Document Type : Research Paper


1 Professor, Faculty of Management, University of Tehran

2 Assistant Professor, School of Management, University of Tehran

3 PhD student of Alborz Campus, University of Tehran


Over-qualification has become a major theme of research after 2008 economic crisis, because it brings about major consequences at social, organizational, and personal levels. There are major differences in the frequency of overqualification, its dimensions, and consequences between different genders and also in different cultural and social contexts. The issue of overqualification among female employees is very much understudied, particularly in the eastern societies. The purpose of the present paper is to fill to some extent this gap by choosing overqualified women employed in the Iranian public sector as its study group. We study the organizational elements that mitigate the perception of overqualification and its negative consequences using Glaser's grounded theory approach. The obtained model revealed the pivotal role of meaningfulness in mitigating the perception of concept and its negative consequences and a major factor in developing person-job in the study group. In this model, meaningfulness is defined at two levels, namely, job meaningfulness and meaningfulness in the work environment and is further specified in terms of the following five variables: job appreciation, freedom, continuous goal setting, developed relationships, and personal integrity. Focusing on job meaningfulness, we have explained and generalized the results of various variables in the overqualification research literature. The results of the present research address the substantial research gap in the overqualification research on female overqualification and enables Iranian organizations to improve the working conditions of overqualified women, despite the economical, market-related, and organizational limitations. 


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