Putting Fit Together: How School Leaders Conceptualize "Fit" and Operationalize the Hiring Process to Attain it



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



This study is a modified replication of Ingle et al. (2011). Through a different epistemological lens, I interviewed ten principals, eight teachers, and four central office administrators of a mid-sized suburban district in the Midwest to investigate how school leaders conceptualized fit and how the hiring process was operationalized to achieve it. The findings validate Ingle’s application of Person-Environment Fit as a framework for explaining how school personnel conceptualize fit and contributes to the literature by inquiring about specific fit types (person-job, person-group, and person-organization). It also extends the framework by including the concepts of complementary and supplementary fit. My inquiry found principals to have a stronger preference for person-organization and person-group fit than person-job fit, contradicting the findings in Ingle. I discuss plausible explanations for these differences and present the practical and theoretical implications of my study.