A Culture of Respect

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A Culture of Respect:
How Can Leaders Create a Culture of Respect in an Industrial Organization? ORGL 506
Gonzaga University

John Gergich
ORGL 506 A1
Professor Barbara McLaughlin
February 19th, 2012

Abstract
This paper provides an overview of research surrounding the importance of creating a culture of respect within an industrial organization. The research identifies key definitions of respect as well as other principles interrelated to respect such as honesty, integrity and transparency. Drawing on the research, culture is defined by policies, procedures and behaviors of the individuals who make up the organization. The research also describes not only the keys necessary to developing an environment where respect and trust flourish, but how to sustain the gains in order to create a competitive advantage. When respect and trust are increased, productivity increases and cost is reduced. Conversely, when respect and trust are low, the speed at which things are accomplished is significantly slowed and costs begin to spiral out of control.

Creating a Culture of Respect
Respect is one of the values that we hear talked about a lot in organizations. Respect is a word that usually evokes a positive conversation in that most human beings feel that respect is important and valued. The problem has been that almost no one really thinks about or understands what it means to respect someone, create a culture of respect among people or for that matter what it means to be to be respected. We don’t generally normally think of respect as an action but as a feeling or judgment about other people. The purpose of this literature review is to give leaders, line managers, project managers and change agents practical assistance in creating a work environment where everyone feels valued and respected and where harassment and bullying are unacceptable. The guidance draws on information from a number of resources and research documents produced in recent years. Leaders who fail to tackle discrimination, harassment and bullying pay a price. The cost to an organization can be measured in: • lost time because staff are affected by stress and ill health • lower engagement due to low morale

• reduced work output and quality of service
• lost resources due to trained and experienced people leaving the organization Organizations are complex systems with their own rules and cultures. The way that organizations manage people plays an important role in the creation of a culture that is either respectful or bullying towards its employees. An organization has to ensure that its systems and culture do not reward bullying behavior, but rather that such behavior will be discovered and challenged. Literature Review

Defining Respect
The word respect originates from the Latin “respectus” which means “to look” or “to look back”. The term can be distinguished as having something to do with observation. If the prefix "re" implies "again", then we have the concept of respect as meaning something like "looking again" (Selman, 2001). Respecting another means we are “looking" at the other person in a particular way. Although we may or may not agree with another’s worldview or perspective, we are open to listening and honoring their opinion. Conversely, disrespect conveys a behavior in which we are generally closed to certain possibilities and conversations with them. Although respect is just a word, what it means and what it distinguishes for us can make all the difference in how we observe ourselves and others. In the article Leadership and respect, the author suggests that while respect is a context for any relationship, we as individuals make the choice whether it is an expression of our commitment to effective relationships with others or whether it becomes part of a culture and worldview that separates and limits us. Stephen M.R. Covey suggests...
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