Discussion Question Week 4. Values Alignment

Values are those ideals, principles, and qualities upon which we place great importance. Shared values are those that permeate throughout an organization, ones that receive buy-in across all levels. When values are aligned between leaders and the organization, they create an environment of trust, high employee engagement, positive interaction, and strong commitment to the organization. Those factors, in turn, lead to higher levels of performance, innovation, and results.

Evaluating values is one way to assess human behavior. Analyzing motivation is another way to do so. Several psychologists developed key theories that help us understand the concept of motivation. For example:

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Maslow (1943) identified five levels of human need (physiological, safety, social, ego, and selfactualization).
Maslow, A. H. (1943). A theory of human motivation. Psychological Review, 50. 370–396.

Skinner (1953) believed that employee behaviors that result in positive responses will be repeated.
Skinner, B. F. (1953). Science and human behavior. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.

Herzberg (1959) identified two types of motivators, intrinsic (recognition and achievement) and extrinsic (job security, benefits, and salary).
Herzberg, F. (1959). The motivation to work. San Francisco, CA: Wiley.

Vroom (1964) stated that employee output leads to performance and performance leads to rewards. Employees are motivated by how strongly they perceive the output/performance/rewards links.
Vroom, V. H. (1964). Work and motivation. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Adams (1965) theorized that employees seek equity among themselves.
Adams, J. S. (1965). Inequity in social exchange. In L. Berdowtz (Ed.). Advances in experiential social psychology (pp. 267–299). New York, NY: Academic Press.

Organizational research tends to suggest that leaders need to find ways to prevent de-motivation and ways to activate higher order motivators to build high performance and extraordinary organizations

For this week’s discussion, we’ll use a brief case study: Just-in-Time Company has had a longstanding culture of shared values including customer satisfaction, learning, respect, generosity, compassion, equality, and social justice.

The new CEO, Tina Jones, has worked long and hard in her career. She broke through the glass ceiling and earned the top seat in the company C-suite. Tina impressed the board of directors with her expertise, drive, and long list of accomplishments.

What the board did not discover, however, is that Tina’s primary motivation is the advancement of herself and her career; she hopes to be at the helm of Just-in-Time only as long as necessary before she pursues a more prestigious position at a larger company. Tina’s values are rapid career growth, money, status, public recognition, and earning a reputation as a no-nonsense, results-driven executive.

Begin your discussion by evaluating the issues you foresee with Tina as the new CEO.

  • In particular, assess the role of values and motivation in the scenario by researching and applying one (or more) of the motivational theories surveyed above.
  • What are some behaviors that Tina is likely to exhibit?
  • What is the likely effect on the culture and climate of the organization?

This portion of your discussion should be about 1 page (500 words) in length.

Continue your discussion by analyzing the strategic leadership interventions that might be needed in this situation. Assume the role of consultant to recommend two interventions. Integrate the values and motivation concepts with the strategic leadership material that you have been studying in the course to formulate your recommendations. For example, what synergistic (shared) values do you see between her and the current organization that might be leveraged? Support your responses with rationale and with scholarly research. This section of your discussion should also be about 1 page in length.

The final paragraph (three or four sentences) of your initial post should summarize the one or two key points that you are making in your initial response.

Discussion Question Week 4

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