Congruence and dissonance of individual and organizational achieving styles: Relationship to perception of career advancement opportunities
The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship of individual and organizational achieving styles to perception of career advancement opportunities. Individual achieving styles were defined as strategies for accomplishing goals; organizational achieving styles were defined as the perceived rewarded strategies for accomplishing goals. Gender differences in achieving styles and perceptions of career advancement were also examined. The research design used was a survey mailed to the total administrative staff (264 members) of George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. The administrators completed three research instruments--the Individual Achieving Styles Inventory and Organizational Achieving Styles Inventory both developed by Lipman-Blumen and Leavitt, and the Career Advancement Questionnaire designed by the researcher. The responses from 66 percent (N = 174) of the surveyed population were analyzed. The study was based on the concept that the interaction between individuals and their organizations determines how individuals think in those organizations. Their thoughts or perceptions about career advancement opportunities are considered critical intervening variables related to career decision making, work motivation, and organizational commitment. It was hypothesized that administrators with an achieving style domain congruent to the perceived organizational achieving style domain would have more positive perceptions of career advancement opportunities than administrators who were dissonant. The findings showed no differences in the way congruent or dissonant administrators perceived their career advancement. Therefore, a match of individual achieving style domain with the perceived organizational achieving style domain was not related to more positive perceptions. The examination of the data for differences by gender showed some rank order differences but no statistical differences in achieving style behaviors or in perception of career advancement opportunities. Therefore, at George Mason University, males and females achieved their goals with similar strategies and viewed their advancement opportunities in similar ways. These results suggested that stylistic differences in management as well as differences in perception between male and female administrators must be empirically tested before assumptions about work styles or organizational attitudes are made based on gender alone.