Unpacking the Goal Congruence–Organizational Deviance Relationship: The Roles of Work Engagement and Emotional Intelligence

Abstract

Drawing from research on person–organization fit, work engagement, and emotional intelligence, this study investigates the mediating role of work engagement in the link between goal congruence and organizational deviance, as well as how this mediating effect might be moderated by emotional intelligence. Data captured from 272 employees of four IT companies show that the goal congruence between employees and their supervisor negatively affects the former’s organizational deviance, though this effect disappears when controlling for the intermediate role of work engagement. Further, emotional intelligence moderates both the positive relationship between goal congruence and work engagement and the negative relationship between work engagement and organizational deviance, such that these relationships become invigorated at higher levels of emotional intelligence. The findings also reveal that the indirect effect of goal congruence on organizational deviance through work engagement is more pronounced at higher levels of emotional intelligence, which offers evidence of moderated mediation. These findings have significant implications for research and practice.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Ideally, we would have preferred to collect data at three different points in time, but after consultation with the top management of the participating organizations, it was decided that exposing employees to “yet another round of questions” could create an inauspicious atmosphere of performance testing. Therefore, the measurement of the study’s focal variables at two points offered the best compromise option.

  2. 2.

    The items were as follows: “To what extent are you aware of your own values and beliefs?”; “How likely are your friends to say that you know yourself well?”; and “To what extent do you understand how your characteristics and your experiences have led to you becoming the person you are today?”

  3. 3.

    To corroborate the regression results, we undertook a post hoc path analysis. We followed Ping’s (1996) method for testing multiple interactions with such analysis, which combines the items of each construct into a single indicator (Bollen 1989) and calculates the interaction terms as the product of these indicators. The overall fit of the hypothesized framework was acceptable (χ 2/df = 2.58; GFI = .91; IFI = .94; CFI = .95; RMSEA = .06) and the significance and signs of the paths were consistent with the regression results reported in Table 3.

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De Clercq, D., Bouckenooghe, D., Raja, U. et al. Unpacking the Goal Congruence–Organizational Deviance Relationship: The Roles of Work Engagement and Emotional Intelligence. J Bus Ethics 124, 695–711 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-013-1902-0

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Keywords

  • Organizational deviance
  • Goal congruence
  • Work engagement
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Moderated mediation