Be like me: the effects of manager–supervisor alignment

Johanna Anzengruber, Sabine Bergner, Herbert Nold, Daniel Bumblauskas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


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. 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)316-332
Number of pages17
JournalLeadership and Organization Development Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 19 Mar 2021


  • Congruence theory
  • Fit
  • Manager-supervisor
  • Managerial capabilities
  • Managerial effectiveness


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