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Cognitive styles and person-environment fit: an inquiry on the consequences of cognitive (mis)fit

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  • Cools, E.

    ()

  • Van den Broeck, H.

    () (Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School)

Abstract

There is currently considerable interest in the key elements of person-environment fit to understand vocational behaviour and to develop strategic human resource management practices. In the light of this interest, we wanted (1) to investigate with the new Cognitive Style Indicator whether people within similar functions have similar cognitive styles, and (2) to examine the consequences of cognitive (mis)fit on three work attitudes. We used two large-scale databases (N = 24,267 and N = 2,182) to address these issues. We identified mainly a knowing-oriented cognitive climate in finance, information technology (IT), and research and development (R&D) functions; a planning-oriented cognitive climate in administrative and technical and production functions; and a creating-oriented cognitive climate in sales and marketing functions and general management. Furthermore, our findings demonstrated that people with a creating style show more job search behaviour and intention to leave than people with a planning style, irrespective of the cognitive climate they are working in. We contribute to increased understanding of the influence of cognitive styles on organisational behaviour and work attitudes. This study is relevant for selection and recruitment policies of organisations and in the context of training, job design, and workforce planning.

Suggested Citation

  • Cools, E. & Van den Broeck, H., 2007. "Cognitive styles and person-environment fit: an inquiry on the consequences of cognitive (mis)fit," Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School Working Paper Series 2007-14, Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School.
  • Handle: RePEc:vlg:vlgwps:2007-14
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