Fitting in a Workgroup in Unique Ways: A Latent Profile Analysis of Perceived Person-Group Fit Characteristics

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  • Research has identified seven characteristics—value congruence, shared interests, perceived demographic similarity, needs-supplies match, goal similarity, common workstyle, and complementary attributes—on which group members simultaneously evaluate their perceived person-group (PG) fit. Most of extant research has focused on how each characteristic or them as a composite predicts outcomes. However, these variable-centered approaches fail to address how there may be subpopulations of members who differentially combine the PG fit characteristics and how such conjunctive effects differentially relate to various work outcomes. To address these issues, we adopt a profile-based approach using latent profile analysis to understand how group members are similar to and different from each other on more holistic configurations of perceived PG fit experiences. With two widely different samples of employees working in group settings, we found seven unique profiles of PG fit: perfect fits, comfortable fits, surface-level misfits, out of syncs, social misfits, lone wolves, and total misfits. We also found in Sample 2 that these profiles differentially predicted group member outcomes commonly studied in the PG fit literature, including attitudes (satisfaction and cohesion), performance behaviors (task performance, and citizenship behaviors of helping and voice), and withdrawal (social loafing and turnover). Complementing research that used variable-centered approaches, our profile-based results reveal new theoretical and practical insights of perceived PG fit, suggesting that different group members have distinct configurations of PG fit, and that higher levels of PG fit are not universally positive, and neither is every type of misfit universally negative.
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  • 1939-1854



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