ArticlePDF Available


  • Evangelical Presbyterian University College


This paper is a study of related literature on the concept of workplace values and their correlation with organizational performance and profitability. The overall purpose of this study is to establish whether workplace or corporate values espoused by employees has any effects on performance and by extension profitability. Values determine what individuals find important in their daily life and help to shape their behavior in each situation they encounter. Since values often strongly influence both attitude and behavior, they serve as a kind of personal compass for employee conduct in the workplace. Values help determine whether an employee is passionate about work and the workplace, which in turn can lead to above-average returns, high employee satisfaction, strong team dynamics, and synergy. The study revealed that inspiring workplace value that encourages and enables employees to bring their best efforts and best ideas to work every day is one that promotes individual growth and organizational performance and profitability.
VOLUME 2 ISSUE 6 (NOVEMBER 2015) ISSN : 2278 859X
Asian Academic Research Journal of Social Sciences & Humanities
A Peer Reviewed International Journal of Asian
Academic Research Associates
S C I E N C E & H U M A N I T I E S
1University of Health and Allied Sciences, School of Public Health, Hohoe, Ghana
2Department of Marketing, Ho Polytechnic, Ho, Ghana
3National Youth Authority, Volta Regional Office, Ho, Ghana
4Department of Accountancy, Ho Polytechnic, Ho, Ghana
This paper is a study of related literature on the concept of workplace values and their
correlation with organizational performance and profitability. The overall purpose of this
study is to establish whether workplace or corporate values espoused by employees has any
effects on performance and by extension profitability. Values determine what individuals find
important in their daily life and help to shape their behavior in each situation they encounter.
Since values often strongly influence both attitude and behavior, they serve as a kind of
personal compass for employee conduct in the workplace. Values help determine whether an
employee is passionate about work and the workplace, which in turn can lead to above-
average returns, high employee satisfaction, strong team dynamics, and synergy. The study
revealed that inspiring workplace value that encourages and enables employees to bring their
best efforts and best ideas to work every day is one that promotes individual growth and
organizational performance and profitability.
Keywords: Values, Performance, Profitability, Workplace, Employee Conduct
VOLUME 2 ISSUE 6 (NOVEMBER 2015) ISSN : 2278 859X
Asian Academic Research Journal of Social Sciences & Humanities
In the business world today, issues of trust, integrity, respect, fairness, equity and
transparency are gaining more attention. Organizations are also developing as communities of
practice, which build common values and cultures that emphasize social relationships
(Wenger, 1998). This Whiteley, (1995) sees as a shift away from viewing the workplace in
technical or systems terms, to one that understands organizations as cultures in which people,
their needs and desires, and their interpersonal relationships, play a central role. That is why
conflicts may arise if an employee realizes that her co-workers do not share her values. For
example, an employee who values hard work may resent co-workers who are lazy or
unproductive without being reprimanded. Even so, additional conflicts can result if the
employee attempts to force her own values on her co-workers. In both private and public
sectors, the key to success, whether it is in terms of employee or customer satisfaction, begins
with the values of the organization. For bureaucracies, adherence to high-level public service
values can generate substantial public trust and confidence. Conversely, weak application of
values or promotion of inappropriate values can lead to reductions in these essential elements
of democratic governance, as well as to ethical and decision-making dilemmas. In
organizational theory, values are normally conceptualized as essential components of
organizational culture and as instrumental in determining, guiding and informing behavior
(Hofstede and Hofstede 2005; Schein 2004). While the practice, study and understanding of
public and business administration has evolved considerably over recent decades, the concept
of 'values' remains fundamental to all aspects of governance and administration.
Effective organizations identify and develop a clear, concise and shared meaning of values,
priorities, and direction so that every employee understands and can contribute. They are the
guideposts of our lives, and they direct us to who we want to be. Thus they help us become
who we are and are a huge part of our makeup, ethical compass, and ultimately, personality.
Values can strongly influence employee conduct in the workplace. If an employee values
honesty, hard work, and discipline, for example, he will likely make an effort to exhibit
those traits in the workplace. This person may therefore be a more efficient employee and a
more positive role model to others than an employee with opposite values. Values determine
what individuals find important in their daily life and help to shape their behavior in each
situation they encounter. Since values often strongly influence both attitude and behavior,
they serve as a kind of personal compass for employee conduct in the workplace. Values help
determine whether an employee is passionate about work and the workplace, which in turn
can lead to above-average returns, high employee satisfaction, strong team dynamics,
and synergy. Once defined, values impact every aspect of your organization. Values are
usually shaped by many different internal and external influences, including family,
traditions, culture, and, more recently, media and the Internet. Rokeach (1973) suggested that
value development is influenced by culture, society and personality. A person will filter all of
these influences and meld them into a unique value set that may differ from the value sets of
others in the same culture. Because individual values have such strong attitudinal and
behavioral effects, a company must hire teams of individuals whose values do not conflict
with either each other's or those of the organization. Rokeach (1973) claimed that people act
according to their values because there is a need for consistency between one‘s beliefs and
VOLUME 2 ISSUE 6 (NOVEMBER 2015) ISSN : 2278 859X
Asian Academic Research Journal of Social Sciences & Humanities
one‘s actions. Schwartz (1977) argued that the failure to act in accordance with personal
values is normally followed by self-blame. Lönnqvist et al. (2006) found that anticipated
regret motivates value-consistent behavior. Their results suggest that the motivating force of
values may be partly understood in terms of the need to protect the self from regret.
1.1 Purpose of the Study
According to
definition-examples-quiz.html (retrieved on 12th October, 2015), every company, big or
small, has core values. Core values are the basis upon which the members of a company
make decisions, plan strategies, and interact with each other and their stakeholders. Core
values reflect what is important to the organization and its members. The core values of a
company are intrinsic--they come from leaders inside of the company. Core values are not
necessarily dependent on the type of company or industry and may vary widely even among
organizations that do similar types of work. According to some management scholars,
companies that stray from their core values may not perform as well as those that adhere to
them. However, for many companies, adherence to their core values is a goal, not a reality. In
large companies, core values are frequently written and publicized on the company's website,
in the annual report, and in internal communications. The overriding objective or purpose of
this paper is to evaluate the concept of workplace values and their relevance to corporate
performance and profitability.
People may act in accordance with their values even when they do not consciously think
about them. Thus, values may operate outside of awareness but they are available for retrieval
from memory (Bardi and Schwartz, 2003). Values are also used to justify or explain past
conduct (Williams, 1979). For example, the more values old people expressed as they
reflected on past life events, the less they experienced negative emotions related to aging
(Pushkar et al, 2003).
Like many other concepts in organization theory, there is no universally accepted definition
of values. The Oxford English Dictionary refers to the ‗principles or moral standards of a
person or social group‘. Using a definition from Rokeach (1973), Kernaghan (2003: 711)
defines values as those ‗enduring beliefs that influence the choices we make among available
means or ends‘. The New Zealand State Services Commission defines values as ‗essentially
the link between the daily work of public servants and the broad aims of democratic
government in New Zealand‘ (2001, p.1). However, values are not only concerned with
resource allocation and decisions on public policy as these definitions seem to imply, but can
also inform other features of organization life such as HR policy and interpersonal employee
relations. A broader definition is offered by an OECD study (1996: 12) commissioned during
a period of particular concern over issues of corruption and ethics in public life. It defined
values as ‗the individual principles or standards that guide judgment about what is good or
proper‘. While this is a more useful interpretation, it is proposed in this work that values are
neutral in respect of their application i.e. while an organization may list the values which it
believes should be central to its work, this alone will not determine that the values are
expressed and realized in all its activities. For example, having transparency as a value does
VOLUME 2 ISSUE 6 (NOVEMBER 2015) ISSN : 2278 859X
Asian Academic Research Journal of Social Sciences & Humanities
not mean an organization will conduct all its activities in a transparent manner. Also, values
are not always the same as standards, nor do they solely determine ‗proper‘ or ‗good‘
activities (which are normally ethical issues). Instead, each value has its own characteristics
and may influence behavior in different ways. Many, but not all, principles are values, and
similarly many values are in fact qualities which organizations and individuals use to express
the attributes associated with their work. Bond et al, (1992) confirm that values explain
behavioral patterns, not specific behaviors. Negative value manifestation may be linked to job
dissatisfaction and other negative job outcomes. Nonetheless, managers should ensure that
employees‘ personal values do not conflict with organizational values. This mismatch can be
addressed via selection and training and development. Additionally, employee input
regarding periodic training related to organizational values is suggested. Values are
assumptions about ideals that are desirable and worth striving for. When beliefs and values
are shared in an organization, they create a corporate culture (Azhar, 2003).
Furthermore, managers should regularly examine worker values via both formal and informal
mechanisms as values may change based upon internal or external events. Management may
benefit from understanding the influence of culture on value expression at work. Therefore, it
would be wise for managers to examine how employees‘ cultural backgrounds impact their
perceptions of workplace values. Ullman and Ravlin (1993) suggest that employers conduct
organization-wide value profile analyses to determine which values are important in different
divisions or units within a company. Their work should link employee values to job
satisfaction, organizational commitment and performance on the job. Perez-Floriano et al.
(2007) found that in a five country study, employees‘ trust in management was related to job
satisfaction. Thus there is a role that management initiatives can play in order to influence
workplace beliefs and attitudes. A more distinctive definition by Schwartz and Bilsky (1990,
p. 878) summarized: ―values as a) are concepts or beliefs, b) pertain to desirable end-states or
behaviors, c) transcend specific situations, d) guide selection or evaluation of behavior and
events, and e) are ordered by relative importance‖. Therefore, the definition of values in the
workplace can be said to be ‗the individual principles or qualities that guide judgment and
behavior in work environment‘.
2.1 The Study of Workplace Values
The study of workplace values has become prevalent in management disciplines due to links
to motivation (Paarlberg & Perry, 2007), employee satisfaction (Barrett, 1998),
organizational commitment (Elizur & Koslowsky, 2001) and cross-cultural management
(White, 2006). In the workplace, values guide behavior and ultimately influence motivation
and profitability. Accordingly, some businesses are moving toward the use of values-based
management, an agenda in which company core values are shaped, vividly exhibited and
practiced by all organizational members (Crawford and Scaletta, 2006). Organization's
workplace values set the tone for your company's culture, and they identify what your
organization, as a whole, cares about. According to (White, 2006), it is believed that values
have affective, cognitive and behavioral dimensions, and are linked to motivation. The
workplace values are the guiding principles that are most important to you about the way that
you work. You use these deeply held principles to choose between right and wrong ways of
VOLUME 2 ISSUE 6 (NOVEMBER 2015) ISSN : 2278 859X
Asian Academic Research Journal of Social Sciences & Humanities
working, and they help you make important decisions and career choices. Organizational
values are those beliefs held so strongly that they drive people‘s behavior and dictate how
people interact with and treat each other. According to Schwartz and Bilsky (1987), values
can guide the selection or evaluation of behaviors and events. Values, together with their
defined behaviors, set the minimum expectation of behavior for everyone in your
organization, and help to lay the ground work for your company‘s culture. When the
management of a business creates a mission statement, they have likely decided what values
they want the company to project to the public. Organizational values and structures
encourage individual growth, self-esteem is promoted. Strong self-esteem makes it easier for
individuals to be a part of a community without losing personal identity (Biberman, Whitty,
and Robbins, 1999). Also, fulfilling work must be matched by a fulfilling life beyond work.
Inspiring organizational values promote the development of the whole or complete
individual. The mission statement can help them seek out candidates whose personalities
match these values, which can help reduce friction in the workplace and foster a positive
work environment. Employees bring personal values to the job and they also are asked to
display the workplace values of the organization. It is important that your people's values
align with these. Brown (2003) states values congruency fosters a sense of connectedness and
wholeness within the organization that facilitates individual and organizational growth. When
this happens, people understand one another, everyone does the right things for the right
reasons, and this common purpose and understanding helps people build great working
relationships. As emphasized, this is an important dimension of developing core values in this
new work order, (Gee et al, 1996) as workers‘ identification with the organization as a social
community (Handy, 1996). Values alignment helps the organization as a whole to achieve its
core mission. When values are not aligned, people work towards different goals, with
different intentions, and with different outcomes. This can damage work relationships,
productivity, job satisfaction, and creative potential. Management must be sure that all
workers share the values of the organization. Companies must be able to motivate their
workforce, align vastly different values to meet the company‘s goals and treat them in ways
that will lead them to become long-term employees of the company. According to Collins
and Porras, (1994), successful organizations are typically driven by a set of core values. The
interrelatedness of core values between the organization and its workforce demonstrate the
importance of cultivating the right values. Understanding an employee‘s values is an
important part of a manager‘s job in order to achieve a good fit between the worker and the
organization, as well as creating a satisfying relationship on the part of both parties.
Management should investigate the relationships between these ideas and values among their
subordinates in order to maximize productivity in their workplaces. By regularly
communicating with employees about the topics of workplace values and culture, managers
can create a comfortable environment where employees and customers achieve success.
Kolodinsky et al. (2008) note that a match among individual employee values and
organizational values will combine to produce workers feeling more involved in their jobs.
From organizational values develop organizational norms, guidelines, or expectations that
prescribe appropriate kinds of behavior by employees in particular situations and control the
behavior of organizational members towards one another (Black & Richard, 2003).
VOLUME 2 ISSUE 6 (NOVEMBER 2015) ISSN : 2278 859X
Asian Academic Research Journal of Social Sciences & Humanities
2.2 Defining Organizational Performance
Organizational performance can be defined as when an organization meets its set targets
putting into consideration all other personality, external and internal dimensions that
influence performance (Kreitner & Kinicki, 2007). According to Richard et al. (2009),
organizational performance encompasses three specific areas of firm outcomes: financial
performance (profits, return on assets, return on investment, etc); product market
performance (sales, market share, etc); and shareholder return (total shareholder return,
economic value added). The business world is captivated by cultural values for sometime
now. Transformational leaders know how to leverage cultural values to ensure most desired
successful business outcomes. Conversely, well-documented case studies demonstrate how
incorrect assumptions about organizational values can lead to misunderstandings at best and
organizational value systems impact the way change happens, failed projects and lost profit at
worst. In fact, there is little debate that organizational value systems have a powerful
influence (Prosci, 2010) on the profitability and corporate performance in general. It is
critical for all business managers to understand the underlying values of their organizations
because these factors directly influence the corporate performance and how much work will
ultimately be required to ensure successful outcomes for the company (Prosci, 2010).
Empirical research on the impact of values on employee or organizational performance has
found mixed results. Scholarly research geared to the public sector has found that high-
performing government organizations clearly articulate a set of values (Denhardt, 1993) and
that public sector employees continuously use value systems to make ―street level decisions‖
(Maynard-Moody & Musheno, 2003). Studies of value congruence in the workplace have
found that congruence between individual and organizational values is positively related to
positive work attitudes, including employee satisfaction, commitment, and involvement
(Meglino & Ravlin, 1998), as well as perceptions of workplace ethics (Posner & Schmidt,
1993). Denhardt (1993) identified ―commitment to public service values‖ as one of the
characteristics of high-performing public managers. Significant positive relationships
between public service motivation and employees‘ job attitudes and performance have been
found both in the United States (Naff & Crum, 1999) and abroad (Sangmook, 2005). The
financial crisis of 2007-2008 showed what can happen when behaviors become disconnected
from values. At a number of organizations at the heart of the crisis, the need to meet short-
term profit and revenue goals became entrenched and encouraged risky decisions that would
not be sustainable in the long term. One of the banks implicated in the LIBOR scandal the
attempt to manipulate interest rates was Barclays Bank which was fined £290 million in
June 2012. In July 2012 the Board of Barclays commissioned an independent review of
Barclays‘ business practices led by Anthony Salz. The Salz Review, as it became known,
included a detailed analysis of Barclays‘ culture and values. The Review revealed that
Barclays‘ rapid expansion in the years leading up to the financial crisis produced ‗cultural
challenges‘ at the bank. The result of this growth was that Barclays became complex to
manage, tending to develop silos with different values and cultures. These cultures shaped the
business practices which led to the scandal but ‗rested on uncertain foundations.‘ These crises
and scandals all occurred because they took place in a culture of inappropriate, weak or non-
existent value systems. There was no sense of common purpose in a group that had grown
and diversified significantly in less than two decades. Community is perhaps the most
VOLUME 2 ISSUE 6 (NOVEMBER 2015) ISSN : 2278 859X
Asian Academic Research Journal of Social Sciences & Humanities
frequently discussed value (Anderson, 2000) and it is community that enables workers to find
substantive meaning in their work, facilitating them to help coworkers and customers to
achieve greater success. The result, in the Barclays case was a ‗strong drive to win‘,
particularly as the bank became increasingly dominated by the investment banking business,
which possessed a strong culture of winning. This meant there was an ‗over-emphasis‘ on
short-term financial performance, reinforced by a bonus and pay culture that rewarded
money-making over serving the interests of customers and clients. The Review also said there
was a sense that senior management did not want to hear bad news, and that the employees
should instead solve problems on their own. Fearing its value systems being questioned,
Barclays provided a detailed response to the Salz Review and in February 2013 launched the
Transform Program which consists of 11 projects covering the entire bank (Good Place to
Work, 2014). The first project on the list is Culture and Values: ‗Barclays‘ Purpose (Helping
people achieve their ambitions in the right way) and Values (Respect, Integrity, Service,
Excellence and Stewardship) are standards which will guide decision-making and against
which all employees will be assessed and rewarded. The bank believes that building a
sustainable, values-based culture will form the foundation of our long-term success. Barclays
is committed to implementing all 34 recommendations of the Review, and aims to have done
so by 2015. Nine of the recommendations are being directly addressed by the Culture and
Values project.
2.3 Values and Corporate Turnaround
Organizations that have undergone a fundamental collapse in trust, whether internally or
externally, can turn around the situation. One example of an organization which has used
values to transform the organization is Capital One, a credit card provider. Capital One
operates in a very competitive market which acquired a particularly poor reputation as a
result of the credit crunch. Stereotypical perceptions of the credit card industry include
irresponsible lending followed by heavy handed legal threats as soon as customers fall into
arrears. In 2009 only 26% of Capital One‘s employees were considered to be fully engaged,
yet 30% were completely disengaged. Over the next four years this situation was turned
around with 83% of staff being fully engaged in 2012, and only 2% disengaged. Capital One
created a compelling purpose which they used to connect everyone to the goal. This included
becoming ‗customer obsessed‘, recognizing that they needed to engage their people as they
wanted them to engage their customers. This could not be achieved without inspiring
leadership and a ‗winning culture.‘ At the heart of the transformation was a new and inspiring
vision ‗Let‘s Make Lives Better‘ which was explicitly designed to develop a culture of
responsible lending, customer care and support. This vision is underpinned by a strong
system of values. Capital One is now one of the top-ranked workplaces in the UK and
Europe. Teamwork and serving others can create a sense of family that inspires improved
creativity and productivity (Levering and Mosdowitz, 2001).
A recent academic study of The Great Place to Work, data and organizational performance
covering the period 2007-2011 showed that there is no correlation between an organization‘s
publicized values (e.g. on its website) and financial performance. In other words, it is
immaterial whether an organization chooses or not to make its values public. However, the
study found that there is a relationship between a culture of strong values (‗high integrity‘) as
VOLUME 2 ISSUE 6 (NOVEMBER 2015) ISSN : 2278 859X
Asian Academic Research Journal of Social Sciences & Humanities
perceived by employees and organizational performance. That is to say, the values need to be
‗lived‘ throughout the organization. The study assessed whether or not a culture of high
integrity is present by using the same two Trust Index statements i.e.: ‗Management‘s actions
match its words‘ and ‗Management delivers on its promises‘. The study found that there are
often short-term costs in maintaining integrity (e.g. turning down the ‗quick buck‘ such as a
profitable but unethical business deal) but there are long-term benefits in staying true to one‘s
values. It explored the relationship of integrity to other business outcomes. It found that
organizations with high integrity also have higher levels of customer satisfaction. However,
organizations can find it difficult to maintain integrity when they go public. The quarterly
reporting cycle and the pressure to deliver shareholder value means they are less able to focus
on integrity as short-term decisions can carry undue weight. The study therefore found that in
fact privately-owned companies (including venture capital-backed organizations) tend to
have higher levels of integrity than publicly-quoted companies (Guiso, Sapienza and
Zingales, 2013). Also, Gordon (1985) showed the relevance of workplace value to corporate
performance by his study that contrasted companies in dynamic industries, where
technologies, participants and products changed frequently, with companies in the more static
utilities industry, where few changes occurred. He found companies in highly dynamic
industries were characterized by cultural values that enhanced adaptability, whereas utilities
were characterized by cultural values that enhanced stability. He further found that the same
values differentiated the fastest growing and the most profitable companies within each of the
industry from the less successful ones. According to Kandula (2006) the key to good
performance is a strong culture with a good value base. He further maintains that due to
difference in organizational culture, same strategies do not yield same results for two
organizations in the same industry and in the same location. A positive and strong culture can
make an average individual perform and achieve brilliantly whereas a negative and weak
culture may demotivate an outstanding employee to underperform and end up with no
In addition, Marcoulides and Heck (1993) analyzed the relationship between organizational
culture and performance using data collected from 26 organizations. The authors proposed a
model in which organizational culture was measured using several latent variables (including,
organizational values, task organization, climate, and individual values and beliefs) and
organizational performance was measured using capital, market and financial indicators. The
results of this study showed that all of the latent variables used to measure organizational
culture had some effect on performance with workers attitudes which of course is influenced
by values, and task organization activities being the most significant variables. Raduan
(2008) observes that, a high degree of organization performance is related to an organization,
which has a strong culture with well integrated and effective set of values, beliefs and
behaviors. The employee performance would be considered as backbone organization as it
leads to its development effectively. The loyalty of employee relies upon knowledge and
awareness of culture that improves behavior of organization (Brooks, 2006).
VOLUME 2 ISSUE 6 (NOVEMBER 2015) ISSN : 2278 859X
Asian Academic Research Journal of Social Sciences & Humanities
2.4 The Value of Corporate Values
According to a publication by Reggie Van Lee, Lisa Fabish, and Nancy McGaw on (retrieved on 12th October,
2015), corporate values are in vogue but what does the fashion tell us about enduring
corporate practice, as it is and as it could be? Increasingly, companies around the world have
adopted formal statements of corporate values, and senior executives now routinely identify
ethical behavior, honesty, integrity, and social concerns as top issues on their companies‘
agendas. The meaning of this new emphasis on values, however, is less obvious than the
trend itself. So to explore how deeply these values are embedded in organizations and to
examine the role that values are playing, in 2004 Booz Allen Hamilton and the Aspen
Institute, a nonprofit and nonpartisan forum focused on values-based leadership and public
policy, conducted a global study of corporations in 30 countries and five regions. Senior
executives of 365 companies were polled, almost one-third of whom were CEOs or board
members. (See ―Methodology‖ at the end of this article.) The purpose of the survey was to
examine the way companies define corporate values, to expand on research about the
relationship of values to business performance, and to identify best practices for managing
corporate values. The survey‘s most significant finding was that a large number of companies
are making their values explicit. That‘s a change quite a significant change from
corporate practices 10 years ago. The ramifications of this shift are just beginning to be
understood. At Xerox, CEO Anne Mulcahy says that corporate values ―helped save Xerox
during the worst crisis in our history,‖ and that ―living our values‖ has been one of Xerox‘s
five performance objectives for the past several years. These values which include
customer satisfaction, quality and excellence, premium return on assets, use of technology for
market leadership, valuing employees, and corporate citizenship are ―far from words on a
piece of paper. They are accompanied by specific objectives and hard measures,‖ adds Ms.
According to market and social trend analyst Daniel Yankelovich, the public‘s widespread
cynicism toward businesses today is the third wave of public mistrust about corporations in
the past 90 years. The first, set off by the Great Depression, continued until World War II; the
second, caused in part by economic stagflation and the Vietnam War, lasted from the early
1960s until the early 1980s. In each of these periods, Dr. Yankelovich wrote in the May 2003
report ―Making Trust a Competitive Asset: Breaking Out of Narrow Frameworks,‖
companies tended to be reactive, blaming ―a few bad apples,‖ dismissing values as ―not
central to what we do,‖ or ignoring opportunities to improve because ―we don‘t have to make
major changes.‖ The current wave of disapproval began in 2001 with the bursting of the dot-
com bubble, the ensuing bear market, and the financial scandals involving Enron, WorldCom,
Tyco, and others. But this time, according to the survey, the response appears to be different.
More and more companies are looking inward to see what has gone wrong and looking
outward for answers. They are questioning the quality of their management systems and their
ability to inculcate and reinforce values that benefit the firm, its various constituencies, and
the wider world. Rather than wall themselves off from critics, more companies are listening
to them and looking for new ideas. And more firms are taking action to turn their
corporation‘s values into a competitive asset. If the new attention to values were simply a
VOLUME 2 ISSUE 6 (NOVEMBER 2015) ISSN : 2278 859X
Asian Academic Research Journal of Social Sciences & Humanities
transitory reaction to the business scandals of recent years, or merely a public relations device
to direct or deflect media and investor attention, it would be worth little note. But more
companies are going well beyond simply displaying values statements: They are engaging in
values-driven management improvement efforts. Among those efforts are training staff in
values, appraising executives and staff on their adherence to values, and hiring organizational
experts to help address how values affect corporate performance.
Moreover, companies are showing little patience for executives who place their businesses at
risk by crossing the line from prudent to unethical behavior. A recent example was the
prompt decision by Boeing‘s board to oust CEO Harry Stonecipher over a sexual affair he
was having with an employee. Mr. Stonecipher had been appointed to the top job 15 months
earlier to help improve Boeing‘s standing with the Pentagon, its largest customer, after a
series of ethics breaches. The board did not specifically indicate what ethical rule Mr.
Stonecipher had violated, but it was clear that in the current climate, any obvious ethical
lapse would be an indiscretion that the company could not tolerate and that would affect the
bottom line. For the purposes of their study, the authors defined values as ―a corporation‘s
institutional standards of behavior.‖ Generally, companies follow the same ―values cycle‖:
They articulate a set of corporate values and attempt to embed them in management practices,
which they hope will reinforce behaviors that benefit the company and communities inside
and outside the firm, and which in turn strengthen the institution‘s values. The fundamental
findings of the study were:
i. Ethical behavior is a core component of company activities. Of the 89 percent of
companies that have a written corporate values statement, 90 percent specify ethical
conduct as a principle. Further, 81 percent believe their management practices
encourage ethical behavior among staff. Ethics-related language in formal statements
not only sets corporate expectations for employee behavior; it also serves as a shield
companies are using in an increasingly complex and global legal and regulatory
ii. Most companies believe values influence two important strategic areas
relationships and reputation but do not see the direct link to growth. Of the
companies that value commitment to customers, 80 percent believe their principles
reinforce such dedication. Substantial majorities also categorize employee retention
and recruitment and corporate reputation as both important to their business strategy
and strongly affected by values. However, few think that these values directly affect
earnings and revenue growth.
iii. Most companies are not measuring their ―ROV.‖ In a business environment
increasingly dominated by attention to definable returns on specific investments, most
senior executives are surprisingly lax in attempting to quantify a return on values
(ROV). Fewer than half say they have the ability to measure a direct link to revenue
and earnings growth.
iv. Top performers consciously connect values and operations. Companies that report
superior financial results emphasize such values as commitment to employees, drive
to succeed, and adaptability far more than their peers. They are also more successful
in linking values to the way they run their companies: A significantly greater number
VOLUME 2 ISSUE 6 (NOVEMBER 2015) ISSN : 2278 859X
Asian Academic Research Journal of Social Sciences & Humanities
report that their management practices are effective in fostering values that influence
growth, and executives at these companies are more likely to believe that social and
environmental responsibility have a positive effect on financial performance.
v. Values practices vary significantly by region. Asian and European companies are
more likely than North American firms to emphasize values related to the
corporation‘s broader role in society, such as social and environmental responsibility.
The manner in which companies reinforce values and align them with company
strategies also varies by region.
vi. The CEO‘s tone really matters. Eighty-five percent of the respondents say their
companies rely on explicit CEO support to reinforce values, and 77 percent say such
support is one of the ―most effective‖ practices for reinforcing the company‘s ability
to act on its values. It is considered the most effective practice among respondents in
all regions, industries, and company sizes.
An interpretive literature approach was adopted for this study. The authors reviewed widely
adequate literature on the subject, breaking into parts and examining the components of the
topic for easy comprehension of the issues discussed. Thoughts and personal interpretations
of the issues addressed in the paper were the bases upon which the authors drew their
conclusions on the topic.
In conclusion, an organization‘s clear and explicit set of principles and values, which the
management devotes considerable time to communicate to employees and clients, and which
values are shared widely across the organization have a great influence on the employees‘
work and how the public view the organization. An inspiring workplace value that
encourages and enables employees to bring their best efforts and best ideas to work every day
is one that promotes individual growth and organizational performance and profitability. The
three factors that seem to greatly contribute to the building up of a strong workplace value
system are; a founder or an influential leader who established desirable values, a sincere and
dedicated commitment to operate the business according to these desirable values and a
genuine concern for the well-being of the corporation‘s stakeholders. From the foregoing
evaluation, there is no doubt that the type of values prevailing in an organization has a great
bearing on its performance. This calls for the development and perpetuation of a strong value
system that supports high performance in an organization.
This study contributes to current literature on issues of workplace values in the modern
corporate environment; particularly in relation to employee performance vis a vis
profitability. The paper helps understand that values when propagated well in any
organization will lead to ethical behaviour and thereby reduce the risks of fraud and other
dishonest behaviors from employees. This paper provides in-depth eye opening to managers
and CEOs on the need to ‗market‘ their corporate values to the rank and file of employees in
their organization; large or small.
VOLUME 2 ISSUE 6 (NOVEMBER 2015) ISSN : 2278 859X
Asian Academic Research Journal of Social Sciences & Humanities
1. Anderson, C. L. (2000). Building Organizational Community. Journal of Family and
Consumer Sciences. 92 (3), 67.
2. Azhar, K (2003), Business Policy and Strategic Management, New Delhi, Tata McGraw-
3. Bardi, A., & Schwartz, S. H., (2003). Values and behavior: Strength and structure of
relations. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 29, 1207-1220.
4. Barrett, R. (1998). Liberating the corporate soul. Butterworth-Heinemann.
5. Bond, M. H., Leung, K, & Schwartz, S. H. (1992). Explaining choices in procedural and
distributive justice across cultures. International Journal of Personality, 27, 211-225.
6. Brooks, I. (2006). Organizational Behavior: Individuals, Groups and Organization. Essex:
Pearson Education Limited.
7. Brown, R. B. (2003). Organizational Spirituality: The Sceptic‘s Version. Organization 10
(2), 393400.
8. Crawford, D. & Scaletta, T. (2006). The value of values how to attract and retain
productive employees with strategic values-focused management. CMA Management,
August/September: 22-27.
9. Collins, J. C. and Porras, J. I. (1994). Built to Last. HarperCollins Publishing: New York.
10. Denhardt, R. B. (1993). The pursuit of significance. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
11. Elizur, D. & Koslowsky M. (2001). Values and organizational commitment. International
Journal of Manpower, 22(7): 593-599.
12. Gee, J P, Hull, G and Lankshear, C (1996). The new work order: behind the language of
the new capitalism, Allen & Unwin, Sydney.
13. Great Place to Work (November 2014). Organizational Values are they worth to bother?
How values can transform your business from good to great.
14. Guiso, L., Sapienza, P. and Zingales, L, (September 1, 2013). The Value of Corporate
Culture. Chicago Booth Research Paper No. 13-80.
15. Handy, C. (1996). Beyond certainty: The changing world of organizations, Arrow Books,
16. Hofstede, G. and Hofstede, G. J. (2005). Cultures and Organizations: Software of the
mind London: McGraw Hill.
17. Ibid, Biberman, Whitty, and Robbins, 1999.
18. Ibid, Brown, 2003.
19. Kandula, S. R. (2006). Performance Management, New Delhi: Prentice Hall of India
private limited.
20. Kernaghan, K. (2003). Integrating Values into Public Service: The Values Statement as
Centrepiece. in Public Administration Review Vol. 63 (6), pp.711-19.
21. Kolodinsky, R., Giacalone, R. and Jurkiewicz, C. (2008). Workplace values and
outcomes: Exploring personal, organizational, and interactive workplace spirituality.
Journal of Business Ethics, 81: 465-480.
22. Kreitner, R. and Kinicki, A. (2007). Organizational Behavior (ed.), N.Y., McGraw-Hill
23. Levering, R. and Mosdowitz, M. (February 7, 2001). The 100 Best Companies to Work
For: America‘s Top Employers. Fortune, 148–168.
VOLUME 2 ISSUE 6 (NOVEMBER 2015) ISSN : 2278 859X
Asian Academic Research Journal of Social Sciences & Humanities
24. Lönnqvist, J. E., Leikas, S., Paunonen, S., Nissinen, V., and Verkasalo, M. (2006).
Conformism moderates the relations between values, anticipated regret, and behavior.
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 32, 1-13.
25. Marcoulides, G. and Heck, R. (1993). Organizational culture and performance: Proposing
and testing a model. Organization Science, 4(2), 209-225.
26. Maynard-Moody, S. and Musheno, M. (2003). Cops, teachers, counselors: Stories from
the front line of public service. Ann Arbor, MI: UMI Research Press.
27. Meglino, B. M. and Ravlin, E. C. (1998). Individual values in organizations: Concepts,
controversies, and research. Journal of Management, 24, 351-389.
28. Naff, K. C. and Crum, J. (1999). Does public service motivation make a difference?
Review of Public Personnel Administration, 19(4), 5-16.
29. New Zealand State Services Commission (2001). Values and Standards: Values in the
New Zealand Public Service Wellington: State Services Commission.
30. Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) (1996) ‗Ethics in the
Public Service: Current Issues and Practice‘ Public Management Occasional Papers
31. Paarlberg, L. & Perry, J. (2007). Values management. American Review of Public
Administration, 37(4): 387-401.
32. Perez-Floriano, L., Flores-Mora, J., and MacLean, J. (2007). Trust in risk communication
in organizations in 5 countries of North and South America. International Journal of Risk
Assessment and Management: 205-218.
33. Posner, B. Z., and Schmidt, W. H. (1993). Value congruence and differences between the
interplay of personal and organizational value system. Journal of Business Ethics, 12,
34. Pushkar, D., Basevitz, P., Conway, M., Mason S., & Chaikelson, J. (2003). Emergent
values and the experience of aging. Journal of Adult Development, 10, 249-259.
35. Rokeach, M. (1973). The Nature of Human Values. New York: Free Press.
36. Salz Review (April 2013). An Independent Review of Barclay‘s Business Practices.
37. Sangmook, K. (2005). Individual-level factors and organizational performance in
government organizations. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 15,
38. Schein, E. H. (2004). Organizational Culture and Leadership (3rd ed.) San Francisco:
Jossey Bass.
39. Schwartz, S. (1977). Normative influences on altruism. In L. Berkowitz (Eds.), Advances
in experimental social psychology, Vol. 10 (pp. 221-279). San Diego, CA: Academic
40. Schwartz, S. H. and Bilsky, W. (1990). Toward a theory of the universal content and
structure of values: Extensions and cross-cultural replications. Journal of Personality and
Social Psychology, 58, 878-891.
41. Ullman, J. & Ravlin, E. (1993). Workplace values: Lessons for managers. Business and
Economic Review, Oct.-Dec.: 3-6.
42. Wenger, E (1998), Communities of practice: learning, meaning and identity, Cambridge
University Press, Cambridge.
VOLUME 2 ISSUE 6 (NOVEMBER 2015) ISSN : 2278 859X
Asian Academic Research Journal of Social Sciences & Humanities
43. White, C. (2006). Towards an understanding of the relationship between work values and
cultural orientations, International Journal of Hospitality Management, 25(4): 699-715.
44. Whiteley, A (1995), Managing change: a core values approach, Macmillan Education
Australia, South Melbourne, Victoria.
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
Full-text available
Workplace democracy. Empowerment. Team leaders. Knowledge workers. This is the language of the new work order promoted by todays management, which promises more meaningful and satisfying work, greater respect for diversity, and more democratic distribution of knowledge.But Gee, Hull, and Lankshear find startling contradictions in this brave new workplaceescalating inequality between individuals, nations, and even continents. They show how newly created alliances between business, educators, and psychologists may point to a hidden capitalist agenda more interested in preserving the status quo than establishing a new work order. This book offers a compelling and controversial account of global capitalism in the information age and the ways it affects language, literacy, learning, and life chances. It will be of particular interest to students in education, business, sociology, sociolinguistics, and communication studies.
Full-text available
Central to the theoretical model I have presented is the idea that altruistic behavior is causally influenced by feelings of moral obligation to act on one's personally held norms. Research supporting this central tenet of the model has demonstrated associations between personal norms and behavior, rather than causal relations. I have argued that these associations are at least partly causal, however, because: (1) the associations appear primarily in the presence of personality conditions conducive to norm activation and are absent when personality conditions are conducive to deactivation; and (2) attributes of personal norms (e.g., centrality, ·stability, intensity) relate to altruism singly and' in combination in ways predicted when we assume the causal impact of anticipated moral costs on behavior. A third critical link in this argument would be forged by studies showing that variations in situational conditions conducive to activation of moral obligation also influence the relationship between personal norms and behavior. There is ample evidence that variables which foster movement through the activation process, according to the theoretical model, are themselves related to altruistic behavior (e.g., seriousness of need, uniqueness of responsibility). What remains to be determined is whether the impact of these variables on altruism is mediated by personal norms. Evidence relevant to the sequential nature of the steps in the theoretical model is sparse. Both the ·distinctiveness and ordering of the postulated steps rests largely on logical rather than empirical grounds. The role of feedback among the steps, with new input of information from later redefinitions or overt actions in a chain of decisions, also merits investigation. It is worth noting that study of how personal norms are related to altruism is part of a larger enterprise, the investigation of attitude-behavior relations in general. Personal norms are a subtype of attitudinal variable, i.e., evaluations of acts in terms of their moral worth to the self. Techniques developed to discover whether the impact of personal norms on altruism is causal might profitably be imported into general attitude-behavior research. Reasoning like that employed to identify personality and situational moderators of the impact of personal norms on altruism might be used to track down the elusive moderators of other attitudinal variables. Characteristics of personal norms and the normative structure which influence their impact (e.g., centrality, stability) might also suggest characteristics of attitudes which warrant consideration. Equally important, the extensive research on attitude-behavior relations may yield leads for understanding the workings of personal norms. Next steps in developing the theory will have to address three issues given cursory treatment here. First, how do emotional arousal and feelings of moral obligation jointly influence altruism? Under what conditions and in what ways do they enhance 9r blunt each other's effects? How might emotional arousal modify the perception and processing of need-relevant information, for example? And how might rapidity of onset and deterioration in need cues affect shifting between empathic and morally mediated responsiveness? Second, how do perceived social norms and personal norms complement or supplement each other in their impact on altruistic behavior? Under what conditions do social norms have any influence? And do these effects ever interact with those of personal norms? Finally, how, if at all, do personal norms mediate boomerang effects on helping? What are the differences between conditions which elicit feelings of moral obligation and those which induce a sense of undue pressure or manipulation? Speculations and hypotheses regarding some of these questions, offered in my discussion of past research, may suggest directions for approaching these three issues. Experimental social psychologists, with their chariness toward individual differences, have conducted most of the research on prosocial behavior. Attention to internalized norms and values has consequently been restricted, and normative explanations have received short shrift (Darley & Latane, 1970; Krebs, 1970). I hope that the theory and research presented here will strengthen the credibility of normative approaches. Altruism-in contrast to the more inclusive "prosocial behavior" -implies purposes based in the person's value system. Hence altruism cannot be understood fully in the absence of studies which consider individual differences in values and norms as they interact with situational variables.
Full-text available
We study which dimensions of corporate culture are related to a firm's performance and why. We find that proclaimed values appear irrelevant. Yet, when employees perceive top managers as trustworthy and ethical, a firm's performance is stronger. We then study how different governance structures impact the ability to sustain integrity as a corporate value. We find that publicly traded firms are less able to sustain it. Traditional measures of corporate governance do not seem to have much of an impact.
Full-text available
Considerable research has asked whether public sector employees have different values and respond to different incen tives than private sector employees Recently, Jim Perry developed a scale designed to measure this construct, which he calls "public service motivation " We examine the relationship between public service motivation and federal employ ees' attitudes and behavior by examining responses of nearly 10, 000 federal employees to a recent survey Even though the survey only contained a subset of Perry's scale, we found significant relationships between public service motivation and federal employees' job satisfaction, performance, intention to remain with the government, and support for the government's reinvention efforts
Full-text available
This paper reports on the development of the Trust in Risk Communication scale (TRC). The TRC measures beliefs in government, management and union trustworthiness. The TRC is found to be significantly associated with (1) perception of risk from industrial hazards, (2) the Mayer, Davis and Schooner trust related factors, (3) dimensions defined by the theory of reasoned action, (4) job satisfaction, and (5) hope. There was no significant relationship between Schwartz values and the TRC. The TRC is shown to have appropriate psychometric characteristics across cultural groups. Data from workers (N=506) in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Mexico and the United States suggest that the TRC predicts workers' willingness to accept risk at the workplace. The TRC can assist researchers and practitioners by providing them with an overall assessment of workers' trust in risk management programmes.
The results of a large scale research project among top public managers in The Netherlands are presented. On the basis of Likert-scaling the degree of Change Orientation is measured. Change Orientation consists of five components: commitment to values; serving the public; empowerment and shared leadership; pragmatic incremen-talism and dedication to public service.