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J Appl Psychol. 2009 Mar;94(2):557-65. doi: 10.1037/a0013528.

Perceived overqualification and its outcomes: the moderating role of empowerment.

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  • 1School of Business, Portland State University, Portland, OR 97207-0751, USA.


Research shows that perceived overqualification is related to lower job attitudes and greater withdrawal behaviors but to higher supervisor ratings of performance. Drawing upon relative deprivation theory, the authors proposed and tested empowerment as a moderator of the relationship between perceived overqualification and job satisfaction, intentions to remain, voluntary turnover, and objective sales performance to examine if negative outcomes could be lessened while stimulating even higher performance. Hierarchical linear modeling results from a sample of 244 sales associates working in 25 stores of a Turkish retail chain show that empowerment ameliorated the negative effects of perceived overqualification on job satisfaction, intentions to remain, and voluntary turnover. Empowerment did not affect the positive relationship between perceived overqualification and objective sales performance.

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