Organizations and Markets in Emerging Economies
Organizations and Markets in Emerging Economies
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Organizations and Markets in Emerging Economies ISSN 2029-4581 eISSN 2345-0037
2020, vol. 11, no. 2(22), pp. 407–428 DOI: https://doi.org/10.15388/omee.2020.11.40

Fit to Last? Investigating How Person-Job Fit and Person-Organization Fit Affect Turnover Intention in the Retail Context

Gentrit Berisha
Department of Management, University of Prishtina, Kosovo
gentrit.berisha@uni-pr.edu
https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6937-9651

Rrezon Lajçi (corresponding author)
Department of Economics and Management, University of Padova, Italy
rrezon.lajci@studenti.unipd.it
https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1229-3528

Abstract. Retail supermarket chains face high turnover that creates costs and compromises customer satisfaction. Turnover intention is influenced by the fit or misfit of employees to the job and the organization, as well as their satisfaction with the job and the commitment to the organization. This paper investigates the relationship of person-job (P-J) and person-organization (P-O) fit with job satisfaction and organizational commitment. A total of 211 questionnaires from employees in the retail supermarket chains in Kosovo were collected. Regression analysis is used to test the relationships between fit constructs and work attitudes as outcomes and their effects on turnover intention. Bootstrap mediation is used to test the direct and indirect effect of fits on turnover intention. Results show that person-job fit and person-organization fit have a significant positive effect on job satisfaction and organizational commitment. All these constructs have a negative effect on turnover intention. P-J and P-O fit have a direct negative effect on turnover intention, which is also partially mediated by job satisfaction and organizational commitment. This paper supports previous evidence that P-J and P-O fit have a positive effect on work attitudes and eventually reduce turnover intention. The direct effect of fits on turnover intention is stronger than the indirect effect, mediated by job satisfaction and organizational commitment.

Keywords: person-job fit, person-organization fit, job satisfaction, organizational commitment, turnover intention, mediation

Received: 11/8/2020. Accepted: 5/10/2020
Copyright © 2020 Gentrit Berisha, Rrezon Lajçi. Published by Vilnius University Press. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Introduction

Phillips and Connell (2004) consider that keeping the employees with the organization has become a serious problem, and reducing turnover is one of the most challenging issues for companies. The cost of replacing the leaving worker is about a fifth of the annual salary (Boushey & Glynn, 2012). According to Work Institutes’ (2019) estimations, the cost of replacement amounts to as much as 30% of annual salary. Turnover costs are critical for businesses that are plagued by low retention, such as retail sales (Harrison & Gordon, 2014). The high turnover rates and costs in the supermarket industry result in lower profits and customer dissatisfaction (Frank, 2000). Labor turnover is of special interest in retail, as customer service is highly dependent on the skills of the employees in interaction with customers and suppliers (Han et al., 2019). Job satisfaction is a critical antecedent of turnover in retail management (Lucas et al., 1990). Job satisfaction is assessed in the retail sales context due to its relationship with organizational commitment, turnover, and performance (Pettijohn et al., 2007). Employee commitment in retail is beneficial to organizations in pursuit of improved high performance, consumer-employee interaction, reduced recruitment costs, differentiation, and competitive advantage (Jaramilloa et al., 2005; Foster et al., 2008). Nevertheless, low employee commitment is associated with the intention to quit among employees in retail (Tang et al., 2014). The retail job environment is characterized by long working hours, low pay (Good et al., 1996), bad treatment by management, and boring routines (Broadbridge, 2003). Nevertheless, the retail sector thrives in providing job opportunities for students and youth (Oh et al., 2010). This holds for Kosovo in particular, where retail and service sector companies are the biggest employers. Youth unemployment in Kosovo is 53 percent (Cojocaru, 2017), indicating that career choice is reduced to settling for the scant job offers rather than for quality. The retail sector in Kosovo is the largest employer, employing as much as 36% of the workforce (Culkin & Simmons, 2018).

Any intervention to increase job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and propensity to stay is important to produce significant benefits to the organization (Silverthorne, 2004). One viable intervention in the recruitment and selection stages is the fit between the people hired and the organization and the tasks assigned (Sekiguchi, 2004; Sekiguchi & Huber, 2011).

This paper builds upon two fundamental assumptions. First, the fit of the person to the job and the organization influences work attitude, behavior, and outcomes (Greguras & Diefendorff, 2009). When people match the work environment, their level of satisfaction, commitment, and retention increases. Second, employees in retail sales have an inherent proclivity for lack of job satisfaction and organizational commitment (Pettijohn et al., 2007). Subsequently, this feeds the intention to quit, which has serious consequences for the retail industry, highly dependent on employees to ensure customer satisfaction and generate profits.

There is a scarcity of research on employee behaviors and their antecedents in the retail sales context in Kosovo. This is the first research to test theories of fit in Kosovo. Moreover, the relationship between different constructs of fit and work attitudes has not been abundantly studied, especially in the retail industry. Consequently, this paper aims to investigate whether P-J fit and P-O fit predict retail supermarket employees’ job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and intention to quit.

1. Literature Review

1.1. The Person-Environment fit theory

There is growing interest in the concept of person-environment (P-E) fit among management scholars as it has been attested to influence employee attitudes and behaviors (Lauver & Kristof-Brown, 2001). Many behaviors and outcomes have been attributed to the fit between the person and the environment (Bretz Jr & Judge, 1994). Rounds and Tracey (2014) argue that person-environment theories of vocational behavior are the dominant focus of inquiry replacing trait-and-factor theories. Person-environment fit has been an important scientific and applied research topic in explaining people’s behavior for more than 75 years (De Cooman et al., 2019). The foundation of person-environment fit theories can be traced back to Pearson’s (1909) theory of occupational decision making (Edwards, 2008). Pearson’s career matching model requires knowing of self, knowing of work environment, and matching for a good fit (Betz, 2008). The fit theories are rooted in Lewin’s (1936) theoretical foundation that a person’s behavior is a function of the person and of the environment. The fit theory assumes that good fit leads to positive work outcomes and poor fit results in negative work outcomes (Astakhova, 2016).

Models of fit have been a prominent theme in the field of industrial and organizational psychology (Kristof-Brown & Guay, 2011). P-E fit has been the most pervasive issue in psychology for researchers and practitioners (Schneider, 2001). Judge (1994) depicts fit as a state of congruence between individual and environmental characteristics. P-E fit is defined as the congruity between an individual and a work environment that appears when their characteristics are well-matched (Kristof-Brown, Zimmerman, & Johnson, 2005).

The concept of fit has been adopted extensively in management and organizational studies. Theories of fit have been employed in research in strategic management (Venkatraman & Camillus, 1984), strategic human resource management (Wright & Snell, 1998), recruitment and selection (Cable & Judge, 1996; Werbel & Gilliland, 1999; Carless, 2005; Swider et al., 2015), organizational design (Nadler & Tushman, 1988), creativity (Livingstone et al., 1997), organizational stress (Edwards & Cooper, 1990; Yang et al., 2008), interpersonal conflict (Suls et al., 1998), and ethics (Valentine et al., 2002). P-E fit theories have been the predominant construct in vocational (Holland, 1985) and organizational behavior (Nadler & Tushman, 1980) research.

P-E is a multidimensional construct as it includes various dimensions of fit (Jansen & Kristof-Brown, 2006). Five of the most critical dimensions of person-environment fit are person-job fit, person-organization fit, person-group fit, person-supervisor fit (Kristof-Brown et al., 2005; Su et al., 2015), and person-vocation fit (Holland, 1985). Person-organization fit and person-job fit are the most extensively studied theories within the person-environment fit construct (Sekiguchi, 2004).

P-J fit refers to an individual’s compatibility or match with a specific job (Lauver & Kristof-Brown, 2001), whereas P-O fit is the match between an individual and broader organizational attributes (Carless, 2005). Person-organization fit is defined as the congruence between the norms and values of organizations and the values of persons (Chatman, 1989).

Researchers have used distinct perspectives in the conceptualization of P-J and P-O fit (Kristof, 1996). These traditions distinguish between supplementary and complementary fit, and needs-supplies and demands-abilities fit (for a review see: Cable & Edwards, 2004). P-O conceptualizations rely upon the first distinction, whereas P-J conceptualizations use both. P-J fit is considered to be achieved when the needs/desires of a person are congruent with what is provided by a job (Edwards, 1991).

Supplementary fit occurs when individuals add supplementary value in some settings where they share similar characteristics with others (Muchinsky & Monahan, 1987), whereas complementary fit occurs when characteristics of an individual complement those of the environment (Muchinsky & Monahan, 1987). From the needs-supplies perspective, fit occurs when an organization satisfies individuals’ needs, whereas demands-abilities fit occurs when an individual’s abilities fit the organizational demands of the work role (Caplan, 1987).

Barber (1998) suggests that P-J and P-O fit should be assessed jointly. Nevertheless, only a few researchers have examined them in the same study (Lauver & Kristof-Brown, 2001). In recent years, studies have used two or more fit constructs concurrently. This paper uses both person-job and person-organization fit constructs as explanatory variables. Using P-J and P-O fits simultaneously enables a more realistic assessment of their relative influence in the dependent variables (Carless, 2005). Conceptualizing fit as person-job and person-organization fit has an important practical implication as it postulates that employees must fit both the job and the organization as a whole to be successful (Bowen et al., 1991).

1.2. Work attitudes

Work attitudes, behaviors and outcomes are core constructs and the most studied topics in individual-level organizational research (Harrison et al., 2006). Fit theories have been used abundantly in research as predictors of attitudes and behaviors of employees (Resick et al., 2007; Taris & Feij, 2001; Kristof-Brown et al., 2005) that produce outcomes such as performance (Hoffman & Woehr, 2006). Job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and turnover intention have been most frequently investigated in fit research (Kristof-Brown et al., 2005; Verquer et al., 2003).

1.2.1. Job satisfaction

According to Judge and Klinger (2008), the most used definition of job satisfaction is that of Locke (1969, p. 316): “Job satisfaction is the pleasurable emotional state resulting from the appraisal of one’s job as achieving or facilitating the achievement of one’s job values”. Research is yet to come to a resolution on job satisfaction definition. Weiss (2002) in a critical assessment of definitions posits that job satisfaction is either defined as affect or as attitude. The attitudinal perspective is predominant in the study of job satisfaction (Spector, 1997). Spector (1997) defines job satisfaction as a global feeling about the job and its underlying aspects measured as the extent to which people like or dislike their jobs. Job satisfaction and organizational commitment are among the most studied topics in organizational science literature (Griffin & O’Leary-Kelly, 1995).

1.2.2. Organizational commitment

Steers (1977) defines organizational commitment as the relative strength of an individual’s identification with and involvement in a particular organization. However, definition, conceptualization, and measurement of organizational commitment is far from being a terminated debate. An important contribution to this issue is the Meyer and Allen (1991) three-component model, in which organizational commitment is defined as a psychological state comprised of the desire (affective commitment), the need (continuance commitment), and the obligation (normative commitment).

When organizational commitment is high, employees’ behaviors are favorable to organizational effectiveness (Randall et al., 1990). Research has shown that organizational commitment can be a better predictor of turnover than job satisfaction (Porter et al., 1974). However, Shore and Martin (1989) observe that this does not hold for every occupation and industry. Their results show that commitment is a stronger predictor of turnover among bank tellers, but not among hospital professionals. As turnover costs are ever-increasing, organizational commitment is perceived as a desirable quality that should be fostered in employees (Meyer et al., 1989). Jaramilloa et al. (2005) have conducted a meta-analysis on the relationship between commitment and performance among salespeople. They conclude that organizational commitment explains about 6% of the variance in job performance, and the relationship is weaker among non-sale employees. Job satisfaction and organizational commitment have been thoroughly researched as antecedents of turnover intention (Tett & Meyer, 1993).

1.3. Turnover intention

In contrast with other constructs in organizational studies, there is far more comprehension among scholars on definition issues of turnover intention. Tett and Meyer (1993) define turnover intention as a conscious and deliberate willfulness to leave the organization. Turnover intention has become one of the most abundant areas of investigation in management literature. This ongoing stream of research can be attributed to turnover intention being the primary precursor of actual turnover (Sager et al., 1989) and the ability to sample it in the present in conjunction with different antecedents (Perryer et al., 2010).

1.4. Fits as predictors of retail supermarket employee behaviors:
hypotheses development

Research has examined the relationship between person-job and person-organization fit and job satisfaction (Liu et al., 2010; Warr & Inceoglu, 2012), organizational commitment (Blau, 1987; Valentine et al., 2010) and turnover intention (Liu et al., 2010; Tak, 2011), as well as between job satisfaction and organizational commitment (Hartmann & Rutherford, 2015), job satisfaction and turnover intention (Koch & Steers, 1978), and organizational commitment and turnover intention (Hartmann & Rutherford, 2015). This paper examines the relationship between person-job fit and person-organization fit and job satisfaction and organizational commitment as outcomes, and turnover intention as a consequence. To the best knowledge of the authors, this is the first study to investigate this relationship in the retail supermarket context, especially in an emerging economy like Kosovo.

Researchers have examined job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and turnover intention in different samples in the retail sector. Job satisfaction has been tested among in-store retail employees (Chung et al., 2012) and retail store workers (Whysall et al., 2009). Darden et al. (1989), Bhuian and Mengue (2002), Tuomi et al. (2004), Simintiras et al. (2012), and von Bonsdorff et al. (2015) have investigated the organizational commitment of retail trade employees. Turnover intention has been examined among retail grocery employees (Harrison & Gordon, 2014) and retail managers (Good et al., 1988). However, from the literature review, no research has been found to include concepts of fit in the relationship.

Building upon previous research and pursuing to ground the purpose of this research, the following hypotheses were formulated:

Hypothesis 1a: Person-job fit has a significant effect on job satisfaction and organizational commitment.

Hypothesis 1b: Person-organization fit has a significant effect on job satisfaction and organizational commitment.

Hypothesis 2a: Job satisfaction has a significant effect on turnover intention.

Hypothesis 2b: Organizational commitment has a significant effect on turnover intention.

Hypothesis 3: Person-job fit has a significant effect on turnover intention.

Hypothesis 4a: Job satisfaction mediates significantly the relationship between person-job fit and turnover intention.

Hypothesis 4b: Organizational commitment mediates significantly the relationship between person-job fit and turnover intention.

Hypothesis 5: Person-organization fit has a significant effect on turnover intention.

Hypothesis 6a: Job satisfaction mediates significantly the relationship between person-organization fit and turnover intention.

Hypothesis 6b: Organizational commitment mediates significantly the relationship between person-organization fit and turnover intention.

2. Methodology

2.1. Procedure and participants

Five of the biggest supermarket chains in Kosovo agreed to participate in the study. Upon acceptance to take part in the study, pen-and-paper questionnaires were dropped-off directly to employees of different profiles. Employees gave responses in their own time, in workplace settings after the end of the shift, in anonymity and without supervision. The questionnaire consisted of three sections, the fit measures, the work behavior measures, and the demographic questionnaire. A back-translation procedure was followed to translate the items into Albanian (Brislin, 1970).

Of the 300 questionnaires distributed, 225 were returned, of which 211 questionnaires were valid. More than half of the respondents were female (57.3 percent), between 25 and 34 years old (50.7 percent), and had an undergraduate degree (55.5 percent). Table 1 summarizes the characteristics of the sample.

Table 1: Demographic characteristics

 

N=211

%

Gender

Female

121

57.3

Male

90

42.7

Age

18-24 years old

84

39.8

25-34 years old

107

50.7

35-44 years old

17

8.1

45-54 years old

3

1.4

Education

Elementary School

2

0.9

High School 

52

24.6

Undergraduate (BA; BSc)

117

55.5

Graduate (MA; MSc)

39

18.5

Doctorate (PhD)

1

0.5

Company tenure

Less than 1 year

64

30.3

1-2 years

53

25.1

3-4 years

32

15.2

5-6 years

26

12.3

7+ years

36

17.1

Source: Composed by authors

2.2. Measures

P–J fit. Cable and DeRue’s (2002) instrument was used to measure both aspects (needs-supplies and abilities-demands) of P-J, each measured by three items. A sample item measuring needs–supplies fit is “The attributes that I look for in a job are fulfilled very well by my present job”. A sample item measuring demands–ability fit is “My abilities and training are a good fit with the requirements of my job”. Reliability tests show good properties of this measure, with alphas ranging from 0.84 to 0.91 (Wang et al., 2011; Tims et al., 2016; Vogel & Feldman, 2009; Cable & DeRue, 2002). The coefficient alpha (α) of the scale in this study was 0.83.

P–O fit. P–O fit was measured by a three-item scale constructed by Cable and DeRue (2002). In this study, only value congruence is measured. A sample item is “My personal values match my organization’s values and culture”. Previous studies (Cable & DeRue, 2002; Vogel & Feldman, 2009) support the psychometric properties of the measure, reporting alphas between 0.82 and 0.91. The α reliability in this study was 0.91.

Job satisfaction. Job satisfaction was measured using the short form of Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire (MSQ; Weiss et al. 1967). Spector (1997) considers the MSQ-Short form a popular measure that is frequently used in job satisfaction research and has similar properties to the long-form. This questionnaire is a multifaceted construct where six of the 20 statements measure extrinsic satisfaction, 12 statements measure intrinsic satisfaction, and the remaining 2 items are included when measuring general job satisfaction (Hancer & George, 2003). General satisfaction is found by measuring all 20 items (the higher the score, the higher the level of job satisfaction). The instrument is reported to have good reliability, with alphas between 0.90 and 0.92 (Hancer & George, 2003; Stringer et al., 2011). Cronbach’s alpha coefficient of the current study was 0.91.

Organizational commitment. Organizational commitment was measured using three items from the Affective Commitment Scale (ACS) developed by Allen and Meyer (1990). Items were: “I would be very happy to spend the rest of my career with this organization”, “I enjoy discussing my organization with people outside it,” and “I do not feel a strong sense of belonging to my organization” (reverse scored). The original instrument had a reliability score of 0.87 (Allen & Meyer, 1990). The reliability of the scale in our study was α = .39. Turnover intention. Turnover intention was measured with a three-item scale developed by Sjöberg and Sverke (2000). It consists of three statements: “I am actively looking for other jobs”, “I feel that I could leave this job”, “If I was completely free to choose I would leave this job”. Reliability scores for this measure are reported at 0.83 (Sjöberg & Sverke, 2000; De Villiers & Stander, 2011), whereas in this study α reliability was 0.86 indicating good properties.

All questionnaire items for P-J, P-O, turnover intention, and organizational commitment were scored on a five-point Likert scale (1 = strongly disagree; 5 = strongly agree). Job satisfaction items were scored on a level of satisfaction Likert scale.

Control variables. Drawing from previous research on person-environment fit and work attitudes, control variables are included in the model. Variables for which effect is controlled are gender, age, education, and tenure. Education and tenure are of particular interest as control variables. They are operationalized as the highest level of education obtained and the number of years working for the company, respectively.

3. Results

Table 2 contains descriptive statistics, correlations among measurements, and their reliability coefficients. Correlation scores indicate a strong positive correlation between person-job fit and person-organization fit. According to O’Reilly III et al. (1991), a weak correlation between P-J and P-O fit implies independent effects on commitment, satisfaction, and turnover. Strong correlations in this study indicate interdependence and difficulty to distinguish the effect of each fit construct, which is expected when research measures behavioral constructs (Mason & Perreault Jr, 1991). This correlation can be explained by the fact that job requirements often mirror the characteristics of the organization (Kristof, 1996). However, to investigate the multicollinearity issue, the variance inflation factor (VIF) is computed. The VIF score of 1.587 is lower than the threshold of 4 suggested in the literature (O’brien, 2007), suggesting that no correction is needed.

P-J fit has a stronger negative correlation (-0.59) with turnover intention than P-O fit (-0.45). Contrary to expectations, P-J fit has a stronger positive correlation with organizational commitment than P-O fit, and P-O fit has a stronger positive correlation with job satisfaction. As for the correlations between dependent variables, job satisfaction and organizational commitment have a significant negative correlation with turnover intention (-0.42 and -0.34 respectively) and are positively correlated with one another (0.34). This is consistent with theory and previous research (Tett & Meyer, 1993; Mauno et al., 2011).

Table 2: Descriptive statistics, correlations, and reliability scores for study variables (N = 211)

Variables

Mean

SD

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

1. Gender a

1.42

0.49

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Age b

1.71

0.67

0.04

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Education c

2.92

0.69

0.01

-0.003

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Company tenure d

2.60

1.45

0.12

0.40**

0.04

-

 

 

 

 

 

5. Person-job fit (combined)

3.48

0.74

0.05

0.07

0.03

0.03

(0.83)

 

 

 

 

6. Person-organization fit (values)

3.10

0.97

-0.02

-0.04

-0.10

-0.03

0.60**

(0.91)

 

 

 

7. Job satisfaction

3.36

0.64

-0.01

-0.03

-0.01

-0.09

0.49**

0.54**

(0.91)

 

 

8. Organizational commitment

3.08

0.74

0.12

0.08

0.06

0.23**

0.32**

0.25**

0.34**

(0.39)

 

9. Turnover intention

2.83

1.03

0.01

-0.09

-0.12

-0.05

-0.59**

-0.45**

-0.42**

-0.34**

(0.86)

Note: Cronbach’s alpha reliabilities are in parenthesis on the diagonal. ** p<.01.

a (1 = female, 2 = male); b (1 = 18-24 years old, 2 = 25-34 years, 3 = 35-44 years, 4 = 45-54 years); c (1 = elementary school, 2 = high school, 3 = undergraduate degree, 4 = graduate degree, 5 = doctorate); d (1 = less than 1 year, 2 = 1-2 years, 3 = 3-4 years, 4 = 5-6 years, 5 = 7+ years).
Source: Composed by authors

123590.png 

Figure 1: The research model with regression and the mediation between fit constructs and job attitudes
Source: Composed by authors

In this study, P-J fit (0.83), P-O fit (0.91), job satisfaction (0.91), and turnover intention (0.86) show good psychometric properties with Cronbach’s alpha within the accepted range (Nunnally, 1978). The reliability coefficient for organizational commitment (0.39), however, was lower. According to Barnette (2000), a low alpha score could be due to the negatively worded and reverse-scored items, whereas Cortina (1993) explains that a low number of statements within the scale could be another reason. The measure has three items, one of which is negatively stated.

For hypotheses 1a, 1b, 2a, and 2b, job satisfaction and organizational commitment served as dependent variables, whereas they were mediators for hypotheses 4a, 4b, 6a, and 6b. To test hypotheses 1a, 1b, 2a, and 2b, regression is performed, whereas for other hypotheses the mediation approach is used. The full results of regression and mediation are presented in Figure 1.

Hypotheses 1a and 1b are supported. Person-job fit and person-organization fit have a significant effect on job satisfaction and organizational commitment. Person-job fit has a stronger effect on job satisfaction (0.493) than on organizational commitment (0.322). Person-organization fit has a stronger effect on job satisfaction (0.542) than on organizational commitment (0.256). One viable explanation for the lower effect on organizational commitment could be the low internal consistency of the items used to measure the construct. Hypotheses 2a and 2b examine the relationship between work attitudes and turnover intention. The claim that job satisfaction and organizational commitment significantly affect turnover intention is supported. Job satisfaction has a stronger negative effect (-0.429) than organizational commitment (-0.343) on turnover intention.

Mediation is tested using the bootstrap procedure, which has become the preferred mediation method (Kim et al., 2015). Mediation analysis is done with PROCESS macro developed for SPSS (Preacher & Hayes, 2004). For mediation to hold, several regressions are performed to test the relationship between the independent variable (IV) and the dependent variable (DV), the relationship between the IV and the mediator (M), the relationship between M and DV, and the indirect relationship between IV and DV, mediated by M (Baron & Kenny, 1986). Effects are significant if the lower level confidence interval (LLCI) and the upper-level confidence interval (ULCI) do not include zero (MacKinnon, 2008). Mediation analysis is presented in Table 3.

Table 3: Mediation analysis

Independent
variables

Person-Job fit

Person-Organization fit

Path analysis

Effect
SE

t
p

LLCI
ULCI

Effect
SE

t
p

LLCI
ULCI

X→M1 (Fit→JS)

0.435

0.052

8.278

0.000

0.331

0.538

0.360

0.038

9.308

0.000

0.283

0.436

X→M2 (Fit→OC)

0.311

0.064

4.845

0.000

0.184

0.438

0.207

0.049

4.190

0.000

0.109

0.305

M1→Y (JS→TI)

-0.242

0.103

-2.332

0.020

-0.447

-0.037

-0.315

0.115

-2.724

0.007

-0.543

-0.087

M2→Y (OC→TI)

-0.189

0.084

-2.235

0.026

-0.357

-0.022

-0.253

0.090

-2.805

0.005

-0.431

-0.075

Direct (Fit→TI)

-0.656

0.088

-7.432

0.000

-0.830

-0.482

-0.337

0.073

-4.573

0.000

-0.483

-0.192

Indirect (Fit→JS→TI)

-0.105

0.053

 

-0.215

-0.003

-0.113

0.047

 

-0.214

-0.024

Indirect (Fit→OC→TI)

-0.059

0.029

 

-0.122

-0.007

-0.052

0.021

 

-0.097

-0.013

Covariates

Gender

0.123

0.113

1.079

0.281

-0.101

0.347

0.063

0.122

0.516

0.606

-0.177

0.304

Age 

-0.082

0.090

-0.913

0.362

-0.261

0.095

-0.153

0.097

-1.585

0.114

-0.345

0.037

Education

-0.156

0.080

-1.951

0.052

-0.314

0.001

-0.228

0.086

-2.627

0.009

-0.399

-0.056

Tenure

-0.001

0.043

-0.024

0.980

-0.086

0.084

0.003

0.046

0.074

0.940

-0.088

0.095

Source: Composed by authors

According to Hayes (2013), inclusion of multiple independent variables in mediation is risky because correlated IVs may cancel out each other’s effects. Therefore, P-J fit and P-O fit are included in the mediation separately.

Hypotheses 3 and 5 test the direct effect of person-job fit and person-organization fit on turnover intention. Both hypotheses are supported. P-J fit has a significant negative effect (β=-0.656, p=0.000) on turnover intention, and P-O fit has a significant negative effect (β=-0.337, p=0.000) on turnover intention. Fits are negatively related to turnover intention, indicating that as employees feel matched with the job and the organization, they show less intention to quit. Hypotheses 4a, 4b, 6a, and 6b test the indirect effect of P-J and P-O fit on turnover intention. Hypotheses 4a and 4b are supported, as both job satisfaction (-0.105) and organizational commitment (-0.059) significantly mediate the effect of P-J fit on turnover intention. The mediation effect is not as strong as the direct effect, indicating that there is partial mediation (Shrout & Bolger, 2002). The same holds for hypotheses 6a and 6b, with a significant indirect effect of job satisfaction (-0.113) and organizational commitment (-0.052) in the effect of P-O fit on turnover intention, where the direct effect is stronger (β=-0.337, p=0.000).

Four control variables (gender, age, education, and tenure) were entered as covariates in the regression model. There is no significant effect of gender, age or tenure in the relationship between fits and turnover intention. The relationship between fits and turnover intention is affected by education. The higher the level of education, the higher the negative effect of P-J fit on turnover intention (β=-0.156, p=0.052). Education has a statistically significant effect on the mediation of work attitudes in the relationship between P-O fit and turnover intention. Higher levels of education explain 22.81 percent (p=0.009) of variance in turnover intention when the effect of P-O fit is tested.

4. Discussion

This study examines the effect of the person-job and person-organization fit on job satisfaction and organizational commitment, and their indirect effect on turnover intention. Overall, the hypotheses proposed were supported. Results show that when individual characteristics are compatible with the characteristics of the job to be done and the values of the organization, satisfaction with the job and the commitment to the organization will be greater. These findings are in line with previous research (Cable & DeRue, 2002; Kristof-Brown et al., 2005; Wheeler et al. 2007).

Results of the effects of work attitudes on turnover intention are consistent with previous research (Tett & Meyer, 1993) showing that job satisfaction is a stronger predictor of turnover intention than organizational commitment. When people are not satisfied with their job and are less committed to the organization, it is expected of them to think of quitting. Work in the retail supermarket industry can be monotonous, employees feel a low sense of accomplishment, which makes them less satisfied with the job and therefore more prone to exert turnover intention (Salleh et al., 2012). However, due to the low perceived employability, individuals might be inclined to remain instead of pursuing another job (Stengård et al., 2019)

The principal argument of this paper is that the better the P-J and P-O fit, the less likely employees are to quit the organization. When employees do not feel attached to the job they are doing and do not identify with what the organization represents for them, they will be prone to quit once an opportunity emerges. In the context of the industry (retail supermarket) and the country (Kosovo), materializing the intent into actual turnover is problematic as job opportunities are not aplenty, and the skills gained with experience hardly apply in other settings.

The paper has investigated the extent of contribution of work attitudes as mediators in the relationship between fit constructs and turnover intention. Job satisfaction and organizational commitment mediate the effect of P-J fit on turnover intention. This is consistent with Chhabra (2015), who found partial mediation of these work attitudes in the P-J fit-turnover intention relationship in a sample of Indian employees. The effect of P-J fit on turnover intention is stronger as a direct effect than when mediated by job satisfaction and organizational commitment, indicating partial mediation. Job satisfaction and organizational commitment mediate the effect of P-O fit on turnover intention. This is consistent with the previous research that found full (Westerman & Cyr, 2004) or partial (Arthur Jr et al., 2006) mediation of work attitudes in the relationship between P-O fit and turnover intention. The direct effect of P-O fit on turnover intention is stronger than when job satisfaction and organizational commitment enter as mediators, supporting partial mediation. A stronger direct effect of P-J and P-O fit on turnover intention can be explained by the consideration that the perception of the existence of fit is more responsible for positive work attitudes than the actual work environment (Arthur Jr et al., 2006).

P-J fit has a stronger effect on turnover intention than P-O fit. This finding is not in line with Kristof (1996), and Lauver and Kristof-Brown (2001). However, people have more interaction with their jobs than with their organization (Tak, 2011), which makes dissatisfaction with the job a more prevalent antecedent of intention to quit.

Apart from education, none of the demographic characteristics affect relationships. The level of education affects the strength of the relationship between fits and turnover intention. Employees with a higher level of education show a higher proclivity to quit (Fabi et al., 2015).

5. Implications

The results of this study have several practical implications. To the best knowledge of the authors, this is the first paper to test mediation of work attitudes in the relationship between person-job and person-organization fit with turnover intention in the retail context.

Findings highlight the importance of person-job fit and person-organization fit in increasing job satisfaction and organizational commitment. The retail industry should develop recruitment and selection practices that account for these fits in making hiring decisions. Creating a suitable environment for the employees would incite positive attitudes. Between the right people for the environment and the right environment for the people, organizations should choose both. Findings suggest that retail supermarket employees show a greater level of satisfaction with the job than they show organizational commitment. This stipulates the need for intervention at the organizational level to ensure a better person-environment fit.

Person-job fit and person-organization fit are strongly related to turnover intention. Since the retail sector is plagued by high levels of turnover intention, and actual turnover has negative consequences in customer satisfaction, companies should find the best people for specific jobs or introduce job crafting to improve job specifications for existing employees so that they can be satisfied and eventually contribute to improving customer relations. Moreover, organizations should work in creating a proper culture to improve organizational commitment as a direct antecedent of turnover intention.

An important finding emerged from the individual variables that have not been of primary interest at first. The level of education increases the turnover intention when paired with fit constructs. Since the turnover intention is of particular interest to the retail sector, human resource managers should work specifically with those with higher degrees of education to encourage them to stay with the company, as losing them infers higher costs.

This study draws some important implications for research. The findings in this paper further support the importance of P-J and P-O fit constructs in predicting work attitudes as well as turnover intention. The direction and the strength of the relationship found in this research fully support the theoretical and practical considerations from previous studies. An important contribution of this paper is the introduction of bootstrap procedure in testing of mediation of work attitudes in the retail sector setting. This study found that the direct effect of P-J and P-O fit in turnover intention is stronger than the indirect effect with work attitudes. However, work attitudes increase the negative effect, suggesting that when there is fit, there is satisfaction and commitment, therefore there is more intention to stay.

6. Limitations and Future Research

Several limitations of this study should be noted. The first limitation stems from the low reliability score of the organizational commitment scale. Future research should use organizational commitment scales with more items that are positively worded and not reverse-scored. Second, the occupational and role differences of employees are not considered. Tian’s (2009) findings suggest that non-management and front-line employees are generally more satisfied and show higher levels of intention to leave than managerial and office employees. Third, the study is conducted with self-report questionnaires that are inherently based on respondents’ judgments, and therefore they are not free from biases and distortions. Respondents may perceptibly present themselves better than they are, though the instruments have no correct or incorrect answers. Additionally, there is a possibility of common method variance that can happen when variables are measured with the same method, as was the case in this study where all instruments use five-point Likert-scale measures. Finally, data collection was conducted only in one stage, therefore, the cross-sectional nature of this study suffers a disadvantage compared to longitudinal studies.

 

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