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Abstract

In a study of 11 organizations among 120 manufacturing, planning and sales employees, support was found for the hypothesis that a prosocial value orientation—as a personality trait—increases the likelihood that employees show a high concern for the goals of other departments. This concern, combined with a high concern for own goals, furthermore appeared to increase the likelihood of problem-solving behavior during interdepartmental negotiations. Measures of goal concerns were attained, firstly, by asking employees how important they found six specific organizational goals and, secondly, by assessing which goals were found most important by members of which department. The results of this study suggest that problem solving can be induced by selecting or developing prosocial employees, because a prosocial value orientation increases the likelihood of having broad role orientations, in which employees not only care for goals characteristic of their own department, but also for goals of other departments. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.