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Insights into the Lived Experience of Misfits at Work: A Netnographic Study

Journal Article


Abstract


  • Despite its centrality in person-environment fit theorizing, employees��� perceptions of misfit are not well understood. One reason is that misfits are very difficult to study because misfit tends to be a temporary condition and misfits are concealed, relatively scarce, disconnected from each other, widely dispersed, and their occurrence largely unpredictable. To circumvent these logistic challenges, this empirical paper explores employees��� perceptions of misfit through their public online blogs about their lived experience of being a misfit at work. Netnography was used to trawl the internet for first-person expressions of misfit. 72 narratives were captured and analysed. The findings show that in 73% of cases where the form of misfit could be identified, these people talk about a form of misfit grounded in the social world at work. Two forms of this socially oriented misfit could be teased apart: episodic and repeating misfit. Being a misfit was a negative, confusing, and unwanted condition revolving around difficulties in social communication, social interaction, social integration, and differences between people rather than differences between people and organizations. The paper ends with a discussion of how the findings complement existing knowledge about perceived misfit and suggests avenues for future research.

Publication Date


  • 2022

Citation


  • Billsberry, J., Hollyoak, B. M., & Talbot, D. L. (2022). Insights into the Lived Experience of Misfits at Work: A Netnographic Study. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology. doi:10.1080/1359432X.2022.2120802

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-85138239533

Web Of Science Accession Number


Volume


Issue


Place Of Publication


Abstract


  • Despite its centrality in person-environment fit theorizing, employees��� perceptions of misfit are not well understood. One reason is that misfits are very difficult to study because misfit tends to be a temporary condition and misfits are concealed, relatively scarce, disconnected from each other, widely dispersed, and their occurrence largely unpredictable. To circumvent these logistic challenges, this empirical paper explores employees��� perceptions of misfit through their public online blogs about their lived experience of being a misfit at work. Netnography was used to trawl the internet for first-person expressions of misfit. 72 narratives were captured and analysed. The findings show that in 73% of cases where the form of misfit could be identified, these people talk about a form of misfit grounded in the social world at work. Two forms of this socially oriented misfit could be teased apart: episodic and repeating misfit. Being a misfit was a negative, confusing, and unwanted condition revolving around difficulties in social communication, social interaction, social integration, and differences between people rather than differences between people and organizations. The paper ends with a discussion of how the findings complement existing knowledge about perceived misfit and suggests avenues for future research.

Publication Date


  • 2022

Citation


  • Billsberry, J., Hollyoak, B. M., & Talbot, D. L. (2022). Insights into the Lived Experience of Misfits at Work: A Netnographic Study. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology. doi:10.1080/1359432X.2022.2120802

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-85138239533

Web Of Science Accession Number


Volume


Issue


Place Of Publication