Value Congruence in Perception and Support of Organizational Visions
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Leadership scholars assume that the values espoused in an organizational vision have motivational effects on employee actions, but this claim has rarely been subject to empirical testing. Two studies examined whether organization members' support for organizational visions vary with the degree of congruence between members' personal values and the value-relevant impacts emphasized in a vision. Student participants learned of a visionary educational approach for universities, intended to impact either students' autonomy or their relatedness with other students. In Study 1, students who valued self-direction expressed most willingness to support the vision when autonomy-related outcomes were emphasized. Study 2 examined an apparent backfire effect in the first study, in which participants who value social belongingness expressed less willingness to support the vision when outcomes pertaining to relatedness were emphasized. This backfire effect, mediated through dis-identification with the vision, was found to be reversible when presentation cues that conflict with the stated values were removed.