Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 149, Issue 4, pp 987–1003 | Cite as

Does it Take More Than Ideals? How Counter-Ideal Value Congruence Shapes Employees’ Trust in the Organization

  • Sebastian C. SchuhEmail author
  • Niels Van Quaquebeke
  • Natalija Keck
  • Anja S. Göritz
  • David De Cremer
  • Katherine R. Xin


Research on value congruence rests on the assumption that values denote desirable behaviors and ideals that employees and organizations strive to approach. In the present study, we develop and test the argument that a more complete understanding of value congruence can be achieved by considering a second type of congruence based on employees’ and organizations’ counter-ideal values (i.e., what both seek to avoid). We examined this proposition in a time-lagged study of 672 employees from various occupational and organizational backgrounds. We used difference scores as well as polynomial regression and response surface analyses to test our hypotheses. Consistent with our hypotheses, results reveal that counter-ideal value congruence has unique relations to employees’ trust in the organization that go beyond the effects of ideal value congruence. We discuss theoretical and practical implications of this expanded perspective on value congruence.


Counter-ideal values Ideal values Person-environment fit P-E fit Value congruence 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sebastian C. Schuh
    • 1
    Email author
  • Niels Van Quaquebeke
    • 2
  • Natalija Keck
    • 2
    • 3
  • Anja S. Göritz
    • 4
  • David De Cremer
    • 5
  • Katherine R. Xin
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Organizational Behavior and Human Resource ManagementChina Europe International Business SchoolShanghaiChina
  2. 2.Department of Management and EconomicsKühne Logistics UniversityHamburgGermany
  3. 3.Department of Organisation and Personnel ManagementRotterdam School of ManagementRotterdamNetherlands
  4. 4.Department of PsychologyUniversity of FreiburgFreiburgGermany
  5. 5.Cambridge Judge Business SchoolUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK

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