Values, Employee Perceptions and Organisational Change: A Case Analysis
MetadataShow full metadata
The concept of values is multifaceted and one that is closely related to organisational culture constructs. Values have been conceptualised at multiple levels - individual, leader, social group, institution, inter-organisation and national - and a considerable number of values frameworks exist, but not within a single model. Little research has yet been done on group values - what they are, how they are formed and what roles they play in organisational or social group settings, particularly during periods of organisational change. The current study investigated four levels of values that may exist in an organisation - individual, leader, group and organisational, the congruencies between them and how these values and congruencies influenced individual reactions to organisational change. Through an interpretive single case study design, changes in an organisation (a merger, centralisation of some functions and a change of organisational values) were analysed in relation to the values of employees and managers. A framework of values was developed that presents insights into the four levels of values, the relations between them and how these values shape organisational members’ perceptions of change. A conflict in values at middle management level was found. Moreover, the change in organisational values did not result in changes in individual values. The framework is a contribution to knowledge as it integrates different levels of values in a single model and applies them to organisational change. Additionally, the study presents new perspectives on the sets of values that guide perceptions of change processes and outcomes, and analyses implications for practitioners. The findings of the research provide new insights into why individual values may not change. Another contribution is the salience of group-member values congruence during change. A final key insight is the role complexities that face middle managers during change and the values that they revert to when faced with values conflicts.