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Person-Organization Congruence and the Maintenance of Group-Based Social Hierarchy: A Social Dominance Perspective

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Haley, Hillary; Sidanius, Jim

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Abstract Using vocational choice theory and social dominance theory as guiding frameworks, this paper examines the interrelationships between the types of social institutions that a person occupies, on the one hand, and the sociopolitical attitudes and behavioral predispositions that a person displays, on the other. Beginning with Holland (1959, 1966), numerous researchers have documented the fact that people’s work-related values tend to match the values of their work environments. Researchers have also found, as we might expect, that this value match yields superior job performance and greater employee satisfaction. Social dominance theory has proposed an important expansion of this research: people’s sociopolitical attitudes (e.g. anti-egalitarianism) should also be compatible, or congruent, with their institutional environments (e.g. schools, workplaces). A growing body of research supports this claim. Specifically, recent research has shown that hierarchy-enhancing (HE) organizations (e.g. police forces) tend to be occupied by those with anti-egalitarian beliefs, while hierarchy-attenuating (HA) organizations (e.g. civil liberties organizations) tend to be occupied by those with relatively democratic beliefs. This research has also provided evidence for five (non-mutually exclusive) processes underlying this institutional assortment: self-selection, institutional selection, institutional socialization, differential reward, and differential attrition. This paper reviews the literature bearing on each of these processes, and suggests key paths for future research.
Free Keywords anti-egalitarianism; college major; institutions; organizations; person-environment fit; social dominance orientation; social dominance theory; social hierarchy; social roles; socialization; vocational choice;
Document language English
Publication Year 2005
Page/Pages p. 187-203
Journal Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 8 (2005) 2
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)