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Amy McMillan-Capehart
Tara Burnthorne Lopez


P-O fit, Person-Organization Fit, organizational diversity


Organizational diversity and person-organization fit have been found to have both positive and negative effects on organizational outcomes. These negative consequences of diversity are often attributed to a lack of fit between traditional employees and employees who differ based on observable or unobservable characteristics. The positive consequences of P-O fit are attributed to a lack of diversity within an organization. Thus, the question emerges: is it possible to have both a diverse workforce and one with high levels of P-O fit? If so, then perhaps it is possible to harness the positive outcomes of diversity and P-O fit and to minimize some of the negative consequences. We propose that the organizational climate and socialization tactics of the firm are a key factor in achieving balance between diversity and fit. We suggest that some organizational climates are better at embracing diversity than others and thus result in a higher level of P-O fit despite the degree of diversity among employees. In addition, we suggest that certain socialization tactics encourage inclusion and acceptance and thus result in a higher level of P-0 fit despite the number of dissimilar employees. Accordingly, we offer a framework in which organizational climate and socialization tactics moderate the relationship between employee dissimilarity and perceptions of P-O fit.


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