Values are something everyone posses. However, the level of these values range greatly from person to person and even person to company. Thus, the idea of value congruence comes into play for any or person or organization. Value congruence is “how similar a person’s value hierarchy is to the value hierarchy of the organization, a co-worker, or another source of comparison” altogether (McShane & Glinow, 2010, p. 49). To take it one step farther, there is a theory on value congruence. This “value congruence theory implies that actual beliefs and the resultant interactions will dominate attitudes about the interaction environment” (Ravlin & Ritchie, 2006, p. 175). With this in mind, how is value congruence relevant with the respect to organizational versus professional values?
Organizational values are the values of a company. This is generally set-up by the owner, board, or even management of a company. The company values can determine how to deal with certain situations when they arise. Organizational values can also set the standard for how employees are expected to act in the workplace. In essence, an organization has a form of expectations for how employees are to act professionally. These professional values are values that a person has while in the workplace. These professional values of a person can relate closely or not at all with organization values. Let’s say an organization is a stickler on being on time. If an employee’s professional values are not worried about showing up on time, then they might not show-up on time, thus creating friction with the organization they work for. On the other side, if an organization has more lack in standards on being on time, a timely person may be upset with the way the rest of the employees of that organization act. This too would create friction between the organization and the employee.
According to R.D. Duffy, ‘what a person wants out of work in general and also what components of a job are important to his or her work satisfaction’ makes up work values or professional values in the work place (Effect of Work, 2012, p. 98). Overall, professional values or “work orientations are more general and abstract than work goals or satisfaction, and they reflect an employee’s general preferences toward not only their current job but also potential future jobs” (Effect of Work, 2012, p. 98). In essence, what makes up a person’s professional values can lead to either satisfaction in the work place or dissatisfaction depending on the value congruence between those very professional values compared to the companies organizational values.
Looking back to the value congruence theory, “if actual value congruence is high, attitudes should be positive regardless of perceived fit, based on experienced interactions that demonstrate common cognitive structures, enhanced communication, agreement about value-relevant goals, value fulfillment, and clear role expectations” (Ravlin & Ritchie, 2006, p. 175). In general, value congruence shows how a person’s professional values either fit nicely or work poorly with a company’s organizational values. The idea of value congruence in the business world is to have management focus on hiring employees that have a similar set of values to that of the organization. By doing this, the company and the person can move forward as one unit. This creates an atmosphere where an employee can grow and flourish in an environment where the business reaps the rewards.
Effect of work values on work outcomes: investigating differences between job categories. (2012). International Journal of Business Administration. p.98. Retrieved on May 14, 2012 from http://galenet.galegroup.com.proxy.davenport.edu/servlet/BCRC?vrsn=unknown&ai2=KE&locID=lom_davenportc&srchtp=adv&c=1&ab1=AND&ste=31&tbst=tsVS&ab2=AND&tab=2&ai3=KE&ai1=KE&RNN=A285349787&aca=nwmg&docNum=A285349787&bConts=2 McShane, S.L. & Glinow, M.V. (2010). Organizational Behavior: emerging knowledge and practice for the real world (5th Ed.). McGraw-Hill/Irwin, New York. Ravlin, E.C. & Ritchie, C.M. (2006). Perceived and actual organizational fit: multiple influences on attitudes. Journal of Managerial Issues. p.175. Retrieved on May 14, 2012 from http://go.galegroup.com.proxy.davenport.edu/ps/i.do?action=interpret&id=GALE%7CA147748399&v=2.1&u=lom_davenportc&it=r&p=GRGM&sw=w&authCount=1
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