Academic journal article Public Personnel Management

The Missing Link of Value Congruence and Its Consequences: The Mediating Role of Employees' Acceptance of Organizational Vision

Academic journal article Public Personnel Management

The Missing Link of Value Congruence and Its Consequences: The Mediating Role of Employees' Acceptance of Organizational Vision

Article excerpt


Promoting employees' understanding of and commitment to a new organizational vision or goals is the most important task for many top leaders in public organizations. Accordingly, leaders try to communicate the new vision or goals to their subordinates to gain their buy-in (Kotter, 1996). Still, leaders often find that their subordinates do not even know the new vision or goals, despite consistent administrative efforts to make them understand and accept the new vision or goals. Thus, a crucial question for leaders in public organizations is how they can make their subordinates understand and support a new vision or goals.

Organizational behavior scholars have consistently reported that when employees hold similar values to the values of their employing organization, the employees experience beneficial outcomes, such as higher job satisfaction and organizational commitment and higher intent to stay in the organization (Edwards & Cable, 2009; Kristof-Brown, Zimmerman, & Johnson, 2005; Ostroff, Shin, & Kinicki, 2005). As Edwards and Cable (2009) noted, however, there has been rare research on how value congruence is connected to the beneficial outcomes. Furthermore, to my knowledge, there has been no study exploring the mediation effect of employees' acceptance of an organizational vision between value congruence and outcomes such as job satisfaction and affective commitment.

The primary purpose of this present study was to explore the mediation effect of employees' vision acceptance on the relationship between value congruence and related beneficial outcomes. Polynomial regression and response surface analysis were used to address the research questions as Edwards and his colleagues demonstrated that using polynomial regression to generate three-dimensional response surfaces to examine congruence effects on outcome variables provides more reliable results than any other analytic method (Edwards, 1994; Edwards & Parry, 1993).

This study has the potential to contribute to theoretical connections between value congruence effects and outcomes such as high job satisfaction and affective commitment. Although most team leaders know that their organizational vision is important, they spend little time encouraging their followers to learn and accept the vision because they believe that most subordinates already know and support it. However, one important role of leaders is motivating their followers to achieve the organizational vision by inspiring them to agree with and accept the vision instead of just acknowledging it (Kaplan, 2011). This research helps answer the practical question of why leaders in public organizations should do their best to communicate new organizational visions to followers to promote vision acceptance.

Theoretical Background

Value Congruence

Values are generally defined as "an enduring belief that a specific mode of conduct or end-state of existence is personally or socially preferable to an opposite or converse mode of conduct or end-state of existence" (Rokeach, 1973, p. 5). Values are considered global beliefs about desirable end-states that influence individuals' attitudes or behaviors (Connor & Becker, 1975). Furthermore, they have normative perspectives because social norms or expectations affect individuals' value sets (Vardi & Wiener, 1996).

Person-organization fit is defined as the "congruence between the norms and values of organizations and the values of persons" (Chatman, 1989, p. 339). In this definition, person-organization fit is conceptually operationalized in terms of value congruence. However, value congruence is one type of person-organization fit, typically conceptualized in terms of value, goal, climate, and cultural congruence (Kristof, 1996; Kristof-Brown et al., 2005). In this research, value congruence refers to the perceived similarity between values held by individuals and those of organizations (Chatman, 1989; Edwards & Cable, 2009). …

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