A Methodology for Assessing Organizational Core Values

27 Pages Posted: 8 May 2006

See all articles by Johan van Rekom

Johan van Rekom

Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM)

Berend Wierenga

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Rotterdam School of Management (RSM); Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM)

C.B.M. van Riel

Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM)

Abstract

The goal of this study is to offer a methodology for empirically assessing the core values of an organization. It uses means-end analysis in order to determine those values that organization members manifest in their daily behaviour, and which are not just espoused 'truisms'. The method is based on the sense members of an organization make of what they do. Sensemaking follows a means-end pattern, through which individual actions converge into central values. The values most central in this means-end structure are the core values that effectively motivate organization members in their job. Our method works in two steps: first, exploratory interviews using the laddering-technique establish the values potentially most central to the organization; then, a follow-up survey assesses the complete pattern of means-end relations among the potential values. Validity tests show that the most central values derived from this survey data are the most important to organization members. These values are also the most stable over time. We make a comparison of this method with traditional value surveys and we discuss its implications for the study of organizational behaviour.

Suggested Citation

van Rekom, Johan and Wierenga, Berend and van Riel, Cees B.M., A Methodology for Assessing Organizational Core Values. Journal of Management Studies, Vol. 43, No. 2, pp. 175-201, March 2006, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=884286 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6486.2006.00587.x

Johan Van Rekom (Contact Author)

Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM) ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands
31/10/408/.1967 (Phone)
31/10/4089011 (Fax)

Berend Wierenga

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Rotterdam School of Management (RSM) ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
Room T08-21
3000 DR Rotterdam, 3000 DR
Netherlands

Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM)

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands

Cees B.M. Van Riel

Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM) ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands

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