Welcome to the bright side: Why, how, and when overqualification enhances performance

Hans van Dijk, Amanda Shantz, Kerstin Alfes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

We nuance the overtly negative image of overqualified employees by illuminating the brighter side of overqualification. In this extension of current thinking on overqualification, we argue that there are four ways in which overqualification can positively shape the performance of overqualified employees and their fellow group members. Following their theoretical basis, we refer to these as the (1) human capital, (2) status, (3) social learning, and (4) identification advantages. For each advantage we explain the conditions under which they are likely to materialize. We also theoretically explore how the advantages relate to each other as well as to the theories outlining the potential negative consequences of overqualification, and provide an according integrative model on the Relational Effects of Overqualification on Performance (REOP). After discussing the theoretical implications and providing an agenda for future research, we close with a discussion of the managerial implications of leveraging the bright side while acknowledging the dark side of overqualification.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100688
Number of pages15
JournalHuman Resource Management Review
Volume30
Issue number2
Early online date2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2020

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Keywords

  • BIG FISH
  • GENERAL MENTAL-ABILITY
  • GROUP IDENTIFICATION
  • Human capital
  • Identification
  • JOB-ATTITUDES
  • MODERATING ROLE
  • OUTCOME INTERDEPENDENCE
  • Overqualification
  • PERCEIVED OVERQUALIFICATION
  • Performance
  • RELATIONAL DEMOGRAPHY
  • SOCIAL IDENTITY
  • Social learning
  • Status
  • WORK

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