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Wilfrid Laurier University Leaf
December 7, 2016
Canadian Excellence

Re-examination of the Met Expectations Hypothesis:

A Longitudinal Analysis

P. Gregory Irving and John P. Meyer


On the basis of their recent meta-analysis, J. P. Wanous, T. D. Poland, S. L. Premack, and K. S. Davis (1992) concluded that confirmation of newcomers' preentry expectations has a substantial impact on their work attitudes and behaviors. However, methodological problems inherent in many of the individual tests of the met-expectations hypothesis give cause to question this conclusion. In this longitudinal study, response surface methodology was used to examine the separate and joint contribution of expectations and experiences to the prediction of job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and intention to leave during the first year of employment. The findings provided only modest support for the met-expectations hypothesis and suggest that to improve attitudes and lower turnover intentions, it is advisable to focus more on providing positive work experiences than on confirming expectations.

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