Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.

Non-UMass Amherst users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this dissertation through interlibrary loan.

Dissertations that have an embargo placed on them will not be available to anyone until the embargo expires.

Author ORCID Identifier



Open Access Dissertation

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program


Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Ronald Karren

Second Advisor

David Lepak

Third Advisor

Elizabeth Follmer

Fourth Advisor

Lisa Keller

Subject Categories

Human Resources Management | Organizational Behavior and Theory


Person-environment (PE) fit research embodies the premise that attitudes and behaviors result not from the person or environment separately, rather, from the relationship between the two. Person-organization (P-O) fit is a key facet of PE fit, which pertains to the similarity or match between individuals and their organizations. A major area of P-O fit research studies the employees’ perception of fit. This line of work asks people to report their fit with the organization, and then correlates this measurement with outcomes of interest such as job satisfaction, intention to leave, and organizational commitment. While fit researchers tend to pay little attention to individuals’ conceptualization of the organization in their report of P-O fit, recent research suggests that there are two ways in which people conceptualize their organizations. First, the organization is conceptualized as an abstract entity that has goals, values, rules, and procedures (referred to as PS-PO or person-system fit in this work). Second, the organization is conceived as the sum or aggregate of people in it (PP-PO or person-person fit). In this case, it is the aggregate of people’s values, goals, and personalities that comprise the reference for one’s fit assessment. The results of this study provide the first empirical support for this proposed split. The results demonstrate that mixing the two conceptualizations of fit results in a problematic operationalization of P-O fit. Also, the two proposed measures, when used together, provide improved predictive capability of key outcomes of interest. When the relationship of key organizational outcomes with PP-PO and PS-PO fit was tested, the findings show, as expected, that PP-PO fit was more strongly related to outcomes that are associated with people who work for the organization, such as the worker’s team and supervisor. However, the unique role of PS-PO seem to be less straightforward, and further research is required to unveil its unique significance in predicting outcomes of interest. Finally, this research provides scholars as well as practitioners with two newly and rigorously developed scales of perceived organizational fit. Future work is required to demonstrate whether this split is conductive to theoretical advancement in the study of perceived P-O fit.