Working Paper No. 1010

Person-Organization Fit and Incentives:
A Causal Test

Published: February 27, 2014Pages: 40Keywords: Tournaments; Organizational culture; Personal values; Person-organization fit; Teams; Economic incentivesJEL-codes: C91; D02; D23; J33; M52
Published version

Person-Organization Fit and Incentives:
A Causal Test
Ola Andersson, Marieke Huysentruyt, Topi Miettinen and Ute Stephan


We investigate the effects of organizational culture and personal value orientations on performance under individual and team contest incentives. We develop a model of regard for others and in-group favoritism predicting interaction effects between organizational culture and personal values in the contest games. The predictions are tested in a computerized lab experiment with exogenous control of both organizational culture and incentives.

In line with our theoretical model we find that prosocial (proself) orientated subjects exert more (less) effort in team contests in the primed prosocial organizational culture condition, relative to the neutrally primed baseline condition. Further, when the prosocial organizational culture is combined with individual contest incentives, prosocial subjects no longer outperform their proself counterparts.

These findings provide a first, affirmative, causal test of person-organization fit theory. They also suggest the importance of a 'triple-fit' between personal preferences, organizational culture and incentive mechanisms for prosocially orientated individuals.

Ola Andersson

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Mob: +46 70 432 2450
ola.andersson@ifn.se

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Martin Ljunge, IFN, is the author of a chapter, "Trust promotes health: addressing reverse causality by studying children of immigrants", in a new book edited by Sherman Folland and Eric Nauenberg. The cutting edge of research is presented, covering the ever-expanding social capital field.

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