The effects of achievement attribution and career indecision on perceived overqualification The moderating role of major commitment

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SangHee Nam
JaeYoon Chang
Hyejin Moon


In the current study, we aimed to investigate the effect of job applicants’ achievement attribution(luck and effort) on their perceived overqualification(POQ) after employment. We examined the mediating role of career indecision in the causal relationship between achievement attribution and POQ and tested whether major commitment moderated the relationship between achievement attribution and career indecision. A total of 2,747 students participated in the longitudinal survey that was conducted across 20 universities located in different cities of Korea. Approximately a year after the participants reported their achievement attribution, major commitment, and career indecision, researchers contacted those who are employed, and 453 out of 2,747 participated in the follow-up survey and asked to report their POQ. The results showed significant correlations among luck attribution, effort attribution, career indecision, and POQ. Second, although career indecision fully mediated the negative relationship between luck attribution and POQ, it failed to mediate the positive relationship between effort attribution and POQ. Third, major commitment moderated the relationship between achievement attribution(both luck and effort) and POQ. Finally, the conditional effect of luck attribution on POQ was supported as hypothesized. More specifically, luck attribution affected POQ through career indecision while major commitment moderated the negative relationship between luck attribution and career indecision. Discussions on implications and limitations are provided.


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Nam, S., Chang, J., & Moon, H. (2021). The effects of achievement attribution and career indecision on perceived overqualification: The moderating role of major commitment. Korean Journal of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 34(3), 319–348.
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