This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Job Choice Under Uncertainty: The Mediating Roles of Prospective Job and Organization Fit




Acosta, Joshua

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis




Better fitting work environments lead to elevated performance, greater organizational commitment, and higher levels of job satisfaction. As evidence of these and other desirable workplace outcomes, applicants and organizations often base their job choices and hiring decisions on future fit. Drawing from signaling and impression management theories, applicants experience varying levels of uncertainty surrounding job prospects due to limited information and time in the job search process. This research experimentally investigated how uncertainty affects job prospect evaluations by testing a model of job choice under uncertainty. Applicants were hypothesized to evaluate job-organizational attraction as a function of their prospective person-job and person-organization fit; judgments of future fit given the limited knowledge of the future work environment. Greater job prospect uncertainty was theorized to lead to less attractive evaluations due to the greater variability of outcomes and inherent greater risk. Results provided evidence that greater uncertainty leads applicants to evaluate job prospects as less attractive, but only when the job prospect's characteristics are framed positively to applicants (i.e., offering a higher salary or better-fitting job). Furthermore, results showed that prospective person-job and person-organization strongly predicted job-organizational attraction regardless of job prospects characteristics were framed.