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Values And Culture In Organizations: Public And Private Sectors

2945 words - 12 pages

“How are values formed in organizations and how are they linked to organizational cultures? Do public sector organisations differ from private sector ones in these aspects?”

Stan Slap, author of The New York’s Times Bestseller list, ‘Bury My Heart at Conference Room B’, said that “the purpose of leadership is to change the world around you in the name of your values, so you can live those values more fully.” In any organization, public or private, it is important for public sectors and leaders to maintain a moral compass that would inspire, lead, guide and provide a solid foundation and some sense of security for organizations to navigate massive or significant transformational changes, such as Acts and Ministries enacted by the government (Brinkley 2013). In the context of organizational culture, I will attempt to define values as “the unspoken rules and subtle cues from leadership that guide people’s behaviors and tell them how to act to be effective in a particular environment,” (Tucker 2012; Brinkley 2013). Another similar definition (2014) defines values as “important and lasting beliefs or ideals shared by the members of a culture about what are good or bad and desirable or undesirable.” Values are crucial as they form the base of culture, and culture is what drives performance. Schein (1985) explains that organizational culture is defined as a set of beliefs, values, and assumptions that are shared by members of an organization. These underlying values have an influence on the behavior of organizational members, as people rely on these values to guide their decisions and behaviors (Schein 1985; Gregory et. Al 2009). An organization’s values and culture determine what is replaceable and what is essential. To quote Delaney (2008), ‘a thriving organizational culture is one of the key drivers of business success and performance.’ Today's most successful businesses focus on creating strong cultures as a key strategy to address business challenges of the 21st Century that have become more urgent and complex such as organizational restructuring, changes in top leadership, changing business models, mergers and acquisitions, turnaround strategies, large-scale infrastructure or change initiatives. All of these situations require a high-performance culture for individuals, teams, leaders and the overall organization to perform at their best.’ It is believed that most organizations (public and private) have a balanced set of values that drive performance along several dimensions such as customer care, safety, integrity, honesty, performance, innovation, creativity and service. How organizations choose to balance their values is as important as the values themselves (Brinkley 2013).

An organization’s values strongly influence individual behaviors and attitudes and serve as broad guidelines within which decisions are made, this could also be identified as how values are formed in organizations. An organization’s values...

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