Conduct a Study on Differences in Individual and Group Values and How They Will Affect Individual and Organisational Behaviour

Topics: Sociology, Organizational studies, Value Pages: 7 (2489 words) Published: August 27, 2013
Values in individuals and organisations have been a topic of interest to researchers, social critics and practitioners and the public for many years, (Meglino & Ravlin, 1998). Despite many theories and attention from all the above mentioned, there is still a large amount of deliberation as to the definition of values and the effect on the organisations effectiveness. Values occupy place in the scientific and public at a number of levels. They are "among the very few social psychological concepts that have been successfully employed across all social science disciplines" (Rokeach & Ball-Rokeach, 1989, p. 775). Values have an influence and affect the behaviour of individuals (Locke, 1976; Rokeach, 1973).


In organisations, values form a major part of the components of organisational culture (O'Reilly & Chatman, 1996; Schein, 1985), and are sometimes described as being responsible for the success of management for several companies (Mitchell & Oneal, 1994). Values have also been characterised as "the most distinctive property or defining characteristic of a social institution" (Rokeach, 1979, p. 51). Little agreement is found on the nature of values. Values have often been referred to as well as been put in the same category as needs, motivations, goals and attitudes. Theoreticians (e.g., Fallding, 1965; Rokeach, 1973; Williams, 1968) have distinguished and focused on two types of values. One type is that which an individual places on an object. A second type of value is likely to describe a person or personal values (Feather, 19950. Focus on the values of individuals will be discussed rather than objects. A work environment should rather strive to encourage a positive attitude and stray away from negative perceptions and influencers that affect behaviour. (Mcshane et al, 2010). A set of moral values will shape how individuals will treat each other and conduct themselves. (Rokeach, 1973). The end company cannot affect the influences that shaped a person’s values before they were hired, the organisation can put into place relevant programs to influence the employee behaviour in the workplace (Mcshane, 2010). Training programs, clear outline of code of conduct and the formation of ethics committees can guide the employees as to which behaviours are acceptable in the organisation. While it may not change the care values of the individual, it can empower them as to decide to participate in unethical behaviour while in the workplace (Mcshane, 2010). The creation of a reward or punishment system can also benefit the fostering of the type of values the organisation wants to see in its employees, a prolonged version of this may instil in the employees a new or changed set of values. There is often a gap between a person’s behaviour and their values, which can be swayed or bottlenecked by certain systems put in place by the organisation (Feather, 1995). Numerous suggestions have been made to explain the similarities and the differences in the values by which individuals hold. One suggestion derives from values that are "founded, in part, upon the fundamental biological similarities of all human beings" (Kluckhohn, 1951, p. 418). Another suggestion is that individuals rely on values as a way to justify their behaviour (Nord et al., 1988). Some differences in values could be the result of differences in individuals in a population’s behaviour. The most frequently seen reason for similarities and differences regarding values are that they are greatly influenced by personal experiences (Bern, 1970; Jones & Gerard, 1967; Rokeach, 1973). Essentially, organisations do not possess values apart from the employee’s values (Meglino et al, 1998). Values are a major component of an organization's culture (O'Reilly & Chatman, 1996). Shared values encourage more efficient and positive interactions between individuals, so does an organization's culture begin to facilitate the same interactions...

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