How Values Affect Individual and Organizational Behavior

Topics: Culture, Value, Geert Hofstede Pages: 10 (2689 words) Published: May 6, 2013
Part 1: an individual essay on how values affect individual and organizational behavior


The topic of values has become a plethora item of debate in many areas, particularly in the field of organization behavior. Values can be defined as the basic convictions that a specific mode of conduct or end- state of existence is personally or socially preferable to an opposite and converse mode of conduct or end state of existence (M. Rokeach, 1973). Value predicts various aspects of individual’s actions and ideas. It is a judgmental element where individual defines what is right or wrong, good or bad and desirable based on the values. If an individual’s values in term of their intensity are ranked, we can obtain an individual’s value system. According to Stephan (2009), value system is a hierarchy of values that form our value system to identify the relative importance we assign to value such as freedom, pleasure, self- respect, honesty and others. Values influence both choices and behaviors related to them. (Bardi and Schwartz, 2003). Values are usually stable, long lasting and enduring. Massey (1979) identified myriad influences on personal values, which can be derived from family, religion belief, friends or peers, education, life experiences, technology, the media and others.

Theory of values

Milton Rokeach developed the Rokeach Value Survey (RVS). This survey is widely used in the research of human’s value with different occupations. It consists of 18 individual values in which categorized under two sets of values, namely terminal values and instrumental values. Terminal value refers to the goals that a person would like to achieve during his or her life time while instrumental values refers to the preferable modes of behavior or means of achieving one’s terminal values. (See Exhibit 1). The finding of the survey stated that people in the same group of occupations tend to hold similar values and there are differences between people for other type of occupations. These differences make things difficult to negotiate with each other and sometimes can create serious conflict among them. Conversely, conflicts can also be resolved by knowing the differences value amongst individuals.

Under the Scwartz’s value model, a widely accepted value model that consists of 10 human value types is introduced. Values are arranged in two diffrent dimensions: openness to change (motivation o pursue innovative ways) vs. conservation ( motivation to preserve status quo) and self-enhancement (driven by self interest) vs. self-transcendence (promote wlefare of others) (See Exhibit 2). Extensive research in numerous countries has confirmed the validity of this model across cultures. However, cultures may differ in their value priorities. (Schwarz& Boehnke, 2004)

Relevant of Values for directing Individual and Organization Behavior

Generational Values

Organizations are currently facing the retirement of many older workers and the challenge of recruiting and retaining young talent. Hence, it is extremely important to capture the values from different generations and their work values. According to Scott (2000, p. 356), this value system or view of the world "stays with the individual throughout their lives and is the anchor against which later experiences are interpreted. Today's workforce consists of individuals from four generations: the Silent Generation (born 1925-1945), the Baby Boomers (Boomers; born 1946-1964), Generation X (GenX; born 1965-1981), and Generation Me (GenMe, also known as GenY, Millennials, nGen, and iGen; born 1982-1999). (J. M Twenge, 2010).

Silent generation grew up and very much affected by the influence of Great Depression. This group of workers believe in hard work, conservative and confirming. Silent Generations are loyal to their employer and respectful of authority, hardworking and practical (Stephan, 2009). They tend to achieve a more comfortable life and family security in the...

References: Beutell, N. J., & Wittig-Berman, U. 2008. Work-family conflict and work-family synergy for generation X, baby boomers, and matures. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 23: 507-523.
Massey, M. (1979), The People Puzzle: Understanding Yourself and Others, Reston Publishing Company, Reston, VA.
N.A. Hira, “ You Raised Them, Now Manage Them,” Fortune, may 28,2007, pp.38-46
Robert, F.R (2001), The Role of Values in Servant Leadership
Rokeach, M. (1973), The Nature of Human Values, The Free Press, New York, NY.
Schwartz, S. H. and Boehnke, K. (2004), ‘Evaluating the structure of human values with confirmatory factor analysis’, Journal of Research in Personality, 38, pp. 230–255.
J. W. Twenge, S. M Campbell, B. J Hoffman & C. E. Lance (2010), “Generational Differences in Work Values: Leisure and Extrinsic Values Increasing, Social and Intrinsic Values Decreasing’ Journal of Management, 36:1117-1142
Scott, J
Stephan P. R. , Timothy A. J. (2009), Organisation Behaviour. Pearson Education, Inc., New Jersey.
100 best companies to work for. 2008. Fortune. Retrieved December 2, 2008, from magazines/fortune/bestcompanies/2008/full_list/
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