Friday, June 25, 2010
[IWS] ADB: A PRIMER ON CORPORATE VALUES [June 2010]
IWS Documented News Service
Institute for Workplace Studies----------------- Professor Samuel B. Bacharach
School of Industrial & Labor Relations-------- Director, Institute for Workplace Studies
16 East 34th Street, 4th floor---------------------- Stuart Basefsky
New York, NY 10016 -------------------------------Director, IWS News Bureau
Asian Development Bank (ADB_
A Primer on Corporate Values [June 2010]
By Olivier Serrat
[full-text, 7 pages]
Some Facts on Corporate Guidance Systems
Advertising strong, positive corporate values is à la mode. Why? In a globalizing world,
meaningful values can, for example, instill a sense of identity and purpose in organizations;
add spirit to the workplace; align and unify people; promote employee ownership; attract
newcomers; create consistency; simplify decision making; energize endeavors; raise
efficiency; hearten client trust, loyalty, and forgiveness for mistakes; build resilience to
shocks; and contribute to society at large.
However, corporate values can backfire with glare
when management or personnel fail to live up to the messages, a sure recipe for disenchantment or cynicism
among clients, audiences, and partners, not to forget personnel itself. In most such cases, the cause of
tension is that organizational goals, principally couched in financial terms, often do not reflect (when they do
not conflict with) the corporate values propounded and the underlying organizational culture from which
such values are supposed to spring. Lest they become debased, corporate values should not be platitudes,
orders of preference expressed in operational jargon, or even simple aspirations. They should not be politically
correct. To serve as real guidance systems, living values that spring from integrity, morality, and ethics must
be internalized by personnel and reviewed at intervals to maintain relevance in changing contexts; that rarely
In The Neuroscience of Leadership, David Rock and Jeffrey Schwartz share a few home truths on
organizational transformation. They bear relevance to the subject of these Knowledge Solutions since change
is what the introduction of corporate values usually purports, at least from the outset. According then to David
Rock and Jeffrey Schwartz:
Change is pain. Organizational change is unexpectedly difficult because it provokes sensations of
Behaviorism does not work. Change efforts based on incentive and threat (the carrot and the stick) rarely
succeed in the long run.
Humanism is overrated. In practice, the conventional empathic approach of connection and persuasion
does not sufficiently engage people.
Focus is power. The act of paying attention creates chemical and physical changes in the brain.
Expectation shapes reality. The preconceptions of people significant impact what they perceive.
Attention density shapes identity. Repeated, purposeful, and focused attention can lead to long-lasting
AND MUCH MORE...including CHART & REFERENCES....
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Institute for Workplace Studies
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New York, NY 10016
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