Welcome to the Fifth Global e-Conference on Fit

Experiencing Organisational Fit and Misfit



Conference Theme

In the introduction to their 2013 book, Kristof-Brown and Billsberry (2013) tease out opposing paradigms of fit (PE fit and perceived fit) and demonstrate that we know little of the experience of fit and misfit and that this lack of understanding is hampering further development of the field. They say, ‘Very little is known … about how these perceptions [of fit] form, or why they influence attitudes and behaviours as strongly as they do. This is fertile ground for new organizational fit research’ (p. 5) that emphasizes the processes of how fit and misfit form, exist, and decay. Addressing this lack of knowledge is relevant to both PE and perceived fit paradigms.

In addition to knowing relatively little about the experience of fit, we also know little about its dynamic nature (Ostroff & Schulte, 2007; Shipp & Jansen, 2011). Although various models of fit have a dynamic element to them (e.g., Kammeyer-Mueller, 2007; Jansen & Kristof-Brown, 2006; Schneider, 1987; Yu, 2013), few empirical fit studies have employed within person approaches and explored these models in depth (cf. Van Vianen, 2004). This is important because studies in related fields such as vocational psychology and work adjustment have shown that there is a continuous process by which individuals seek to achieve and maintain congruence with the work environment (Dawis & Lofquist, 1984).

Finally, there have been calls for qualitative studies of the phenomenon of fit (e.g., Kristof-Brown & Guay, 2011). Such studies are important because they may help researchers define the experience of fit and misfit, differentiate it from other constructs, and understand how various forms of fit and misfit coalesce, or not, into an overarching sense of fit. This latter research goal has been the attention of several studies (e.g., Edwards & Billsberry, 2010; Jansen & Kristof-Brown, 2006; Kristof‐Brown, Zimmerman, & Johnson, 2005; Morley & Sekiguchi, 2007), but these studies have been inconclusive about the combined effects of sub-types of fit.

This e-Conference addresses this critical issue in current fit and misfit research; namely, understanding the experience of fit. Beneath this main aim, we want to attract papers that explore the dynamic nature of the experience and studies that provide new and clear insights about the nature of the constructs.


Special Issue of the European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology on the Experience of Fit

This e-Conference is closely aligned to Special Issue of the European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology (EJWOP) on the experience of fit, from whose Call for Papers the conference theme has been adapted. As the submission date for the Special Issue is almost a year after this e-conference, we want to propagate possible submissions. We hope to discuss ideas for possible papers and develop emerging papers. All the previous fit e-conferences have been attended by more than 250 people and have included many of the best published people in the field. All have given their time and advice freely to help develop new papers. We hope this year will be no exception.

Please click here for the EJWOP call for papers


Truly Global and Inclusive for the Fit Community

Although this e-conference hopes to seed papers for the upcoming special issue of EJWOP on the experience of fit, this e-conference is for anyone interested in the concept of workplace person–environment fit regardless of whether or not they intend to submit to the special issue. In this conference we want to discuss all matters to do with PE and perceived fit (and misfit). In addition to the EJWOP SI track, we will have a track for scholarly articles not necessarily linked to the SI. We will have a special zone for doctoral students where they can receive developmental feedback from experts in the field. And we are particularly interested in papers that look at how fit can be taught.


Keynote Speakers

We are delighted to announce our first two keynote speakers. They are both noted scholars, with publications in the top journals, and many interesting things to say about fit. They are Aichia Chuang from the National Taiwan University and Ryan Vogel from Pennsylvania State University in Erie. You can find out more about Aichia and Ryan on the page devoted to our keynote speakers.


Conference Format

The two days will have a similar design. At the start of the day (9.00am GMT), the e-conference will open and all delegates will have the opportunity to read that day's papers. The papers become 'live' at scheduled times through the day to keep the conference dynamic. Hopefully, delegates will have questions and there will be a discussion on each paper. The author of each paper will be online at times during the day to join in the discussion. Once open, the papers will stay open throughout the e-conference.

On each day of the conference there will be a keynote 'speech' from one of the leaders in the field. These will go live in the afternoon (GMT) each day. The keynote speakers for this year's conference will all be leading researchers in the field of organisational fit that all delegates will surely know of. Previous keynote speakers include Jon Billsberry (Coventry University, now Deakin University), Helena Cooper-Thomas (University of Auckland), Jeff Edwards (University of North Carolina), Karen Jansen (University of Virginia, now Australian National University), Tim Judge (University of Florida, now University of Notre Dame), John Kammeyer-Mueller (University of Florida), Amy Kristof-Brown (University of Iowa), Cheri Ostroff (University of Maryland, now University of South Australia), Ben Schneider (Valtera & University of Maryland), Annelies Van Vianen (University of Amsterdam), and Anthony Wheeler (University of Rhode Island). 

We hope that the e-conference will be more than the presentation and discussion of research-oriented papers. We are open to all forms of presentation that you can think of: workshops, expert panels, and symposia in addition to the paper sessions. We are also interested in papers focused on teaching fit and misfit, including case studies. And 'papers' may presented in written or video format.


Doctoral Zone

The doctoral zone is a stream of the conference reserved for people currently undertaking doctoral studies in fit and closely-related subjects. These papers are refereed. In addition, we encourage developmental feedback on these papers in the full awareness that these are emerging scholars and emerging ideas. In previous years, this has been a supportive and nurturing environment and we hope to repeat that again this year.



Each time this e-conference has run we have tried to incorporate e-conference innovations. This year, we want to encourage people to consider alternatives to traditional ways to present papers. Whilst we expect most people to submit a paper in the traditonal way - and that's fine - we want to use the increase in bandwidth, the greater ownership of video cameras, the ease of use of editing software, and people's greater familiarity with uploading video to social networks to include video materials in this conference. You might consider adding an audio reading of your paper, or a video presentation of your paper, or you might think about abandoning the written paper altogether and just doing it in an audio/visual format. The choice is yours and, importantly, we don't want to put you off submitting if you just want to submit a paper.


Call for Papers

Please refer to the Call for Papers tab to see details. As in previous years, we will be looking for papers on any aspect of fit. This year we plan to include four sections:

  • Scholarly papers addressing the EJWOP SI theme (max. 1500 words, or 15 minute videos; deadline 1 October 2016 to allow for refereeing)
  • Scholarly papers not addressing the EJWOP SI theme (max. 1500 words, or 15 minute videos; deadline 1 October 2016 to allow for refereeing)
  • Doctoral zone (max. 1500 words, or 15 minute videos; deadline 1 October 2016 to allow for refereeing)
  • Teaching fit (max. 1000 words, or 10 minute videos; 8 October 2016)



This e-conference is completely free to anyone who wishes to sign-up. All we need is your name and email address. Once you supply us with these details, we will keep you informed about the e-conference, the itinary, the papers and the 'speakers'. It doesn't commit you to anything; it just keeps you informed about the e-conference (and it helps us judge interest). Please note that if you subscribed for a previous conference, you still have to subscribe again, as we have changed platforms. Please click on the following link to sign-up:



Organising Committee

Jon Billsberry, Deakin University, Australia (Chair)

Rein De Cooman, KU Leuven, Belgium

Amy Kristof-Brown, University of Iowa, USA

Stefan Mol, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Dannie Talbot, Coventry University, UK