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Psychologisches Institut Arbeits- und Organisationspsychologie

New article on reactions to perceived overqualification and formal work arrangements accepted

If individuals feel they have more skills and qualifications than are required for their jobs, they perceive themselves to be overqualified. Extant research has primarily focused on lower satisfaction and wellbeing that individuals experience in such a situation. In the present study, we complement this perspective by examining how individuals can adaptively and proactively deal with being overqualified. In a sample of 453 employees who we surveyed across three points in time we show that overqualified employees are angrier about their situation, which hampers their performance and satisfaction. Moreover, our study highlights the demotivating role of a temporary employment contract and long job tenure for overqualified employees to actively reorganize their work – such that overqualified employees are particularly less likely to actively change their work if they are only employed on a temporary basis or have been working in their jobs for a relatively long time. Taken together, this study points to the (de)motivating role of formal work arrangements in the context of perceived overqualification.


Debus, M. E., Körner, B., Wang, M., & Kleinmann, M. (in press). Reacting to perceived overqualification: Uniting strain-based and self-regulatory adjustment reactions and the moderating role of formal work arrangements. Journal of Business and Psychology.