Motivational Incongruence and Well-Being at the Workplace: Person-Job Fit, Job Burnout, and Physical Symptoms

Source: Veronika Brandstätter, Veronika Job and Beate Schulze, Frontiers in Psychology, August 11, 2016

From the abstract:
Person–environment fit has been identified as a key prerequisite for employee well-being. We investigated to what extent a misfit between motivational needs and supplies at the workplace affects two key health outcomes: burnout and physical symptoms. Individual needs (implicit affiliation and power motives) and environment supplies (motive specific job characteristics) were assessed in an online survey of full time employees (n = 97), using a picture story exercise measuring implicit motives and a scale listing affiliation and power related job characteristics. Outcomes were assessed using the Maslach Burnout Inventory and a checklist of physical symptoms. We conducted polynomial regressions with response surface analysis. Results reveal that motivational incongruence with respect to the affiliation motive was related to high job burnout, while motivational incongruence concerning the power motive predicted increased physical symptoms. This was true for both those with a strong affiliation or power motive and low corresponding job characteristics and those with a weak affiliation or power motive and job characteristics demanding the respective motive. Results hint at potential interventions toward preventing or remedying a lack of needs-supply fit and reducing the risk of impairments of well-being.