Understanding value congruence : a sport organization case study
Applied Health Sciences Program
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With the recent growth in cultural complexity, many organizations are faced with increasingly diverse employee pools. Gaining a greater understanding of the values that employees possess is the first step in effectively satisfying their needs and achieving a more productive workforce (lung & Avolio, 2000). Values playa significant role in influencing individual behaviours. It is therefore necessary to assess the qualities of employee value systems and directly link them to the values of the organization. The importance of values and value congruence has been emphasized by many organizational behaviour researchers (cf. Adkins & Caldwell, 2004; Erdogan, Kraimer, & Liden, 2004; Jung & Avolio, 2000; Rokeach, 1973); however the emphasis on value studies remains fairly stagnant within the sport industry (Amis, Slack, & Hinings, 2002). In order to examine the realities that were constructed by the participants in this study a holistic view of the impact of values within a specific sport organization were provided. The purpose of this case study was to examine organizational and employee values to understand the effects of values and value congruence on employee behaviours within the context of a large Canadian sport organization. A mUltiple methods case study approach was adopted in order to fully serve the purpose and provide a comprehensive view of the organization being examined. Document analysis, observations, surveys, as well as semi-structured interviews were conducted. The process allowed for triangulation and confirmability of the findings. Each method functioned to create an overarching understanding of the values and value congruence within this organization. The analysis of the findings was divided into qualitative and quantitative sections. The qualitative documents were analyzed twice, once manually by the researcher and once via AtIas.ti Version 4 (1998). The a priori and emergent coding that took place was based on triangulating the findings and uncovering common themes throughout the data. The Rokeach Value Survey (1973) that was incorporated into the survey design of the study was analyzed using descriptive statistics, as well as Mann-Whitney U, and Kruskal Wallis formulas. These were deemed appropriate for analysis given the non-parametric nature of the survey instrument (Kinnear & Gray, 2004). The quantitative survey served to help define the values and value congruence that was then holistically examined through the qualitative interviews, document analyses, and observations. The results of the study indicated incongruent value levels between employees and those stated or perceived as the organization's values. Each finding demonstrated that varying levels of congruence may have diverse affects on individual behaviours. These behaviours range from production levels to interactions with fellow employees to turnover. In addition to the findings pertaining to the research questions, a number of other key issues were uncovered regarding departmentalization, communication, and board relations. Each has contributed to a greater understanding of the organization and has created direction for further research within this area of study.