Skip to main content

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

Abstract

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.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3

References

  • Armitage, C. J., & Conner, M. (2000). Attitudinal ambivalence: A test of three key hypotheses. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 26(11), 1421–1432.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Atkins, A. (2014). Building workplace trust 2014/15. Retrieved May 15, 2015 from http://interactionassociates.com/insights/webinars/

  • Beck, J. W., & Schmidt, A. M. (2013). State-level goal orientations as mediators of the relationship between time pressure and performance. Journal of Applied Psychology, 98(2), 834–848.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Brown, M. E., & Treviño, L. K. (2009). Leader-follower values congruence: Are socialized charismatic leaders better able to achieve it? Journal of Applied Psychology, 94(2), 478–490.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Cable, D. M., & Edwards, J. R. (2004). Complementary and supplementary fit: A theoretical and empirical integration. Journal of Applied Psychology, 89(5), 822–834.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Cacioppo, J. T., Gardner, W. L., & Berntson, G. G. (1997). Beyond bipolar conceptualizations and measures. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 1(1), 3–25.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Carver, C. S., & Scheier, M. F. (1998). On the self-regulation of behavior. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Cascio, W. F. (2012). Managing human resources: Productivity, quality of work life, profits (9th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

    Google Scholar 

  • Colquitt, J. A., Scott, B. A., Rodell, J. B., Long, D. M., Zapata, C. P., Conlon, D. E., & Wesson, M. J. (2013). Justice at the millennium, a decade later: A meta-analytic test of social exchange and affect-based perspectives. Journal of Applied Psychology, 98(2), 199–236.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Conner, M., & Armitage, C. J. (2008). Attitudinal ambivalence. In W. D. Crano & R. Prislin (Eds.), Attitudes and Attitude Change (pp. 261–288). New York: Psychology Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Dirks, K. T., & Ferrin, D. L. (2001). The role of trust in organizational settings. Organization Science, 12(4), 450–467.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Dormandy, E., Hankins, M., & Marteau, T. M. (2006). Attitudes and uptake of a screening test: The moderating role of ambivalence. Psychology & Health, 21(4), 499–511.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Edwards, J. R. (2008). Person–environment fit in organizations: An assessment of theoretical progress. Academy of Management Annals, 2(1), 167–230.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Edwards, J. R., & Cable, D. M. (2009). The value of value congruence. Journal of Applied Psychology, 94(3), 654–677.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Edwards, J. R., & Parry, M. E. (1993). On the use of polynomial regression equations as an alternative to difference scores. Academy of Management Journal, 36(6), 1577–1613.

    Google Scholar 

  • Elliot, A. J., & Church, M. A. (1997). A hierarchical model of approach and avoidance achievement motivation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 72(1), 218–232.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • French, J. R., Caplan, R. D., & Harrison, R. V. (1982). The mechanisms of job stress and strain. London, UK: Wiley.

    Google Scholar 

  • Google Inc. (2015). Ten things we now to be true. Retrieved 8 May, 2015 from http://www.google.com/about/company/philosophy/

  • Graf, M. M., Van Quaquebeke, N., & Van Dick, R. (2011). Two independent value orientations: Ideal and counter-ideal leader values and their impact on followers’ respect for and identification with their leaders. Journal of Business Ethics, 104(2), 185–195.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Gray, J. A. (1994). Three fundamental emotion systems. In P. Ekman & R. J. Davidson (Eds.), The nature of emotion (pp. 243–247). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Higgins, E. T. (1997). Beyond pleasure and pain. American Psychologist, 52(12), 1280–1300.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Higgins, E. T. (1998). Promotion and prevention: Regulatory focus as a motivational principle. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 30(1), 1–46.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hitch, C. (2012). How to build trust in organizations—University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved 8 May, 2015 from www.kenan-flagler.unc.edu/executive-development

  • Hosmer, L. (1995). Trust: The connecting link between organizational theory and philosophical ethics. Academy of Management Review, 20(3), 379–403.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Jehn, K. A., Northcraft, G. B., & Neale, M. A. (1999). Why differences make a difference: A field study of diversity, conflict, and performance. Administrative Science Quarterly, 44(4), 741–768.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Judge, T. A. (2008). The future of person-organization fit research: Problems, opportunities, and a few suggestions. In Proceedings of the 2nd Global e-Conference on Fit, pp 1–11.

  • Judge, T. A., Ilies, R., & Scott, B. A. (2006). Work-family conflict and emotions: Effects at work and at home. Personnel Psychology, 59(4), 779–814.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kreiner, G. E., & Ashforth, B. E. (2004). Evidence toward an expanded model of organizational identification. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 25(1), 1–27.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kristof, A. L. (1996). Person-organization fit: An integrative review of its conceptualizations, measurement, and implications. Personnel Psychology, 49(1), 1–49.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kristof-Brown, A. L., & Stevens, C. K. (2001). Goal congruence in project teams: Does the fit between members’ personal mastery and performance goals matter? Journal of Applied Psychology, 86(6), 1083–1095.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kristof-Brown, A. L., Zimmerman, R. D., & Johnson, E. C. (2005). Individuals’ fit at work: A meta-analysis of person-job, person-organization, person-group, and person-supervisor fit. Personnel Psychology, 58(2), 281–342.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lanaj, K., Chang, C. H., & Johnson, R. E. (2012). Regulatory focus and work-related outcomes: a review and meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 138(5), 998–1034.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lauver, K. J., & Kristof-Brown, A. (2001). Distinguishing between employees’ perceptions of person-job and person-organization fit. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 59(3), 454–470.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lavine, H. (2001). The electoral consequences of ambivalence toward presidential candidates. American Journal of Political Science, 45(4), 915–929.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Leung, A., & Chaturvedi, S. (2011). Linking the fits, fitting the links: Connecting different types of PO fit to attitudinal outcomes. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 79(2), 391–402.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lewin, K. (1951). Field theory in social science. New York, NY: Harper & Row.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lockwood, P., Jordan, C. H., & Kunda, Z. (2002). Motivation by positive or negative role models: Regulatory focus determines who will best inspire us. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 83(4), 854–864.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Maio, G. R., & Haddock, G. (2009). The psychology of attitudes and attitude change. Los Angeles: Sage.

    Google Scholar 

  • Malbasic, I., Rey, C., & Potocan, V. (2014). Balanced organizational values: From theory to practice. Journal of Business Ethics, 130(2), 437–446.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Mayer, R. C., Davis, J. H., & Schoorman, F. D. (1995). An integrative model of organizational trust. Academy of Management Review, 20(3), 709–734.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Meyer, J. P., Hecht, T. D., Gill, H., & Toplonytsky, L. (2010). Person-organization (culture) fit and employee commitment: A longitudinal study. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 76(3), 458–473.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Neubert, M. J., Kacmar, K. M., Carlson, D. S., Chonko, L. B., & Roberts, J. A. (2008). Regulatory focus as a mediator of the influence of initiating structure and servant leadership on employee behavior. Journal of Applied Psychology, 93(6), 1220–1233.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • O’Reilly, C. A., Chatman, J., & Caldwell, D. F. (1991). A profile comparison approach to assessing person-organization fit. Academy of Management Journal, 34(3), 487–516.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ostroff, C., Shin, Y., & Kinicki, A. J. (2005). Multiple perspectives of congruence. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 26(6), 591–623.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Podsakoff, P. M., Mackenzie, S. B., & Podsakoff, N. P. (2012). Sources of method bias in social science research and recommendations on how to control it. Annual Review of Psychology, 1, 539–569.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Resick, C. J., Hargis, M. B., Shao, P., & Dust, S. B. (2013). Ethical leadership, moral equity judgments, and discretionary workplace behavior. Human Relations, 66(7), 951–972.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Robbins, S. P., & Judge, T. A. (2012). Organizational Behavior. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall.

    Google Scholar 

  • Robinson, S. L. (1996). Trust and breach of the psychological contract. Administrative Science Quarterly, 41(4), 574.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Rokeach, M. (1973). The Nature of Human Values. New York, NY: Free Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rousseau, D. M., Sitkin, S. B., Burt, R. S., & Camerer, C. (1998). Not so different after all: A cross discipline view of trust. Academy of Management Review, 23(3), 393–404.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Salamon, S. D., & Robinson, S. L. (2008). Trust that binds: the impact of collective felt trust on organizational performance. Journal of Applied Psychology, 93(3), 593–601.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Schein, E. H. (2010). Organizational culture and leadership. San Francisco: John Wiley and Sons.

    Google Scholar 

  • Schwartz, S. H. (1992). Universals in the content and structure of values. In M. P. Zanna (Ed.), Advances in Experimental Social Psychology (25th ed., pp. 1–65). New York, NY: Academic Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sekiguchi, T., & Huber, V. L. (2011). The use of person–organization fit and person–job fit information in making selection decisions. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 116(2), 203–216.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Shao, P., Resick, C. J., & Hargis, M. B. (2011). Helping and harming others in the workplace: The roles of personal values and abusive supervision. Human Relations, 64(8), 1051–1078.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Sitkin, S. B., & Roth, N. L. (1993). Explaining the limited effectiveness of legalistic “remedies” for trust/distrust. Organization Science, 4(3), 367–392.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Starnes, B., Truhon, S., and McCarthy, V. (2010). A primer on trust—administrative science quarterly. Retrieved 8 May, 2015 from http://www.asq.org/hdl/2010/06/a-primer-on-organizational-trust.html?shl=100778

  • Van Dick, R. and Rinnert, J. (2011). Interview with Jan Rinnert. Retrieved 7 June, 2015 http://www.clbo-frankfurt.org/2011/08/25/jan-rinnert-im-gesprach-mit-rolf-van-dick

  • Van Quaquebeke, N., Graf, M. M., Kerschreiter, R., Schuh, S. C., & Dick, R. (2014). Ideal values and counter-ideal values as two distinct forces: Exploring a gap in organizational value research. International Journal of Management Reviews, 16(2), 211–225.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Van Quaquebeke, N., Kerschreiter, R., Buxton, A. E., & van Dick, R. (2010). Two lighthouses to navigate: Effects of ideal and counter-ideal values on follower identification and satisfaction with their leaders. Journal of Business Ethics, 93(2), 293–305.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Van Vianen, A. E. M., De Pater, I. E., Kristof-Brown, A. L., & Johnson, E. C. (2004). Fitting in: surface- and deep-level cultural differences and expatriates adjustment. Academy of Management Journal, 47, 697–709.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Verquer, M. L., Beehr, T. A., & Wagner, S. H. (2003). A meta-analysis of relations between person-organization fit and work attitudes. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 63(3), 473–489.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wallace, J. C., Johnson, P. D., & Frazier, M. L. (2009). An examination of the factorial, construct, and predictive validity and utility of the regulatory focus at work scale. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 30(6), 805–831.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Weber, L., & Mayer, K. J. (2011). Designing effective contracts: Exploring the influence of framing and expectations. Academy of Management Review, 36(1), 53–75.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Whole Foods Market Inc. (2015). Core values: We sell the highest quality natural and organic product available. Retrieved 8 May, 2015 from http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/missionvalues/core-values/selling-highest-quality-natural-andorganic-products-available.

  • Zhang, Z., Wang, M., & Shi, J. (2012). Leader-follower congruence in proactive personality and work outcomes: The mediating role of leader-member exchange. Academy of Management Journal, 55(1), 111–130.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Sebastian C. Schuh.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Schuh, S.C., Van Quaquebeke, N., Keck, N. et al. Does it Take More Than Ideals? How Counter-Ideal Value Congruence Shapes Employees’ Trust in the Organization. J Bus Ethics 149, 987–1003 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-016-3097-7

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-016-3097-7

Keywords

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