Higher education institutions are an established system for individual development and knowledge transfer. Recently, this system has come under pressure to implement additional oversight practices previously associated with business. These business practices, including centralization, are recognized as sources that include elements of work alienation (WA). This study investigated the impact of WA on the relationship between person-organization fit (POF) and organizational citizenship behavior (OCB), and sought to determine if a statistically significant relationship existed between these constructs. Qualtrics®, an online survey tool, was used to collect the data for this study, and IBM® SPSS® Amos 25.0 was used to perform structural equational modeling (SEM). Surveys were conducted at both private and public junior college and university level higher education institutions. Surveys resulted in 325 responses with results showing a statistically significant relationship between POF and OCB within higher education. Additionally, one of the dimensions of WA, self-estrangement (SE), had a statistically significant impact on the POF—OCB relationship. Neither of the other two vii tested dimensions of WA, powerlessness (PW) and meaninglessness (MN), had a significant impact on the POF—OCB relationship. By exploring WA as a mediator between POF and OCB in higher education, this study contributes to the call of previous research to explore a void within studies and literature. Understanding WA and how it impacts positive relationships within an organization may help practitioners’ understanding of poor performance, turnover, and low levels of voluntary discretionary effort.

Date of publication

Fall 9-28-2020

Document Type




Persistent identifier


Committee members

Greg Wang, Paul Roberts, Colleen Marzilli, Wes Hickey


Doctor of Philosophy in Human Resource Development

Available for download on Thursday, November 03, 2022