Building Organizational Values – 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

Exemplary organizations realize that individual values play a critical role in corporate culture. Malphurs, author of Values-Driven Leadership, explains that organizational values co-exist on two levels, personal and corporate. Core organizational values guide the operations.

Organizational culture relates to the underlying set of key values, beliefs, and norms shared by the workforce. Organizational culture development is amazing since different people have varying values. On a personal level, individuals have a set of core values that dictate their actions.

Organizational leaders then find themselves as institutional advocates; they influence how followers perceive organizational values. The values and beliefs of an individual are embedded in a culture and affect a leader’s behavior. Therefore, an effective organization must contain leaders with high integrity who understand their corporate culture.

If leaders do not possess morals consistent with their organization’s values, then there may be problems. This empirical fact also has a biblical perspective. Galatians 5:16, 19 reads, “If you are guided by the Spirit, you won’t obey your selfish desires…People’s desires make them give in to immoral ways, filthy thoughts, and shameful deeds.” Employees expect leaders to be high in moral conduct. There is clearly a relationship between personal and organizational value interaction.

In a perfect world, organizational changes would be gradual; however, the growing demands of a turbulent environment cause organizations to make radical and rapid changes. This places a heavy burden on organizational value systems. For example, an organization that advocates employee loyalty finds itself outsourcing its employee’s core functions.

Is it fair to believe that employees sometimes find organizational values hypocritical? This situation places organizational leaders, primarily front line supervisors, in a precarious situation. Therefore, organizations need to engage all employees in their organizational culture.


Gibson, J., Ivancevich, J., Donnelly, J., & Konopaske, R. (2006). Organizations: Behavior, Structure, Processes. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Joas, H. (2000). The Genesis of Values. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Scharmer, C. (1999). Action is the way in which human beings exist in the world. Conversation with Professor Hans Joas, Freie Universitat, Berlin.

Youth With A Mission (2002). Spiritual Formation in the Workplace: God’s Spirit at Work. Received on September 2, 2006, from

© 2006 by Daryl D. Green