The incongruity of misfit: A systematic literature review and research agenda

Englert, Benedikt ; Sievert, Martin ; Helmig, Bernd ; Jansen, Karen

Document Type: Conference presentation
Year of publication: 2020
The title of a journal, publication series: Academy of Management Proceedings
Volume: 2021
Issue number: 1, August 2021
Conference title: 81st Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, AOM 2021
Location of the conference venue: Online
Date of the conference: 29.07.-04.08.2021
Place of publication: Chicago, Ill.
Publishing house: Academy of Management
ISSN: 0065-0668 , 2151-6561
Publication language: English
Institution: Business School > ABWL, Public & Non Profit Management (Helmig)
Subject: 650 Management
Abstract: For decades, person-environment fit research has been a prevalent and complex topic of research, as evidenced by multiple reviews. Inherent in person-environment fit theorizing is the notion that its absence, i.e. misfit, is accompanied by negative consequences. Until recently, this simplistic view of fit and misfit predominated, resulting in a shallow understanding of the mean-ing and experience of misfit. It was just over 10 years ago that researchers began to recognize misfit as a distinct construct worthy of closer attention. Still, this research is diverse, fragmented, and partly inconsistent. Thus, we offer a systematic review of existing misfit literature. We review and systematically analyze 94 scholarly articles published between 1981 and 2020. We synthesize the prevalent knowledge on misfit and outline promising research avenues following a multi-level approach. The results provide valuable insights for future research on misfit and offer three main contributions. First, we offer conceptual clarity for a fuzzy and eclectic phenomenon. Second, we provide a deeper understanding of the underlying mechanisms and dynamics of individual misfit episodes. Third, we contribute to an understanding of the diverse consequences of individual misfit. Based upon our results we provide an extensive research agenda.

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