When are overqualified employees creative? It depends on contextual factors

Alex Luksyte, C. Spitzmueller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


© 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.The research on perceived overqualification has mainly examined its negative consequences. Defined, employees who feel overqualified have surplus talent and thus can be excellent workers if managed properly; yet, empirical evidence in this domain is lacking. Building on person–environment fit theory, this research explored whether, when, and how employees who feel overqualified can engage in creative performance. The results of a multi-source field study (N = 113 employees and 19 supervisors) supported theoretical predictions. Perceived overqualification was related positively to supervisor-rated creative performance when these workers felt supported and appreciated and successfully negotiated developmental idiosyncratic deals. Opportunities to mentor others had an impact on the relationship between perceived overqualification and supervisor-rated creativity, although the simple slopes were non-significant. This study is novel in that it unpacked actionable steps that organizations can utilize to motivate this large segment of workforce to use their surplus qualifications constructively by, for example, engaging in creative performance. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)635-653
JournalJournal of Organizational Behavior
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2016


Dive into the research topics of 'When are overqualified employees creative? It depends on contextual factors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this