Gravitation to Jobs Commensurate With Ability: Longitudinal and Cross-Sectional Tests

Steffanie L. Wilk, Laura Burris Desmarais, Paul R. Sackett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

136 Scopus citations

Abstract

Two large data sets were used to test the premise that individuals will, over time, gravitate into jobs commensurate with their abilities. First, in a longitudinal data set with the individual as the unit of analysis, cognitive ability predicted movement in a job hierarchy over a 5-year period. Second, in a cross-sectional data set with the job as the unit of analysis, groups made up of less experienced incumbents were found to be slightly less homogeneous with respect to cognitive ability than groups made up of more experienced incumbents. Thus, support for the gravitational hypothesis was found.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-85
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Applied Psychology
Volume80
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1995

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