Why is it that some leaders or managers are adept at “rallying the troops” while some seem to be ignored? The former may be a transformational leader. Transformational leaders are those that inspire their subordinates by instilling a sense of mission and purpose to attain long-term goals. These types of leaders have already been shown to positively influence work group effectiveness, but the question of “why” still remains.
THE ROLE OF SHARED VALUES
In an attempt to understand some of the underlying factors governing this relationship, researchers (Hoffman et al., 2011) tested whether person-organization and person-leader value congruence (i.e. agreement) at the group level mediates (or explains) the relationship between transformational leadership and group effectiveness.
Why value congruence? Transformational leaders are said to be good at showing how organizational or group goals are congruent with individually held values, thus motivating followers to strive toward the achievement of those goals. Specifically, the researchers found that person-organization value congruence at the group-level, but not person-leader value congruence, mediated the relationship between transformational leadership and group effectiveness.
The authors suggest that because organizational values appear to be more important than leader values when offered side by side, organizations should make sure leaders buy into organizational goals and values for groups to be operating at their best. They also noted that managers and leaders who can communicate how the goals of the group and the goals of the organization are congruent will be able to improve the group’s capacity to attain both—important lessons to consider for any leader.
Hoffman, B.J., Bynum, B.H., Piccolo, R.F., & Sutton, A.W. (2011). Person-organization value congruence: How transformational leaders influence work group effectiveness. Academy of Management Journal, 54(4), 779-796.