Sarah Chan

Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology



First Advisor

Ira Bernstein


It has long been noted that people have a tendency to look for and engage in situations that are congruent with their personalities, their self-concepts, their interests, their attitudes and their values (Allport, 1937; Bandura, 1973; Ickes, Snyder & Garcia, 1997). However, most studies in the Person-Organization fit area are limited to examining employees who have been hired, while the self-selection process of choosing to apply for certain organizations or the self-assessment of fit with an organization are less explored. The present study examines job seekers' decision-making processes on ratings of attractiveness for hypothetical companies. Using a decision-making process model similar to the Lens Model, the links between individual difference characteristics (e.g., the Big Five personality, tolerance for ambiguity) and preferences for different types of organizations were examined. A total of 222 graduate level Business major students participated in the study and provided self-ratings on a number of individual differences measures, such as the Big Five Personality Inventory. Next, participants were presented with 18 hypothetical company descriptions, which varied on four dichotomized organizational culture dimensions. Their participation included rating the attractiveness of these companies. When making a decision about the company's attractiveness, the participant's weight assignments to each organizational culture dimension were assessed and then linked to the self-rated individual differences factors. It was found that extraverted individuals preferred organizations that are casual in appeal and promote risk-taking growth. Individuals who scored high on neuroticism preferred organizations requiring formal appearance. Individuals who scored high on openness preferred innovative/risk-taking organizational cultures. Additionally, individuals having a lower tolerance for ambiguity preferred organizations that require formal appearance as well as value conservative growth. Finally, individuals who scored high on self-efficacy preferred to work in casual environments. Supplementary analyses results suggested that individuals who scored high on internal locus of control and self-efficacy tended to rate prospective companies more attractive as opposed to the lower internal locus of control or self-efficacy counterparts. The results are consistent with the idea that people have different preferences for different types of organizations, and such preferences are associated with the individual difference characteristic of the person.


Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington

Included in

Psychology Commons