Personal Values and Beliefs: Shaping the Workplace

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Updated: Jun 19, 2023
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The main purpose of this report is to study the change in behavior of individuals in the organization according to their personal values. And also what study whether national cultural values have any impact on this. There is always a lack of agreement on what values are, how values are perceived in the workplace, and, more importantly, what the actual people’s perception of values is in the ways they feel and act in the workplace. People’s personal values drive the way they make decisions.

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There is always a link between the behavior and attitude of a person and one’s personal values. We will be focusing on what are the actual roles of people’s personal values in the workplace. How do people perceive their personal values? And How might personal values influence the way people think, feel, and act?

What are the values?

Value, attitude, and behavior are interlinked with each other. All three decide the personality of an individual. Value is an expression of an individual’s standard, faith, or ideal he carries with him as a part of his personality. There ‘n’ no. of definitions by different people for value, but basic value defines “The beliefs people have about what is right and wrong and what is most important in life, which control their behavior.” If we ask someone what are your views on quotas in education institutes and government jobs, right? There will be a large number of people who are against it, but there will also be people who are positive towards this, and such change of behavior is generally defined by individual value. Similarly, a manager who strongly believes in work ethics will tend attitude towards workers to work harder to save the position they are working for. A person has a hierarchy of value systems. It is nothing but various values that are nurtured within and their relative importance, which is arranged accordingly within oneself. Values, to a large extent genetically inherited. Most of our values are formed in our early years—with input from parents, teachers, friends, and others. As children, we are told that certain behaviors or outcomes are always desirable or always undesirable. If someone like non-violence, or equality, one would always tend to live in peace, preach peace and give equal opportunities to their subordinates.

Value is very important to study because it defines the behavior of a person within the organization. Culture is formed by the value system practiced by all employees, and organizational culture plays a dominant role in the productivity of the organization. If promotion is related to the performance, the workers would put in the hard work. On the contrary, if promotion is based on seniority, the efficiency of the individual will be drastically reduced. Value and culture, therefore, play a decisive role in motivation and employee productivity.

Types of value 

(a) Theoretical value: Theoretical value is interrelated to the importance and discovery of truth through a balanced approach. If all the personnel follow the path of truth, the organization will work automatically and will not require any direction. Truth is such a powerful value that the British Kingdom had left Indian soil.
(b) Economic value: Economic value is appreciated in a very comprehensive sense. If the project is economically feasible (in a very large sense), then it can be undertaken. It highlights the usefulness and practicability of resources, efforts put in by persons, and the resulting value derived there, and it spells apart from the economics of the issue. It also adds human value to it when it is considered. It is the human feature that makes economic value enlarged.
(c) Aesthetic value: Aesthetic value is shown by cordial relations between various levels of association, effective communication, a conflict-free atmosphere, and a very pleasant work environment. We believe that all work should be done in a smooth manner and that there is a common understanding and sense of participation among all human elements. Harmony, peace, and involvement of one and all are driven by aesthetic values.
(d) Social value: Is linked to love of people, a sense of belonging, and an attitude of ‘we’ feeling. Such value is essential in the organization that brings together the personnel, who is bound by a sense of contribution that leads to a high level of stimulation and high output.
(e) Political value: It refers to power and impact in the organization. Right people must be placed in the right places so that they are able to impact the people
(f) Religious value: As the name suggested, it is related to the show of value that would bring harmony and understanding among the persons in the organization based on a common mystical platform. This value is no more is being spoken in organizations as a cross-unit of persons is now working in organizations the world over. However, the positive impression of work conditions in organizations cannot be underrated based on spiritual value.

Rokeach Value Survey

Milton Rokech is an innovator in studying human values. His innovation is known as the Rokeach value survey (RVS). This survey has two sets of values which are terminal and instrumental values.

Terminal Value

Terminal Values denote desirable end-states of existence. These are the goals that one would like to achieve throughout his or her lifetime. These values vary between different groups of persons in different cultures.
The terminal principles in RVS are:
• True Friendship
• Mature Love
• Self-Respect
• Happiness
• Inner Harmony
• Equality
• Freedom
• Pleasure
• Social Recognition
• Wisdom etc.

Instrumental value

Instrumental Values denote desirable modes of behavior. These are desirable modes of behavior or means of attaining terminal values.
• The Instrumental Principles are:
• Cheerfulness
• Ambition
• Love
• Cleanliness
• Self-Control
• Capability
• Courage
• Politeness
• Honesty
• Imagination etc.

Values in the Workplace

Values can intensely influence employee conduct in the workstation. If an employee values honesty, hard work, and discipline, for instance, he will likely make an effort to show those traits in the workstation. This one may therefore be a more effective employee and a more positive role model to others than an employee with conflicting values.
Conflict may arise, though, if an employee understands that her co-workers don’t share her values. For instance, an employee who values hard work may resent co-workers who are lazy and unproductive without being reprimanded. Even so, extra conflicts can result if the employee attempts to force her personal values on her co-workers.

Values and Behavior in the Workplace

A work atmosphere should strive to inspire positive values and discourage negative impacts that affect behavior. All individuals have an ethical compass, defined by values, through how they treat others and conduct themselves. Persons who lack strong or moral values may participate in adverse behavior that can hurt the organization. While an organization can’t do anything about the effects that shape a being’s values and behavior before hiring, the organization can try to affect employee behavior in the workplace.

Means of Encouraging or Discouraging Behavior

Training programs, codes of conduct, and ethics committees can notify employees of the kinds of behavior that the company finds acceptable and nonacceptable. While these efforts will unnecessarily change a person’s values, they can help them decide not to participate in unethical behavior while at work. Managers must highlight not only an employee’s responsibilities but also the organization’s expectations with respect to values as well as ethics. Ethics statements, as well as vision statements, are useful tools in cooperating with employees on what the company stands for in addition to why.

A system of penalties and prizes can also help foster the type of morals the organization wants to see in its employees, essentially filtering behavior over conditioning. If persons see that specific behaviors are rewarded, then they may decide to alter their behavior and, in turn, alter their values. In addition, a gap occasionally exists between a being’s values and behavior. This gap can stem from a conscious decision not to follow a precise value with a corresponding action. This decision can be influenced by how deeply this value affects the being’s character and by the nearby environment.

Culture is also mainly related to how ethics shape behavior, as a given organizational culture can create camaraderie as well as social interdependence. Conforming to the expectations and morals of a large organization is a general outcome of organizations with strong cultures and visions. Such an organization promotes passion as well as positive behavior in employees. Of course, an organization’s culture can work in both directions. Few industries are inherently competitive, valuing discrete dominance over other individuals (for example, sales, stock trading, etc.). While some may view such an ethos as objectively negative, it is subjectively beneficial for the organization to instill and improve these ethics to create certain behaviors (such as hard work and high motivation).

Job satisfaction is one of the utmost important and much-studied attitudes in organizational behavior. One reason for the interest in job satisfaction is that whether an employee is satisfied with their job has significant consequences not only for the employee but also for co-employees, managers, and the organization as a whole. Employees’ degree of job satisfaction can vary from extreme satisfaction to extreme dissatisfaction. Formally, job satisfaction is an ‘affective or emotional response towards various facets of one’s job.’ Studies show that employees who are more satisfied are less likely to leave when their personal values match with the organization’s values and when he or they have positive attitudes towards the work environment (Hom and Griffeth, 1995). Values are anticipated ways of behaving or desired end-states. When an employee’s values clash with organizational values, the employee possibly has interpersonal value clashes or individual organizational value clashes that may affect job satisfaction, turnover, and possibly performance. Attitudes, on the other hand, are known as a learned predilection to respond in a consistently favorable or unfavorable manner with respect to a given object. Research shows that general job attitudes were positively linked to performance and negatively linked with indications of taking away, tardiness, absenteeism, as well as turnover. (Harrison, Newman, and Roth, 2006).

What persons think and feel about overall work, and about their jobs as well as organizations in particular, affects not only how they behave at work but also their overall well-being, and this overall reflects how happy, healthy, and prosperous they are. The views and feelings people have about work, their jobs, and their organization determine how they understand the work. Few views and feelings are fundamental and extensive; they are concerned not very much with aspects of a specific job or organization but with the kind of work in general. These views and feelings, known as work values, are comparatively long-lasting. Work values are an employee’s personal beliefs about what outcomes anyone can expect from work and how one should behave at work; personal values are divided into two categories. Values such as the logic of accomplishment, happiness, pleasure, salvation, and wisdom, are desired end-states or life goals. These ethics represent the things we want to achieve or accomplish in our lives and are known as terminal values. Another behavior or means by which we achieve our terminal values or desired ends is known as instrumental values. These values such like ambition, honesty, independence, love as well as obedience. (Rokeach, 1973). For instance, an employee who gives value to the instrumental value of honesty is not likely to lie or cheat in order to achieve a terminal value related to a sense of task completion than some person who does not value honesty.
A few times, employees’ individual values may experience sources of clashes from inside the person, between persons, and between the person and the organization. These value clashes affect a person’s attitudes, job satisfaction, turnover, and performance at work. Inner clashes and resultant stress are typically known as interpersonal clashes and are experienced when employees’ instrumental and terminal values pull them in different directions. These types of clashes cause stress. Employees are unhappy and more stressed when their personal values clash with their superiors at work, and such clashes can negatively affect a person’s career. In addition to interpersonal value clashes, an employee’s personal values may conflict with the cultural value system of an organization. Organizations actively seek to embed certain values into their corporate culture. Conflicts possibly occur when values espoused and passed by the organization collide with employees’ personal values. Research shows that these three types are directly co-related with job satisfaction and outcome, commitment, performance, career success, stress, and turnover intentions and hence must be lined up for positive outcomes (Elfenbein and O’Reilly, 2007; Ostroff, Shin, and Kinicki, 2005). Work attitudes are collections of feelings, beliefs, and opinions about how to behave that people presently hold about their jobs and organizations. Work attitudes are not long-lasting as ethics, primarily because the way persons experience their jobs and organizations often varies over time. These changes may be because of changes in work conditions or being given or denied a raise. Though values represent global beliefs that affect behavior across all situations, attitudes relate only to behavior straight towards specific objects, processes, or circumstances and are a learned predisposition to respond in a reliably favorable or unfavorable manner. (Fishbein, 1975).

Work attitudes such as organizational commitment, job participation, and job satisfaction are the interest to managers. On one side, they represent important results that may be managers want to enhance. On the other side, they are indicative of other potential problems, such as less job satisfaction and employees’ intention to leave. It is, therefore, important for managers to understand the reasons and consequences of key work attitudes like job satisfaction. Job satisfaction reflects the extent to which our individuals like their job. Job satisfaction is an emotional response towards various sides of one’s job, which indicates that one can be comparatively satisfied with one aspect of their job and not satisfied with one or other aspects. For instance, an employee may be satisfied because of aspects like work, co-colleagues, and supervisors but may be dissatisfied because of increments and pay based on their values and attitudes (Skokie and McNally, 1969). It is very important to understand these causes in order to find a solution to stop the decline in job satisfaction. Since values and attitudes are related to job satisfaction (Hom and Griffeth, 1995), knowledge about job satisfaction can also assist managers in using a multifaceted approach to growing work attitudes. Managers can therefore enhance employee satisfaction by organizing the work environment and its associated recognition to strengthen employees’ values and attitudes.

How Do Values Affect the Cohesiveness of the Workplace

Sharing a common set of core ideals helps employees work together toward the same aims. It is the organization’s responsibility to define, communicate and implement values in the workplace. The particular set of values an organization instills in the work environment depends on the type of business. Though values that build teamwork, motivate employees, encourage innovation, and reduce workplace politics to improve the cohesiveness of the workstation.


A work atmosphere that strongly values teamwork helps employees come all together to resolve problems. Employees working together toward the same aim makes the unit more consistent and efficient. Management needs to define the aims, provide the tools for employees to reach them, as well as encourage employees to work together. Management should give duties to employees according to their individual strengths and weaknesses. Employees work together more fluidly when they know as well as trust each other’s abilities as well as feel comfortable asking for assistance. According to a study conducted by the Stanford Graduate School of Business, manufacturing businesses that support teamwork are more productive. They produce products in lesser time with fewer defects.


Values such as honesty, integrity, and a strong work ethic motivate employees to do their best. Individuals who believe in what they are doing and take pride in their work will make significant contributions to a business. When workers feel that their actions are contributing to the greater good, they are more willing to give the effort required to achieve aims without complaints or dissension. As per a paper published by Sigma Assessment Systems, motivated employees are more satisfied with their jobs, leading to fewer job quits. Less job quits leading to less disruption.


Innovation is thoroughly tied to creative thinking and organizational learning. If organization emphasizes these attributes in the workplace, more productive business processes will be discovered. The workplace will function better as employees improve their communication skills as well as learn from each other while they work to implement their points.


Another important value that disturbs team cohesiveness is diplomatic dealings. Management must discourage workplace politics and then encourage employees to practice diplomacy and professionalism in their relationships with each other. This will help to make that the workplace will be disrupted by gossip as well as cliques. When there are cliques, those in the clique might not share important data or equipment and may refuse to help someone from outside the group. All this will lead to poor morale as well as high turnover. Practicing diplomacy as well as professionalism will help the team function well as a whole.

How Beliefs Affect Culture

An organization’s philosophy covers everything it does and everything it makes. As it not only interrupts the manner in which managers manage (and consequently shape employee behavior), but it also disturbs the way in which the organization processes its product and provides services to its consumers.
Culture is affected by an organization’s beliefs. For instance, if we believe, as many managers can do, that the blue-collar worker is skilled only in functioning as a machine, and this belief permeates the company,

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Personal Values and Beliefs: Shaping the Workplace. (2023, Jun 17). Retrieved from