Part 1: an individual essay on how values affect individual and organizational behavior Values 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 terminal values of RVS. Individuals who entered the workforce from the mid 1960s through the mid- 1980s are labeled Boomers. Boomers were affected by the civil rights and Women’s movements, the Vietnam War, the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, and Watergate. (Stephan, 2009) Baby Boomers were believed to be “results driven,” “plan to stay for long term,” and “give maximum effort” (Society of Human Resource Management, 2004). This cohort of worker sees value as a sense of accomplishment and social recognition rank high for them.
GenX, experienced the AIDS epidemic, economic uncertainty, and the fall of the Soviet Union. As a result of these experiences, members of this cohort are reported to be independent and less committed to their employing organization. (Beutell & Wittig-Berman, 2008) They value flexibility, life options and the achievement of job satisfaction. (Stephan, 2009) They are also more willingly to trade off their salary to strive the work life balance. They rank true friendship, happiness and pleasure high in RVS. The youngest generation, GenMe, born between 1982 and 1999, grew up during the prosperous time.
Members of this generation have been described as “tech savvy,” “like informality,” “learn quickly,” and “embrace diversity. ” (Society of Human Research Management, 2004). They tend to be social conscious, entrepreneurial and questioning. (Stephan, 2009) According to N. A Hira, this is the most high maintenance workforce in the history of the world. In fact, leading companies have added amenities focusing on work-life balance, relaxation, and leisure activities. Google offers onsite laundry and massages; eBay set aside two rooms for meditation; and KPMG now offers workers 5 weeks of paid time off during their 1 st year (100 Best, 2008).
Understanding different individual’s value based of the period they grew up is undeniably valuable in explaining worker’s behavior. It is particularly important for an organization to recruit the ‘right’ candidate that favors the growth of the organization. Hofstede’s Framework Understanding values different cultures is helpful in explaining and predicting the behavior of employees from different countries. (Stephan, 2009) The framework concluded the five value dimensions of national culture between managers and employees.
His dimensions include power distance, masculinity vs. femininity, collectivism vs. individualism, uncertainty avoidance, long-term versus short-term orientation as described below: Power distance Power distance is the degree to which differences in power and status are accepted in a culture. A high rating of power distance describes the large inequalities of power and wealth exists and are tolerated in the cultural. A low power distance stresses equality and opportunity. For example, the French are relatively high in power distance, but Israelis and Swedes are very low.
In Israel and Sweden, worker groups demand and have a great deal of power over work assignments and conditions of work (Amal, 2011). Individualism versus collectivism Individualism-collectivism refers to whether individual or collective action is the preferred way to deal with issues. In cultures oriented toward individuals such as the United States -people tend to emphasize their individual needs, concerns, and interests over those of their group or organization. The opposite is true in countries high on collectivism, such as the Asian economies such as Japan and Taiwan. (Amal, 2011)
Masculinity versus femininity Masculinity is a culture that favors traditional masculine roles such as achievement, power control, with men dominating the society. A high femininity rating means culture sees little differentiation between male and female and treats women as equals in all aspects, working conditions, job satisfaction, and employee participation are also emphasized. High masculinity cultures such as Japan, Germany, and the United States tend to have more gender-differentiated occupational structures with certain jobs almost entirely assigned to women and others to men.
However, countries like Sweden and Norway have culture more on the feminine dimension. Uncertainty avoidance It refers to the degree to which people in a country prefer structure over unstructured situations defines their uncertainty avoidance. Culture with high uncertainty avoidance does not like ambiguous situations and will try to avoid it to be happened while cultures low on uncertainty avoidance take more risk and more readily accept change. In nations low in uncertainty avoidance such as the United States, there are fewer acceptances of rules and less conformity to the wishes of authority figures.
The opposite is true in high uncertainty avoidance nations such as Germany and Japan. Long-term versus short-term orientation Long term orientation is a culture attribute that emphasizes the future, thrift and persistence. In the short orientation, people value here and now and more readily to change and don’t see commitments as obstacles to change. Hofstede’s culture dimensions have been widely used the study of organization behavior for managers and researchers. Although this research has been criticized for its outdated data, and unexpected results, Hofstede has still been the most widely cited framework in organization behavior.
The Globe Framework for Assessing Cultures The Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior Effectiveness (GLOBE) research had further investigate the ongoing cross cultural investigation of leadership and national culture. (Stephan, 2009) It added on dimensions such as humane orientation (the degree to which a society rewards individuals for being altruistic, generous, and kind and others) and performance orientation (the degree to which a society encourages and rewards group members for performance improvement).
The test under GLOBE has said to confirm the study in Hofstede’s dimension and most researchers favor more on the Globe framework than the Hofstede framework as it covered wider range of dimension and it is more up-to-date. Does understanding differences in value be used for leaders to manage and motivate people more effectively? Values are core beliefs that underlying an individual’s thoughts that stimulate human behavior. Since values are prescriptive, they play an important role in determining the choices we make. Many leaders apply the concept of value to manage and motivate people as it is deemed to be an essential element to
England and Lee (1974) identified seven ways in which values affect leaders: 1. Values affect leaders’ perceptions of situations. 2. Leaders’ values affect the solutions they generate regarding problems. 3. Values play a role in interpersonal relationships. 4. Values influence perceptions of individual and organizational successes. 5. Values provide a basis for differentiating between ethical and unethical behavior. 6. Values affect the extent to which leaders accept or reject organizational pressures and goals. 7. Personal values may also affect managerial performance
Essentially, values are important to serve as a blueprint for problem solving, resolving conflicts and making decision. Leader values significantly affect followers and ultimately influence organizational performance. (Robert, 2001) The personal values of leaders, such as honesty and integrity, play a primary role in establishing interpersonal and organizational trust. Leaders who show appreciation for others reflect appropriate, unconditional love for their followers will be able to empower the organizational members by creating a trusting environment.
Besides, leaders are required to understand the value of different individuals as it can provide an insight of “what make the people tick” (Stephan, 2009). If the value of employees suit well with the organization, employee’s satisfaction and performance are likely to be higher. Therefore, it is significant for the management to recruit the candidates who have not only the ability but also the value system that is comparable with the organization. Hence, leaders must first examine their own belief systems in order to establish sound leadership practices.
Thereafter, leaders should examine the values of their organization and workers. Incongruence of value may cause the incompatible decisions, lower satisfaction, commitments ad motivation and eventually an increase stress and turnover. However, it is arguable that incongruence of value can sometimes bring benefits to the organization. Differences can bring better decision making, and problem solving and it also prevent “problem cults” to certain issues. Part 2: Reflective essay This reflective essay will analyze my values and how they affect my behavior and understanding of other people’s behavior.
In this essay, I will discuss about my personal values which have proportional affected my daily life. I am someone who emphasize on achievement as I always strive for the best for academic result throughout the year of my study life. During my Pre-university foundation year, I achieved goals and objectives allotted in my mission, such as the academic award for Mathematics. Success and achievement are always what I desire for. While working as a Mathematics teacher in a primary school during my school break, I was able to help weak students to score better in their Mathematics test.
I love to talk and always love to help people around me. I am happy enjoy the fruit of my hard work. I have a tendency to work with different peoples. It proves that I am self- reliant but team-oriented. My class was divided into groups having rivalries but I was comfortable adjusting with everyone. What actually motivates me? Motivation is the process that account for an individual’s intensity, direction and persistent of effort towards attaining a goal. (Stephan, 2009) I tend to get motivated by factors like recognition, job security, and prestigious title.
Getting appraised for my work will push me further and to achieve a higher goal in my life. I prefer a permanent job rather than a temporary job as I believe that we can’t strive through efficiency if our position in an organization is not secured. That explains that value of loyalty in my personal value. In the theory of generational values, my values of life suit better in GenX period, where work life balance and job satisfaction will strongly affect my job performance and attitude on work. Many researches had proven the strong link between personal value with employee’s performance and the level of satisfaction of to an organization. Stephan, 2009) If the values of an individual conflict with the practices of their employer’s organization, it can cause low levels of job satisfaction in the employee. They may begin dreading coming to work, and engage in both psychological and physical withdrawal behaviors. These withdrawal behaviors can lead to either termination or voluntary resignation of the employee. All of this can be fueled by the low job satisfaction, and unhappiness with their job that this clashing of values brings about. There is a set of value and these values affect behavioral outcomes.
Personal values and value systems result in characteristics or attitudes that in turn affect our behavior. (M. Rokeach, 1973) Therefore, by understanding and living with our values, it will enable us to be the person that we want to be, accomplish our life goal, and to help us in leading and influencing others. Appendices Exhibit 1: Terminal and instrumental values in the Rokeach Value Survey Source: Nature of Human Values, Milton Rokeach (1973) Exhibit 2: Schwartz? s Value Model Source: Schwarz& Boehnke (2004) References: Amal Altaf & Mohammad Ali Jinnah (2011).
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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. (2000). Is it a different world to when you were growing up? Generational effects on social representations and child-rearing values. British Journal of Sociology, 51: 355-376. 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 http://money. cnn. com/ magazines/fortune/bestcompanies/2008/full_list/
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