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A Cross-Cultural Examination of Person-Organization Fit: Is P-O Fit Congruent with or Contingent on Societal Values?

Abstract

Many single-country studies have examined compatibility between the individual values of the employee and organizational cultural values, typically referred to as person-organization (P-O) fit. However, little progress has been made in understanding whether P-O fit relationships generalize across countries and, if so, whether and how societal values impact this relationship. Because of this void, it is important to extend the P-O fit literature cross-culturally to explain not only how individual values relate to organizational values but also how societal values influence P-O fit relationships. Our study of 1,307 business professionals across six diverse countries focused on individualism/collectivism values at societal, organizational, and individual levels. We found that individual values are consistently congruent with organizational cultural values in individualistic societies, but found mixed results for P-O values fit in collectivistic societies. Our results provide more support for the contingency perspective (rather than the nested theory of culture) on how societal values influence P-O values fit relationships. Implications for the cross-cultural generalizability of extant P-O fit theory as well as for organizations are discussed.

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Fig. 1

Notes

  1. Note that Kristof’s (1996; Kristof-Brown et al. 2005) labels for subjective fit and perceived fit are reversed by Hoffman et al. (2011) and Verquer et al. (2003).

  2. Country means adjusted for demographic and organizational covariates.

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We gratefully acknowledge the helpful comments of Lakshman Chandrashekhar and Ratan Dheer.

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Treviño, L.J., Egri, C.P., Ralston, D.A. et al. A Cross-Cultural Examination of Person-Organization Fit: Is P-O Fit Congruent with or Contingent on Societal Values?. Manag Int Rev 60, 287–314 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11575-020-00411-0

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Keywords

  • Person-organization fit
  • Societal values
  • Multi-country
  • Cross-cultural
  • Contingency
  • Congruence
  • China
  • Mexico
  • Netherlands
  • Russia
  • Spain
  • USA