Publication Date



This study tests the hypotheses that (1) congruence between internal need states and external environments drives the organizational-choice process, and (2) those attracted to particular organizations are more homogeneous than the applicant pool in general. Subjects were evaluated on fourteen needs using the Jackson Personality Research Form. They then viewed two video-taped segments of simulated campus interviews to gain information about two distinct organizational types. The interview segments entered the discussion in-progress to avoid any reference to a particular job which might introduce an occupational confound. Subjects received job offers from both organizations and were asked to indicate which of the two organizations they found more attractive by accepting one of the offers. Analysis of variance results indicated only weak support for the congruency hypothesis. Differences were observed in n Ach between the groups of subjects attracted to each organization. No differences were found for any of the other need strength measures. This suggests that the subjects attracted to the ifferent organizations are substantially similar. Implications for the homogeneity hypothesis are discussed and suggestions for further study of this concept are offered.


Suggested Citation
Bretz, R. D. Jr., Ash, R. A. & Dreher, G. F. (1988). Do people make the place?: An examination of the attraction-selection-attrition hypothesis (CAHRS Working Paper #88-16). Ithaca, NY: Cornell University, School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies.