ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2021, Vol. 29 ›› Issue (7): 1313-1330.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2021.01313

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I am gifted! Perceived overqualification and its influence on employees

LI Pengbo1, CHEN Limei2, CHU Fulei3, SUN Yuqing4, ZHOU Ying1   

  1. 1School of Tourism Sciences, Beijing International Studies University, Beijing 100024, China;
    2School of Business, Renmin University of China, Beijing 100872, China;
    3College of Business Administration, Capital University of Economics and Business, Beijing 100070, China;
    4Antai College of Economics and Management, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200030, China
  • Received:2020-12-04 Online:2021-07-15 Published:2021-05-24

Abstract: Perceived overqualification refers to one's perception of possessing more education, experience, knowledge, skills, and abilities than the required job qualifications. Overqualification is a common phenomenon in organizations and has gradually become a hot topic in the research of organizational behavior. Perceived overqualification leads to employees' negative reactions, which are manifested in cognitive perceptions, affective experiences, job attitude, behavior, performance, and physical and mental health. The nature and magnitude of such influences depend on the characteristics of employees and the situations. However, there is also a positive, U shaped or inverted U shaped relationship between perceived overqualification and some positive outcomes, such as employees' proactive behavior, in-role performance, creative performance. Human capital theory, person-job fit theory, relative deprivation theory, equity theory, psychological contract theory, and conservation of resource theory are the main theories to explain the negative influences of perceived overqualification, whereas self-categorization theory, self-verification theory, and self-regulation theory are the ones to explain its positive influences. Future research is encouraged to develop indigenous scale for perceived overqualification, examine its multilevel effect, enrich and integrate current theoretical perspectives, and explore its dynamic effect.

Key words: overqualification, perceived overqualification, subjective perception

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