Faculty Publications

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Author Accepted Manuscript


manager-supervisor, fit, managerial capabilities, managerial effectiveness, congruent theory

Journal/Book/Conference Title Title

Leadership & Organization Development Journal






Purpose: This study examines whether managerial capability fit between line-managers, middle-managers, and top-level managers enhances effectiveness.

Design/methodology/approach: Effectiveness data and managerial capability ratings from more than 1,600 manager-supervisor dyads were collected in the United States and Germany. Polynomial regression was used to study the relation between manager-supervisor fit and managerial effectiveness.

Findings: Our results indicate that the fit of managerial capabilities between a manager and his/her supervisor predicts the effectiveness of this manager. The most effective managers show particularly high managerial capabilities that are in line with predominantly high managerial capabilities of their supervisors. Two aspects are important: the manager-supervisor fit and the absolute capability level that both possess. The results further indicate that the importance of the manager-supervisor fit varies across lower, middle, and top-level management dyads.

Research limitations/implications: This study contributes by advancing research on managerial capability fit conditions between managers and their supervisors as a central element in viewing and managing effectiveness of managers.

Practical implications: This article informs managers, supervisors, and HR professionals about pitfalls in organizations that degrade effectiveness.

Originality/value: This article shows how the alignment between managers and their supervisors relates to effectiveness in a large-scale study across different hierarchical levels.


Department of Management


First published in Leadership & Organization Journal, v.42 n.1 (Jan 2021), by Emerald Insight.com. doi: 10.1108/LODJ-02-2020-0047

Original Publication Date


DOI of published version



UNI ScholarWorks, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa


©2020 Johanna Anzengruber, Sabine Bergner, Herbert Nold, and Dan Bumblauskas. The Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) is deposited under the CC BY-NC licence and that any reuse is allowed in accordance with the terms outlined by the licence. To reuse the AAM for commercial purposes, permission should be sought by contacting permissions@emeraldinsight.com. For the sake of clarity, commercial usage would be considered as, but not limited to: o Copying or downloading AAMs for further distribution for a fee; o Any use of the AAM in conjunction with advertising; o Any use of the AAM by for promotional purposes by for-profit organisations; o Any use that would confer monetary reward, commercial gain or commercial exploitation.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License



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