Understanding Values for Insightfully Aware Leadership

59 Pages Posted: 26 Jul 2014 Last revised: 17 Feb 2016

Date Written: February 17, 2016


Values are widely labelled as "principles" as well as "motivators"’ that influence our lives. Given their importance in everything we do, including our work, we advocate recognizing and understanding values as part of deepening one’s self-awareness – a key element in leadership development – especially where this emphasizes authenticity or emotional intelligence. While there is a substantial consensus about the link between understanding one's values and self-awareness, research explicitly relating this to leadership development is more limited. By reviewing an extensive range of classic and contemporary academic literature on: values, values hierarchy, work values, organizational values; as well as values sources, change, conflict, congruence and communication; we provide a holistic view of the concept of values. Next, we use this review to derive an integrated definition and a framework for understanding values (personal, work and organizational). These act as a constructive contribution for deeper self-awareness in leadership – a part of leadership development that is "insightfully aware." Finally, we identify a number of suggestions to guide future research seeking to explore and apply the role and understanding of values in leadership and organizational dynamics.

Keywords: Values, Work Values, Values Hierarchy, Values Sources, Values Compatibility or Congruence, Values Conflict, Leadership Development, Personal Motivators, Insightful Awareness

Suggested Citation

Woodward, Ian and Shaffakat, Samah, Understanding Values for Insightfully Aware Leadership (February 17, 2016). INSEAD Working Paper No. 2016/05/OBH, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2471492 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2471492

Ian Woodward (Contact Author)

INSEAD ( email )

Boulevard de Constance
77305 Fontainebleau Cedex

Samah Shaffakat

INSEAD ( email )

Boulevard de Constance
77305 Fontainebleau Cedex

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