How people fit in at work: systematic review of the association between person-organisation and person-group fit with staff outcomes in healthcare

Jessica Herkes*, Kate Churruca, Louise A. Ellis, Chiara Pomare, Jeffrey Braithwaite

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
34 Downloads (Pure)


Objectives: People interact with their work environment through being, to a greater or lesser extent, compatible with aspects of their setting. This interaction between person and environment is particularly relevant in healthcare settings where compatibility affects not only the healthcare professionals, but also potentially the patient. One way to examine this association is to investigate person-organisation (P-O) fit and person-group (P-G) fit. This systematic review aimed to identify and synthesise knowledge on both P-O fit and P-G fit in healthcare to determine their association with staff outcomes. It was hypothesised that there would be a positive relationship between fit and staff outcomes, such that the experience of compatibility and fitting in' would be associated with better staff outcomes. Design: A systematic review was conducted based on an extensive search strategy guided by Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic review and Meta-Analyses to identify relevant literature. Data sources: CINAHL Complete, EMBASE, Ovid MEDLINE, PsycINFO and Scopus. Eligibility criteria: Articles were included if they were empirical studies, published in peer-reviewed journals in English language, set in a healthcare context and addressed the association that staff outcomes have with P-O and/or P-G fit. Data extraction and synthesis: Included texts were examined for study characteristics, fit constructs examined and types of staff outcomes assessed. The Quality Assessment Tool was used to assess risk of bias. Results: Twenty-eight articles were included in the review. Of these, 96.4% (27/28) reported a significant, positive association between perception of fit and staff outcomes in healthcare contexts, such that a sense of compatibility had various positive implications for staff, including job satisfaction and retention. Conclusion: Although the results, as with all systematic reviews, are prone to bias and definitional ambiguity, they are still informative. Generally, the evidence suggests an association between employees' perceived compatibility with the workplace or organisation and a variety of staff outcomes in healthcare settings.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere026266
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2019. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • human resource management
  • organisation of health services
  • organisational development


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