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Relationship between leader‐subordinate personality congruence and performance and satisfaction in the UK

Kamarul Zaman Bin Ahmad (Faculty of Business and Accounting, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)

Leadership & Organization Development Journal

ISSN: 0143-7739

Article publication date: 11 July 2008




This study aims to investigate the relationship between leader‐subordinate congruence and performance and satisfaction.


Data were gathered from 267 leader‐subordinate dyads in a light manufacturing electrical assembly plant in Wales and 82 leader‐subordinate dyads in another, in England, UK. Data on personality of the respondents and their supervisors were gathered using the 16 personality factor test. The absolute difference between the personality score of the respondent and the supervisor for each of the five secondary personality factors were calculated. The absolute differences were then totalled to obtain a total difference score.


As expected, there was a significant correlation between the difference scores and satisfaction with the supervisor and overall job satisfaction. The results suggest that, if management wishes to improve satisfaction of their subordinates, the personalities of supervisor and subordinate should be similar. The direction of the relationship between difference scores and performance scores in the two companies were in opposite directions to each other. Possible causes and implications for managers are discussed.


This paper establishes that the relationship between congruence and performance is contingent on the nature of work interaction between the leader and the subordinate.



Zaman Bin Ahmad, K. (2008), "Relationship between leader‐subordinate personality congruence and performance and satisfaction in the UK", Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 29 No. 5, pp. 396-411.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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