Values are the enduring beliefs that a specific mode of conduct or end state of existence is personally or socially preferable.
These are more difficult to change or alter. As ethical conduct receives more visibility in the workplace, the importance of values is increased as a topic of discussion in management.
Values are general principles to regulate our day-to-day behavior. They not only give direction to our behavior but are also ideals and objectives in themselves. They are the expression of the ultimate ends, goals or purposes of social action.
Our values are the basis of our judgments about what is desirable, beautiful, proper, correct, important, worthwhile and good as well as what is undesirable, ugly, incorrect, improper and bad.
Pioneer sociologist Durkheim emphasized the importance of values (though he used the term ‘morals’) in controlling disruptive individual passions.
He also stressed that values enable individuals to feel that they are part of something bigger than themselves. E. Shils also makes the same point and calls ‘the central value system,’ (the main values of society) are seen as essential in creating conformity and order.
Indian sociologist R.K. Mukherjee writes: “By their nature, all human relations and behavior are embedded in values.
- Value is the foundation for understanding the level of motivation.
- It influences our perception.
- Value helps to understand what ought to be or what ought not to be.
- It contains interpretations of right or wrong.
- These influence attitudes and behavior.
- It implies that certain behaviors on outcomes are preferred over others.
- These allow the members of an organization to interact harmoniously. These make it easier to reach goals that would be impossible to achieve individually.
- These are goals set for achievements, and they motivate, define and color all our activities cognitive, affective add connective.
- They are the guideposts of our lives, and they direct us to who we want to be.
- Values and morals can not only guide but inspire and motivate a person, give energy and a zest for living and for doing something meaningful.
Actually, values are important to the study of organizational behavior because they lay the foundation for the understanding of attitudes and motivation.
Individuals enter an organization with preconceived notions of what “ought” or what “ought not” to be. Of course, these notions are not value free.
These are part of the makeup of a person. They remind us as to what is important in our lives, such as success or family, but also, by virtue of their presence, they provide contrast to what is not important.
That is not to say that, over time, values cannot change.
As we grow and change as individuals, we will begin to value different aspects of life.
If we value- family when we are younger, as our children get older, we might start to value success in business more than the family.