Aligning Values in Organizations – Nu Leadership Series

“In the past a leader was a boss. Today’s leaders must be partners with their people… they no longer can lead solely based on positional power.”
Ken Blanchard

There appears to be a critical weakness in modern organizations. Many organizations exist with value misalignment. Values are the core beliefs of an individual. Different people have different values. Mencken, author of Prejudices, argued, “The difference between a moral man and a man of honor is that the latter regrets a discreditable act, even when it has worked and he has not been caught.”

Many leaders forget about the importance of values in an organization. Few institutions take responsibility for value alignment. They don’t hire employees with values in mind. Organizations communicate their expectations through their corporate culture. Incongruent values held by employees damage group dynamics by creating unhealthy conflicts in an organization. These value conflicts can escalate over time.

Organ and Bateman, organizational management gurus, argue that the existence of a hierarchy, competition, and constraints on behavior guarantee that frustration will be frequent in most organizations. Consequently, value alignment is critical for successful endeavors in organizations. Obviously, the concept of values has a biblical foundation. In Matthew 18:19, Jesus shares this point: “…If two of you on earth agree together to ask for something, my Father in heaven will do it for them.”

Mutual agreement can also work in secular organizations. Therefore, organizations should seriously consider value alignment as a business strategy. Values do impact the bottom line. Effective leaders understand this fact and provide a positive influence to employees.

References:

Organ, D. and Bateman, T. (1991). Organizational Behavior. Homewood, IL and Boston, MA: Irwin.

Yukl, G. (2002). Leadership in Organizations. Delhi, India: Pearson Education.

© 2006 by Daryl D. Green