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Assessing the Role of Goal Importance Congruence in Hybrid Organizations

Fri, July 13, 2:00 to 3:30pm, Room, 11A 33


Background and Objectives

Person-environment fit defined as the “congruence, match, or similarity between a person and the environment” (Edwards, 2008) has been widely discussed in research as an important antecedent of job performance in a for-profit setting (Colbert et al., 2008). In such studies person-environment fit is operationalized via goal importance congruence – i.e. the similarity of perceptions about the importance of specific organizational goals between employees and their supervisor, or team members respectively. This relationship presumably differs in contested hybrid organizations since these strive for the accomplishment of multiple, sometimes even conflicting goals (Molnar & Rogers, 1976,). Moreover, in such organizations employees might identify differently with the various goals, and vary in terms of their evaluation concerning goal appropriateness, which potentially influences their engagement and job performance. Because the interplay of goal importance congruence, identification, appropriateness and job performance has so far not been assessed in the context of hybrid organizations, our paper seeks to answer the following research questions:
In how far does identification with (1) and a perception of appropriateness of (2) organizational goals impact the relationship between goal importance congruence and job performance in contested hybrid organizations?


By examining the concept of fit in hybrid organizations we answer calls for research on significant antecedents of job performance in contested hybrid organizations (Battilana et al., 2015,). These findings will be interesting for both scholars and practitioners working with nonprofits in market environments, too. Regarding fit theory, we introduce organizational identification and goal appropriateness as important moderators influencing the impact of goal importance congruence on performance. Moreover, we enrich identity theory, and the institutional logics approach by elaborating on the connection between logics, identification and goals.


We chose a single case study as research design. We selected a nonprofit social service organization as an extreme case for hybrid organizations for it combines two seemingly incompatible organizational goals: social change as social objective, and economic goals as means to accomplish their social mission (Mair, Battilana, & Cardenas, 2012). To identify the main organizational objectives of our research object, we collected archival data and conducted explorative expert interviews with CEOs. At the moment, we are conducting a paper-pencil survey to capture leaders’ and employees’ perceptions of goal importance, identification, goal appropriateness, and job performance. For data analysis, a structural equation modeling technique will be used.