Differences recorded in respect of the investigated characteristics.
The diagnosis of the congruence of personal and organizational values by forming managerial decisions for strengthening the values congruence was analyzed in this chapter. Analysis of empirical research on personal and organizational values congruence as well as a comparative analysis of instruments and its structures used in the analyzed researches was conducted. The questionnaire for employees, which integrates different methods of values congruence evaluation, an extensive list of personal and organizational values, was constructed. The interview questionnaire for executives in order to identify the practices in organization related to values was constructed. Both questionnaires were combined into one instrument for the complex diagnosis of personal and organizational values congruence. In order to consistently enhance personal and organizational values congruence, the complex model for strengthening the congruence of personal and organizational values, including presentation of its application principles and logic, was constructed and empirically validated. A quantitative and qualitative study of personal and organizational values congruence in 15 different types of organizations in Lithuania and abroad had revealed the latent causes of the gap between personal and organizational values. Managerial solutions for strengthening the congruence of personal and organizational values based on the results of research were formed.
- personal and organizational values congruence
- personal values
- value congruence model
- organizational values
- instrument for values congruence
- managerial solutions
In recent decades, search for effectiveness of organizational performance directed the researchers and practitioners toward the concept of personal and organizational values congruence [7, 9, 51]. The aim for value congruence in the context of organization management was perceived as a complicated practical problem. Therefore, values congruence is gaining an increasing importance in organizations aiming not only to attract and keep employees but also to ensure a targeted and desired behavior of the members of the organization, positive attitude of employees toward work and the organizational climate. After defining and understanding the values congruence as a positive phenomenon in the organization, which means that an employee not only supports the organizational values but also protects them, fosters and adheres to them, it has become a significant field of theoretical and empirical research [18, 24, 49]. Numerous studies demonstrate a positive impact of the values congruence on the individual and the organization, but there is insufficient emphasis on the importance of research into this phenomenon itself. In practice of organizations, the significance of this phenomenon is also not fully understood. Most organizations claim having organizational values, but a risk arises here frequently: organization has a list of values, perhaps they are well known to employees, but are they really respected in the organization? Do all employees have “obligatory” and the same organizational values? Can values be “obligatory” on the whole? What kind of value-based behavior do the organization’s executives show? There is also a question of whose values do the employees actually follow in practice: their personal, declared in the organization or prevailing in the organization?
There is a lack of discussions in scientific researches about assumptions and meaning of phenomenon of values congruence and insufficient focus on measures that would be useful and applicable in practice of organizations, in order to properly diagnose the congruence of values and to reduce or eliminate the gap between personal and organizational values. An axis of values congruence should be values assessment determining how individuals understand their personal and organizational values; how sustainable are their personal values with organizational values and/or what are the thoughts of employees of how strong do they have to undermine their personal values to meet the organization’s expectations ; what measures shall be used in order to ensure the congruence of values in the organization. According to Bao , in order to avoid confusion, instead of the debate on the concept of values congruence in general, researchers should pay more attention to present the investigated phenomenon, clearly indicate and substantiate the reasons of choosing the instruments and methods to investigate the values congruence.
The relevance of research is implied by the fact that properly constructed and empirically based complex diagnostic instrument for personal and organizational values congruence, including presentation of its application principles and logic, would be useful not only for further research but also in practice of organizations.
2. Research methodology
To reach the raised aim of the research, various theoretical and empirical research methods were applied.
For the empirical study, mixed methods approach was used with a consistent combination of qualitative and quantitative research methods supporting the results with different data sources and formats. Personality psychologists affirm that analyzing values only based on quantitative methods is extremely difficult because it is possible to measure only the individual reactions to them and to identify trends [26, 35]. The addition of qualitative methods can reveal not only the visible and rationally perceived aspects of different reactions and assessments but also deeper underlying approaches that influence the reasons of occurring trends. Approach of mixed research methods allows to elaborate and expand the results of the investigation and to reveal latent causes arising from different experiences and practices of organizations.
To determine the validity and content suitability of the constructed instrument, which consists of an interview questionnaire for executives and survey for organization’s employees, the expert evaluation method was selected. Experts evaluated the completeness of the questionnaire, the relationship between the statements and objectives, questionnaire‘s structural parts matching to construct‘s definition and purposes of data collection, significance and clarity of the statements. Due to transdisciplinary of the phenomenon and the aim to adapt the instrument for multicultural researches, both quantitative and qualitative research instruments were validated by Lithuanian and foreign experts from different areas who investigated the values of employees in organizations and published scientific researches on the topic of personal and organizational values congruence. Expert groups of questionnaire for employees consisted of seven foreign and eight Lithuanian experts having scientific and practical experience related to human resources management: recruitment, talent management, staff motivation. Expert panel of questionnaire for executives consisted of six experts. Each expert was provided with a standardized evaluation form. The experts were asked not only to evaluate the statements in points but also to provide comments, observations, and suggestions about every questionable statement, scale or subscale, and about the whole questionnaire in respect of quality.
To analyze the expert survey data, a qualitative content analysis method was used. Results of the analysis are based on the content of analyzed text only in the context of research.
To determine the perceived personal and organizational values congruence, personal values of employees, prevailing values of the organization, the organizational climate, employees’ attitude to work, and the results of organizational performance surveys were carried out in 15 organizations. On the basis of research results, applicability of the constructed complex model of personal and organizational values congruence was empirically verified.
The stratified sampling strategy was used to collect sample. It means that the population is divided into strata, and the sample is chosen from each of the stratum. The data were collected according to the planned number of answers in each group that the population would be heterogeneous among strata and homogenous inside the stratum. The sample was chosen according to the profile of organization (public and private), the size of organization (minor and average), and the field of activity (production, marketing, and service). The chosen sample is proportional (the number of elements selected from each stratum is proportional to the number of elements in each stratum). Such sample is representative; the parameters of population are more accurate; and it is possible to carry out few analyses at the same time: analysis of population and analysis of separated strata. In order to apply the instrument in the multicultural context, organizations were separated into multicultural and non-multicultural.
A semi-structured interview method was used to analyze the practices of value congruence management. The research informants were the executives, who can, directly and thoroughly, tell about values management practices in organization. The executives were from eight organizations where the researches about personal and organizational values congruence were conducted. The data obtained through interviews is very significant and exhaustive. They were analyzed based on the results of the employees’ questionnaire.
A qualitative diagnostic method—phenomenographic—was used to analyze data from individual interviews with the executives of organizations. The purpose was to identify: how the research phenomenon is perceived from the perspective and experiences of executives of organizations; what kind of meaningful and relevant differences exist among different opinions about the phenomenon of values congruence in the organization. The executives revealed and, in detail, stated their provisions and presented the reflections and interpretations of distinctive situations.
3. Review and conceptualization of congruence of personal and organizational values phenomenon
Comparative analysis and synthesis of personal and organizational values congruence assumptions, conceptions, and content allowed to specify the conceptual meaning of the phenomenon. Organizational values are more often applied in practice as a management mechanism in order to stimulate and ensure harmonious behavior of members within the organization. Congruence of personal and organizational values occurs when personal values of employees align with values of organization, which are supported by the top management and are acceptable by majority of members in the organization who support, cherish, and follow the values in day-to-day activities. The harmonization of members’ values in the organization ensures the desired and purposeful members’ behavior, determines positive employee’s attitude toward work and organizational climate, as well as destines the success of the organization in the present and future.
Scientific expertise examining the topics of values congruence at global level is high. The latest approaches to the values of organization were presented by Lencioni , Jaakson , Bourne and Jenkins . The authors have agreed that the values of the organization are perceived in different sections and analyzed the forms, importance, and dynamics of the values occurring in the organization.
Values congruence is mostly being investigated in the view of how this phenomenon affects the person and the organization. Empirical studies, carried out since 1999, have proved that the personal and organizational values congruence is positively related to job satisfaction [2, 8, 10, 13, 16, 19, 22, 27, 28, 30, 37, 38, 44–46, 48, 51], organizational commitment [1, 8, 10, 15, 16, 19, 28, 30, 37, 38, 45, 46, 51], identification with the organization [5, 13], civic behavior , motivation [28, 38], initiative , decision-making delegation , contextual activities, when an employee works more than it is found in his job description [27, 50], etc.), and it also affects the performance of employees [16, 19, 28, 46]. What is more, value congruence reduces staff turnover [4, 5, 8, 13, 27, 37, 51], unethical behavior , employees’ work control , anxiety and stress in the workplace , the allocation of employees’ time to activities that are not related to work . Scientists initiate discussions by constantly searching for new relations of values congruence in the context of employees and organization, confirming the benefit of this phenomenon both for the employee and the organization.
Researchers offer a variety of quantitative instruments for investigation of personal and organizational values congruence, but the choice of it is often not reasonable and fully clarified. Original instruments were constructed by Super , Wollack et al. , Rokeach , Quinn and Rohrbaugh , Posner et al. , Elizur , Cooke and Lafferty , O‘Reilly et al. , Liedtka , McDonald and Gdanz [32, 33], Cable and Judge , Meglino and Ravlin , Kalliath et al. , Cable and DeRue , Cable and Edwards , De Clercq et al. . Even the most recent researches of personal and organizational values congruence applied old instruments whose application frequency is based on its reliability and validity. Although the same phenomenon is being analyzed and the center of attention are values, but the instruments differ in structure of content. Also, the importance of different values groups and assessment methods of values congruence are emphasized. In most of the instruments, employees’ values are usually associated only with work in the context of organizational culture. Also, the list of values is not detailed enough to set the importance and congruency of specific personal and organizational values. Application of various instruments and evaluation methods implies the assumption that the values congruence is a quite complex phenomenon to diagnose .
Values congruence in works of investigators is being assessed in different types. Typology of values congruence assessment was investigated by Judge and Cable , Ostroff et al. , Kristof-Brown et al. , Edwards and Cable , Leung and Chaturvedi , Bao . There is no united opinion, which type of evaluation is the most appropriate to assess values congruence. Some researchers argue that the most important thing is the fact how an individual perceives and evaluates his personal and organizational values and congruency, others claim that it is necessary to evaluate subjectively or objectively. Cable and DeRue , who analyzed values congruence from the perspective of employee, argue that it is useful to examine the relationship between subjective congruence, perceived congruence, and its impact on the person and the organization.
Theoretical and empirically based models that were constructed to reflect the values congruence were offered by Chatman , Meglino , Westerman and Cyr , Cable and Edwards , Verplanken , Edwards and Cable , Greguras and Diefendorff , Kallas et al. , Suar and Khuntia , Hoffman et al. , Seong and Kristof-Brown . In these models, the authors emphasize different elements that are usually associated with the context of the investigated phenomenon, therefore it is difficult to apply most of them in practice of organizations. In literature, there is a lack of complex insights about the phenomenon of personal and organizational values congruence. There is a need of models that could be practically applied in the organizations and that would highlight development process of the values congruence in the organization: assumptions, expression, and effect.
Analysis of the scientists’ work helps to understand the relevance of the values congruence and problems that arise in modern organizations and to purify the key factors that determine the congruence of personal and organizational values. However, scientific works dealing with problems of values congruence lack a comprehensive approach to strengthening the values congruence. In terms of qualitative approach, the phenomenon of values congruence is not widely investigated. Therefore, there is a lack of application of mixed research methods to investigate values congruence. Due to multitude of attitudes and different accesses to investigation of this phenomenon, one has to deal with problems, which are required for complex model of values congruence.
4. Dynamics of personal values and values in organization
By revealing approaches to the differences of values in organization, it can be stated that the treatment of values becomes relevant as being influenced by the individual interests of different researchers. This presupposes an assumption that there are different values in the same organization. Although the construct of value is widely analyzed in management literature, due to the lax conceptualization of the phenomenon, it tends to be more compromissory. Therefore, the progress of consistent research on values continues to be limited because of the lack of uniform theoretical justifications.
Values in the organization gain different forms, depending on how they evolve in activities of organizations and how they are treated by members of the organization. In the organization, there can be attributed, espoused, core aspirational, and shared forms of values, which are classified according to their meaning, expression, and subject. However, not only very close relationship between them but also significant differences can be revealed.
The forms of values in organization according to the meaning given to them can be positioned according to main criteria: time and subject, and additional criteria—conscious/unconscious and existent/non-existent. From the subject perspective, values can be separated into these groups: values which are formally espoused by the executives; values which are attributed to the organization by its members; fundamental values; values that are shared among members; and values which are aspired by members. These forms in the organization can be either congruent or incongruent, depending on how they are treated by executives and how they are approached by members of the organization. From the time perspective, values in organization reflect these values which were formed in the past; these values that are in common followed now; and these values which are aspired to be followed in the future. Different forms of values are not statistically determined as opposites. They are dynamic, and they occur on the interval from more developed to less developed values. In the organization, the values congruence means an overlap between forms of organizational values when members share values that are similar to those they attribute to the organization and which correspond to those that top managers espouse in formal documents and statements. Such overlap ensures the predictable and purposeful behavior of organization members, and it determines the success of the organization and positive attitude of employees toward work and organizational climate. Therefore, the comprehension of different forms and expressions of values would help executives understand, how to identify the reasons of the gap between employees‘ and organizational values and help to take up purposeful actions to ensure the congruence of values in organizations.
Personal and organizational values congruence could be directly (perceived) and indirectly (subjective and objective) assessed. Usually, one of these types is chosen for assessment. However, for complex assessment, it is recommended to integrate different types of measurement in one study and investigate values from different subjects in organization perspectives. Figure 1 shows the logically structured, different types of values assessment, possible ways of value expression in organization and approaches which help to investigate and measure values congruence.
Indirect perceived and direct subjective values congruence types of assessment were applied in this research. Indirect—when person individually assesses how congruent are his/her values to organizational values. Direct—when employees‘ personal values are compared to organizational values which are assigned by other members of organization.
This research will analyze the personal employees and the values prevailing in the organization that are perceived as collectively attributed by employees values. Shared values are perceived as subjective congruence of personal and organizational values.
5. Complex diagnostic instrument for personal and organizational values congruence
The content analysis of personal and organizational values phenomenon, other researchers recommendations for further research directions, a comparative analysis of empirical research on personal and organizational values congruence, as well as a comparative analysis of instruments and its structures used in the analyzed researches allowed to set the limits of the researched phenomenon and see development possibilities in further research. The disclosed limitations impede the practical use of present diagnostic instruments for personal and organizational values congruence. It was considered that there is a lack of comprehensive diagnostic instrument which would thoroughly analyze the congruence of personal and organizational values and help to establish recommendations for strengthening the values congruence in organization. A new
6. The quantitative research of personal and organizational values congruence
For quantitative diagnostics of values congruence,
The questionnaire consists of 116 statements (without socio-demographic characteristics), 4 scales, and 18 subscales. Rating scale of
The main research was carried out in 15 organizations: four of the surveyed organizations were providing public sector services, four—private sector production, four—private sector trade, and four—private sector services. In total, 374 employees from 15 investigated organizations were surveyed.
Methodological characteristics of quality of the questionnaire of congruence of personal and organizational values for employees were tested by empirical and statistical means. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis has confirmed the construct validity of the questionnaire. High indicators obtained in the cases of both factorings show that congruence of personal and organizational values is a solid characteristic. High factor loadings and explained dispersion show that the scales and subscales of the questionnaire in the analysis of components of the impact on the person and the organization are also reliable. The results of the secondary factor analysis reveal the fact that factor loadings of subscales of the questionnaire of personal and organizational values are high in almost all scales. Therefore, it reveals strong respondents affirmation for constructed scales. In both cases of secondary factoring methods, relatively high scores substantiate that constructed questionnaire of congruence of personal and organizational values is valid and reliable, as subscales are reliable, and the prepared questionnaire, forming integral dimensions, is suitable for the measurement of the entirety of intended characteristics. Systematic and statistically significant relation between many subscales of personal values, organizational values, and the effect on the person and the organization affirms that used questionnaires are of high quality through psychometric perspective. By the use of multivariate regression, the statistical relationships between personal values, organizational values, perceived values congruence, and impact for person and organization were tested. Correlational relationships confirmed that organizational values are a factor to ensure the strong positive impact on the person and the organization.
The perceived assessment of personal and organizational values congruence showed the tendencies of values congruence. The respondents agreed the most with the statement that
The perceived values congruence assessment results show that employees value their and organizational values congruence favorably, but not absolutely. However, perceived values congruence assessment do not show whether respondents understand and value, critically, both their personal and organizational values. Diverse evaluation of statements and frequent expression of neutral opinion might signal the lack of information about organizational values. The lack of information leads to insufficient understanding of these statements’ meaning.
Subjective personal and organizational values congruence assessment showed the congruence of particular employees‘ values and organizational values.
One-way ANOVA was used to set the differences through the perspective of types of organizations and through employees‘ sociodemographic characteristics (Table 1).
|Gender||Age||Education||Position||Speciality match||Length of service||Sector||Area of activities||Cultural background|
|Perceived values congruence||+||−||−||+||+||+||−||−||−|
|Impact on the person and the organization||+||−||−||−||−||−||−||−||−|
The tendency emerged that only few sociodemographic employees‘ characteristics and type of organization characteristics have influence on assessment of personal values, organizational values, and assessment of impact on person and organization. The most statistically significant differences were found in perceived values congruence assessment depending on employees‘ gender, work experience, and how much occupation and specialty match the work position they have.
The calculated statistical outliers
7. Qualitative research of personal and organizational values congruence
The second part of the instruments—
The qualitative research was done by interviewing the executives of the same organizations as in the quantitative study. The interviews have shown the interest in the phenomenon of congruence of values and benefits of the study, but most organizations have not given special attention to the purposeful formation of values in organization. Executives do not conduct employee surveys about their personal values and the values prevailing in the organization, so the situation of personal and organizational values congruence was not known. However, study shows that not in every organization, whose executive claimed that they have never purposely worked with values (meaning that they have never worked with value purification, implementation, maintenance, etc.), the congruence is weak. The executives of smaller (in respect of employees) organizations, compared to executives of larger organizations, stressed the employee welfare more. They care about employees‘ opinion of valuable aspects in organization. It is important for them to know personal employees’ values. They say, that opportunities to ensure the congruence of personal and organizational values is important to them.
The results also reveal the reasons causing the gap between the values: desultory, uncoordinated by executives activities of the organization, lack of unity, incoherent communication, insufficient involvement of employees, lack of competence of the executives on the issues of implementation and importance of values. Selection of inappropriate employees significantly contributes to the gap of values in the practice of organizations existing in the market for a longer period. Also, individual needs of the employees are not given prominence, and the attention is not focused on the improvement of systems of motivation to improve working conditions for employees. Moreover, the lack of proper activities for adaptation of new employees shows that the employees have to figure out by themselves, through their mistakes, what actions and behaviors are tolerated in the organization and what are not. In addition, executives of the organizations often have the values of the organization only in their mind, while they are neither communicated nor formalized in the way understandable to everyone. Values in organizations are formed naturally; therefore, it is neither communicated nor controlled and, deliberately, not supported.
8. Application of the complex model for strengthening the congruence of personal and organizational values
The analysis of values congruence models, presented in scientific literature, shows that there are two types of models . One type reflects the phenomenon of values congruence itself with its impact on employees and on activities of the organization. The other type depicts the typology of values congruence. The models give little attention to the issue of selection of the types and methods of evaluation of value congruence. Also, in the models, constructive proposals are not provided about which particular measures to apply for strengthening and maintaining the congruence of personal and organizational values. They do not actualize the monitoring of the process and the implementation of longitudinal studies.
Based on the detailed comparative analysis of existing models, a new complex model for strengthening the congruence of personal and organizational values was constructed by discerning the main values congruence phenomenon elements and contexts (Figure 3).
This model can be used for streamlining and implementing the organizational values, during staffing, and to determine the values of the employees already working in the organization. The model can be applied in practice of organizations by implementing the process of eight stages: (1) matching the needs; (2) matching the values; (3) measurement of congruence of personal and organizational values; (4) measurement of the impact on the employee and the performance results of the organization; (5) selection of measures for strengthening the congruence; (6) application of the selected measures; (7) evaluation of the impact of the measures; and (8) continuation of application of the measures or selecting new measures.
The empirical validity of the complex model of personal and organizational values congruence was approved on the basis of regression analysis. The factors significantly associated with assessment of personal and organizational values congruence were socio-demographic characteristics of employees, employees’ personal values, and organizational values. Employees‘ gender, age, and work position can be interpreted as perceived values congruence assumptions. Statistically reliable strong relationship was found between organizational values and perceived values congruence. Perceived values congruence evaluation is strongly affected by employees‘ not only personal, economic, and social values but also organizational economic, social, and spiritual values. Also, influence of values congruence and organizational values on employee attitudes toward work, the organizational climate, and organizational performance was approved. However, stronger impact on employees‘ attitude toward work, organizational performance, and organizational climate has more organizational values than personal.
9. Managerial solution for strengthening the congruence of personal and organizational values
The comparison of employees‘ questionnaire results and the identified value management practice in organizations revealed and explained possible reasons of values congruence and/or gap origin. Based on the study results, management solutions for organizations, which seek for stable value system and strengthening the congruence of personal and organizational values, were formulated (Figure 4).
Managerial solutions were combined into a coherent logical structural diagram of strengthening of values congruence with the applicable stages: (1) definition of the situation; (2) diagnosis of the situation; (3) preparation of the decision; (4) application of the measures; (5) evaluation of the results; (6) preservation. At each step, the specific solved objectives are anticipated and described. Emphasis is placed on monitoring and control of each stage to ensure the purposeful process and to timely notice inefficiently implemented stage.