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The Relationship between Person Organization Fit Toward Organizational Commitment

Case study

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International Journal of Management Science and Business Administration
Volume 6, Issue 3, March 2020, Pages 43-49

The Relationship between Person Organization Fit Toward Organizational Commitment and Organizational Citizenship Behavior: Experiences from Student Activity Organization Members

DOI: 10.18775/ijmsba.1849-5664-5419.2014.63.1004

1 Meily Margaretha, 2 Ardian Wicaksana

1 2 Management Department, Maranatha Christian University, Indonesia

Abstract: Members of the organization are the organization’s central resource. Having loyal employees willing to perform tasks beyond their job description helps increase performance of the organization. However, those kinds of attitudes and behaviors arise when members of the organization perceive compatibility with the organization. This is known as a person-organization fit. This study aims to verify the influence of person-organization fit towards organizational commitment and organizational citizenship behavior in a sample of members of students’ activity organizations from private university in Bandung, Indonesia. To collect the data, we distributed a questionnaire to 108 students who become members of the student activity organization. The results of the study show that there are relationships between person-organization fit toward organizational commitment with 34.9% and person-organization fit and organizational citizenship behavior (17.7%). Based on the result, we provide some managerial recommendations; for instance, student activity organizations should organize more events to build members fit to the organization.

Keywords: Person-organization fit, Organizational commitment, Organizational citizenship behavior

The Relationship between Person Organization Fit Toward Organizational Commitment and Organizational Citizenship Behavior: Experiences from Student Activity Organization Members

1. Introduction

Research on person-organization fit (PO fit) was conducted to gain a deep understanding of increasing compatibility between employees and organization, with the aim of getting a more profound appreciation on how to retain employees for the long run by increasing employee satisfaction and commitment to improve strategic organizational growth (Kristof, 1996). Previous research of the subject matter concentrated on the Context of work or companies, while this study focuses on educational institutions. In daily life, every student will face several choices that should be made, both with regards to small and big decisions, including choosing to join an organization for a student activity. There are many factors influencing students’ decisions to join a student activity organization, and they are both voluntary and involuntary. On the other hand, the situation encompassing the work sphere is quite different, such as the case of deciding to assume a job position. Sometimes a person does not have many choices when selecting a job, and one may choose any job as long as it can be obtained. In such cases, the job seeker will not consider the value of compatibility with the company, and this causes the variation of a person-organization fit among individuals.

Kristof (1996) states that person-organization fit describes the relationship between individual and organizational desires, including wants or needs of individuals within organizational structures and systems, and takes into account how individual personality fits into the company climate. Management scholars have expressed growing interest in the concept of PO fit. PO fit refers to individuals’ congruence with their work environment, mainly due to its’ many benefits that follow from positive job attitudes and job behaviors in recent years (Lauver and; Kristof-Brown, 2001; Vogel and; Feldman, 2009). PO fit affects several aspects and when it is mediated by direct superiors’ support, then person-organization fit has a positive effect on job satisfaction (Autry and; Daugherty, 2003). Research conducted by Abdurachman and Siswati (2017) found that there is a positive influence of PO fit towards organizational citizenship behavior (OCB). PO Fit also reduces counterproductive behavior, as evidenced by results of Farkhani et al. (2017). According to Alniacik et al. (2013), PO fit moderated the effect of commitment organizational and job satisfaction on turnover rates for employees working in higher education institutions. PO fit is related to reactions to work (Kristoff, 1996; Netemeyer et al., 1997). When individual and organizational values are the same, job satisfaction and performance increase while employee’ work stress reduces (Silverthone, 2004). PO fit is also positively associated with organizational commitment (OC) (Valentine, Godkin and; Lucero, 2002). OC is defined as the of the level of frequency of identification and individual’s attachment to organization one enters, where individual’s loyalty to the organization, the willingness to conduct business in the name of the organization, and the compatibility between one’s goals and organizational goals (William and; Hazer, 1986). Employee commitment to the organization will increase employee’s feelings of belonging to an organization (Herdorn et al., 2001 in Astuti, 2010). In a review of PO Fit, Kristof (1996) proved empirically that PO fit is a strong predictor of job satisfaction and organizational commitment (Boxx, Odom, and; Dunn, 1991 in Khaola and; Sebotsa, 2015; Chatman, 1991 in Khaola and; Sebotsa, 2015; O’Reilly, Chatman and; Caldwell, 1991 in Khaola and; Sebotsa, 2015).

Moreover, research conducted by Lamm et al. (2010) found that PO fit has a positive influence on OCB. Individuals who have high organizational fit values tend to have high organizational citizenship behavior, meaning that those who are compatible with the organization tend to comply with the organization wants, without expecting rewards. In research conducted by Piasentin and Chapman (2006, in Margaretha and; Prasetio, 2012), it was found that an individual would feel compatible with the organization or the workplace when the values individuals hold are compatible with those of the organization. The phenomenon of voluntary behavior in organizations is called organizational citizenship behavior; it develops when individuals voluntarily help others at work without promises of attractive rewards (Organ and; Lingl, 1995 in Aussy and; Sudarma, 2017). Organizational citizenship behavior encompasses a willingness to perform tasks beyond the main job description. People who are good organizational citizens perform additional chores to help others or to help improve overall company performance (Schermerhorn et al., 2012 in Abdurachman and; Siswati, 2017). OCB manifests in assuming extra-role, meaning voluntary act in exceeding the minimum job requirements. Such behavior includes voluntarily taking an active approach in stimulating creativity and innovation to improve one’s tasks or organizational performance, enthusiastically making an effort to complete one’s work, volunteer to assume extra responsibility, and encouraging others in the organization to do the same (Podsakoff et al., 2000).

The purpose of this study was to test the relationship of person-organization fit toward organizational commitment and organizational citizenship behavior for members of students’ activity organization from a private university in Bandung, Indonesia. Following the results of the study, we provide recommendations to leaders of student activity organizations and department of student affairs dealing directly with students’ activity.

2. Literature Review

Person-Organization Fit
According to Kristof (1996), PO-fit is a match between individuals’ values and values of the organization where this individual works. According to Chatman (1989, in Khaola and; Sebotsa, 2015), PO fit is defined as the congruence between organizational norms and values and persons’ values. PO fit is not concerned with the suitability of individuals to something specific such as work, work tasks, groups, or superiors, but instead focuses on the fitness of individuals to the organization as a whole. Several constructs have been used to measure compatibility between individuals and their organizations; this includes matching values (Boxx, Odom, and; Dunn, 1991 in Khaola and; Sebotsa, 2015), goal compatibility (Vancouver and; Schmitt, 1991 in Khaola and; Sebotsa, 2015), a match between individual personality and organizational climate (Christiansen, Villanova, and; Mikulay, 1997 in Khaola and; Sebotsa 2015).

Person Organization Fit and Organizational Commitment
Organizational commitment is described as emotional attachment, identification, and involvement of an individual with a specific organization (Meyer and; Allen, 1991). Research on a sample of public accountants conducted by Chatman (1991 in Khaola and; Sebotsa, 2015), proved compatibility between individuals and organizations affects employee organizational commitment. Other studies found that individuals with the same values and beliefs as their organizations can interact more comfortably with the organization’s value system, thus reducing uncertainty and conflict, which in turn will increase satisfaction and commitment (Meglino et al., 1989 in Lamm, 2010). In his research, Kristof (1996) showed the effect of PO fit on organizational commitment, whereas Schneider et al. (1995) explained that individuals with high degrees of PO fit generate new ideas and provide competitive advantages for the company. Chaw et al. (2000 in Astuti, 2010) stated that the closer compatibility between selected individuals and organizational culture, the higher the organizational commitment, job satisfaction, and tendency to survive. Past studies, such as integrative reviews (Kristof, 1996) and meta-analyses (e.g., Kristof-Brown et al., 2005; Verquer et al., 2003), supported the consistent positive relationship between PO fit and organizational commitment. Therefore, the researchers accordingly expected a positive correlation between PO fit and organizational commitment.

Hypothesis 1: There is a positive association between the person-organization fit and organizational commitment.

Person Organization Fit and Organizational Citizenship Behavior
The construct of organizational citizenship behavior was extensively investigated in previous research studies in different domains. Results show that OCB affects the effectiveness of a company’s performance (Walz and; Niehoff, 1996 in Lo and; Ramayah, 2009). OCB is also known as extra-role behavior, where an individual goes far beyond job requirements set by an organization. An individual impulsively does more than the position requires and performs non-obligatory tasks without expecting rewards or recognition (Organ, 1988, in Lo and; Ramayah, 2009).

Individuals who feel integrated within their organization will very likely contribute to their organizations and exhibit citizenship behavior (Lamm et al. 2010). Evidence from previous research indicates that an individual, especially one who feels comfortable in their organization will experience higher engagement (Blau, 1993 in Lamm, 2010), commitment to higher organizations (Meglino et al., 1989, in Lamm 2010), and exercise better work behavior (Caldwell and O’Reilly, 1990, in Lamm, 2010). Those who are competent in their work will very likely support their organizations via exercising voluntary citizenship behavior (Lamm et al. 2010). Concluded by Vilela et al. (2008, in Lamm 2010), the pride individual feels about carrying out his/her duties effectively and the recognition gained from the organization may be interpreted as more significant investment in OCB (Lamm et al., 2010). Farooqui and Nagendra (2014, in Abdurachman, 2017) found that a high level of conformity between individual values and organizational values create culture and values that will make employees feel comfortable. Employees who have a high PO fit also have a high commitment to the organization and a willingness to carry out extra work for the organization (Abdurachman, 2017). The higher the compatibility between person and organization (person-organization fit) they choose, the higher the voluntary behavior in the organization (OCB). Following this explanation and evidence drawn from previous studies, we hypothesized the following:

Hypothesis 2: There is an influence of person-organization fit towards organizational citizenship behavior

Figure 1: Research Model

3. Methodology

The sample consists of 108 students from a private university in Bandung, Indonesia, who are members of the student activity organization. Data was collected through questionnaires distributed through direct surveys. To measure person-organization fit and organizational citizenship behavior, we used items adapted from Cable and Judge (1997), with internal reliability 0.92. Organizational commitment was assessed based on four scale items adapted from Meyer and Allen (1991; Ellemers, De Gilder and Van den Heuvel, 1998) with internal reliability of 0.85. OCB was assessed based on items adapted from the scale developed by Podsakoff et al. (2000) with internal reliability 0.79. We analyzed data by testing the validity and reliability. Regression analysis was used to test the relationship and influence between independent and dependent variables.

4. Result and Discussion

A response rate was 108, from that characteristics of respondents are as follows. The majority of respondents were female (66.70%), while the prevailing age was in the age range of 19-20 years (37.96%). Most respondents were students enlisted in 2018 (37%). Respondents of the survey were mainly enrolled in the faculty of economics, as many as 36 people (33.3%). To test the validity and reliability, this study used Statistical Package for the Social Sciences software version 25.0. The questionnaire was composed in Indonesian to make it understandable to respondents. Confirmatory factor analysis also used in this study by the underlying theories. The result showed factor loading above 0.40, proving that constructs are valid and practically significant as according to Hair et al. (2006). Reliability testing was done by measuring internal consistency with Cronbach alpha, and the value for person-organization fit amounts to 0.622, organizational citizenship behavior 0.872, and for organizational commitment 0.858. Table 1 shows the factor loading, and Cronbach alpha for each variable used in this study and variables are said to be reliable if it gives the Cronbach Alpha value > 0.60 in the test results (Nunnally in Ghozali, 2013). Table 1 shows factor loading and Cronbach alpha for each variable in the study.

Table 1: Result of Validity and Reliability Testing

Variables 1 2 3
PO Fit 1 .863
PO Fit 2 .782
OCB 1 .847
OCB 2 .823
OCB 3 .892
OCB 4 .848
OC 1 .812
OC 2 .830
OC 3 .839
OC 4 .869
Cronbach alpha (α) .622 .858 .872
N of items 0 4 4


Source: Data Processed

The Relationship between PO Fit and OC
Table 2 highlights that PO fit was positively and significantly related to organizational commitment (0.349, ρ≤0.01). The results of the study were as expected. There was a strong relationship between PO fit and organization commitment, implying that high PO Fit leads to high organizational commitment. OC refers to a person’s emotional reactions towards the organization where one works and is concerned with supporting organizational goals and values (Cook and; Wall, 1980 in Tugal and; Kilic, 2015). These values have an essential role in the definition of commitment; they were defined as the reason why, when person’s values match operating values of the organization, one would be more committed to the organization than a person whose personal values differed from the organization’s (in Tugal and; Kilic, 2015). A meta-analysis conducted by Kristof-Brown et al. (2005) confirmed that PO fit significantly linked to employees’ OC. Therefore, the conclusion was that attitudes towards various aspects of the environment were strongly related to the corresponding type of fit and that OC most strongly influenced PO fit (Vilela et al., 2008). Results of our research are in line with previous studies, e.g., it shows that members of the student activity organization have an organizational commitment to their organization because they perceive a person organizational fit with the organization that they have chosen to join.

The Relationship between PO Fit and OCB
Regression analysis for the second hypothesis shown that PO Fit is positively related to OCB with r = 0.177 and a level of sig. 0,000, therefore, the person-organization fit has a significant effect on OCB. Schneider (1987, in Bangun et al., 2012) states that individuals do not randomly accept a condition but see conditions that are of interest to the individual. Individuals who have chosen to be part of a situation will adapt and help their environment. Schneider stated that the organization is an attractive condition for individuals; therefore, individuals perceive themselves to be part of their organization, and they survive due to their compatibility with the organization. Luthans pointed out (2009, in Rema, 2018), if an individual has a person-organization fit with the organization, including leaders and colleagues, then the employees will feel comfortable and in their environment. This sense of comfort inspires employees to work to contribute to the organization. These results supported the results of a study conducted by Abdurachman (2017), who found that the person-organization fit had an effect of 29.2% on organizational citizenship behavior. An organization can run optimally if it is run with optimal resources (Bangun et al., 2012). This stresses the importance of workers willing to go beyond standard work tasks (organizational citizenship behavior), causing the organization to run successfully (Robbins and; Judge, 2009, in Abdurachman, 2012). In research of Khaola and Sebotsa (2015), it is stressed that a manager who wants his employees to do more than their job responsibilities should recruit employees with values compatible with the organization. In student activity organization, a person’s compatibility with that activity organization will determine how well the organization performs. The greater the value of the person-organization fit, the higher the probability that members will stay longer in the activity organization, which in turn can affect how much human resources this activity unit is empowered with. The degree of the suitability of a member to the activity unit will lead to organizational citizenship behavior, which is also great; this will facilitate work within the activity unit, bearing in mind that member with an organizational citizenship behavior will voluntarily help fellow members of one activity organization in completing their tasks.

Table 2: Summary of the Hypothesis

Variables R2 Adjusted R2 Β F Sig.
PO Fit à OC 0.349 0.343 0.591 56.848 0.00
PO Fit à OCB 0.177 0.169 0.420 22.764 0.00

5. Conclusion

PO fit has become an essential construct for organizational researchers and practitioners, helping them predict a variety of workplace attitudes and behaviors. Much of the research on PO fit was carried out within the work and organizational scope, while the research of educational institutions is still limited. While previous analyses have examined various aspects of fit, this study specifically focuses on the relationships between perceived PO fit and OC and OCB among members of student activity organizations. Results show that PO fit positively and significantly related to organizational commitment by 34.9%. PO fit is positively related to OCB by 17.7%. Thus, as the similarity between individuals and organizations increases, members of the organization become more satisfied, committed, and productive and are likely to choose to remain in that organization.

The findings of this study also have some important implications for organizational leaders and the department of student affairs. Student activity organizations should explain the characteristics of the relevant activity unit to prospective new members to familiarize them with the activity unit and develop a sense of fit between potential new members and student activity organizations from the beginning. Furthermore, the student activity organization should utilize open house events to attract new prospective members and reward those who significantly contribute to the organization. Hosting such an event can foster a sense of belonging and strengthen the relationships within the activity organization. The department of student affairs should support student activities organization’s arranging of events and provide organizational support to ensure optimal opportunities for activity units in attracting new students. Hosting open house events and giving counseling to new students makes them want to be engaged in at least one activity organization during their study at the university.

The research has some limitations, such as the size of the study sample. Respondents were not randomly selected; there are limitations to instruments used, and the generalization of the results. These restrictions should be addressed in future studies. For instance, further testing may make the model and understanding of PO fit more comprehensive. Measurement of perceptions and attitudes are best collected through self-reported data; future studies can reduce the possibility of the same-source bias by collecting data from different sources at different points in time. Future research is expected to enrich PO fit theory and other factors that have not been examined in this study, for example, organizational employee engagement, organizational culture, and turn over the intention.


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