Another source of individual differences is value. Values exist at a deeper level than attitudes and are more general and basic in nature. We use them to evaluate our own behaviour and that of others. Value is an enduring belief that a specific mode of conducts or end state of existence is personally and socially preferable to the alternative modes of conduct or end states of existence. Once it is internalised it becomes consciously or unconsciously, a standard or criterion for guiding action, for developing and maintaining attitudes toward relevant objects and situation, for justifying one’s own and others’ actions and attitudes for morally judging oneself and others and for comparing oneself with others. Value, therefore, is a standard or yardstick to guide actions, attitudes, evaluations and justifications of the self and others.

Ronald D White and David A Bednar have defined value as a “concept of the desirable, an internalised criterion or standard of evaluation a person possesses. Such concepts and standards are relatively few and determine or guide an individual’s evaluations of the many objects encountered in everyday life”.

Values of Organisational development

Values of organisational development are tinged with moral flavour, involving an individual’s judgement of what is right, good or desirable. Thus values:

  • Provide standards of competence and morality.
  • Are fewer in number than attitudes.
  • Transcend specific objects, situations or persons.
  • Are relatively permanent and resistant to change, and
  • Are more central to the core of a person.

Individuals learn values as they grow and mature. They may change over the life span of an individual develops a sense of self. Cultures, societies, and organizations shape values.

Importance of Values

Values are important to the study of organizational behaviour because they lay the foundation for the understanding of attitudes and motivation and because they influence out perceptions. Individuals enter an organization with preconceived notions of what “ought” and what “ought not’ to be. For example, If Jeevan enters IG Ferns and Curtains with a view that salary on piece-rate system is right and on time-rate basis is wrong. He is likely to be disappointed if the company allocates salary on time-rate basis. His disappointment is likely to breed his job dissatisfaction. This will, in turn, adversely affect his performance, his attitude and in turn, behaviour would be different if his values are aligned with the company’s reward/pay policy.

Formation of Values

Values are learned and acquired primarily through experiences with people and institutions. Parents, for example, will have substantial influence on their children’s values. A parent’s reaction to everyday events demonstrates what is good and bad, acceptable and unacceptable and important and unimportant. Values are also taught and reinforced in schools, religious organizations, and social groups. As we grow and develop, each source of influence contributes to our definition what is important in life. Cultural mores have influence of the formation of values. Basic convictions of what is good or bad are derived from one’s own culture.

Types of Values

All port and his associates categorized values into six types.

  1. Theoretical: Interested in the discovery of truth through reasoning and systematic thinking.
  2. Economic: Interest in usefulness and practicality, including the accumulation of wealth.
  3. Aesthetic: Interest in beauty, form and artistic harmony.
  4. Social: Interest in people and love as a human relationship.
  5. Political: Interest in graining power and influencing people.
  6. Religious: Interest in unity and understanding the cosmos as a whole

Instrumental and Terminal Values: Rokeach distinguishes between two types of values: Instrumental and Terminal.

Instrumental Value: Instrumental values reflect the means to achieving goals; that is, they represent the acceptable behaviour to be used in achieving some end state.

Instrumental values identified by Rokeach include ambition, honesty, self-sufficiency and courageousness.

Instrumental value refers to a single belief that always takes the form: I believe that such and such a mode of conduct (example Honesty, courage, etc.) is personally and socially preferable in all situations with respect to all objects. An instrumental value is a tool or means for acquiring a terminal value.

Terminal Value: Terminal values, in contrast, represent the goals to be achieved, or the end states of existence. Rokeach identified happiness, love, pleasure, self-respect, and freedom among the terminal values.

Terminal value takes a comparable form: I believe that such and such an end state of existence (example salvation, or world at peace etc.) is personally and socially worth striving for. A terminal value is an ultimate goal in a desired status or outcome.

Work Values: Work values are important because they affect how individuals behave on their jobs in terms of what is right and wrong. The work values most relevant to individuals are: -

  1. Achievement: Achievement is a concern for the advancement of one’s career. This is shown in such behaviours as working hard and seeking opportunities to develop new skills.
  2. Concern for Others: Concern for others reflects caring, compassionate behavior such as encouraging other employees or helping others work on difficult tasks. These behaviours constitute organizational citizenship.
  3. Honesty: Honesty is accurately providing information and refusing to mislead others for personal gain.
  4. Fairness: Fairness emphasizes impartiality and recognises different points of view.

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Principles of Management and Organisational Behaviour Topics