Hire People With Strong Personal Values

A major difference between personal and organizational values is that organizational values should speak for the diversity of the employees of the organization while also focusing on the objectives and existence of the organization; while personal values encompass the existence and decision making of an individual. Hultman (2001) points out that when an organization’s values are in alignment with the personal values of its employees, the employees perform better and the organization is more efficient and effective. (Kindle Location 298-299) When organizations have values that are in opposition to that of employees’ personal values, primarily when perceived by employees as being self-serving, arrogant, or bureaucratic, (Hultman, Kindle Location 1069-1070) it proves difficult to survive in a global economy where integrity, care and human practices are becoming more and more important. (Kotter, 1992, p. 142)

Another difference is that personal values can affect an individual’s performance within an organization despite not being in opposition to an organization’s values. If individuals do not have clear personal values, their performance can be hindered, even to the point of dismissal. (Kouzes, 2012, p. 55) The primary benefit for an organization to have individuals with clear personal values is that their commitment to the organization is higher; in fact research showed that clarity on personal values yielded greater organizational commitment and performance than clarity on organizational values for employees. (Kouzes, p. 55) Kouzes (2012) found in his research that personal values, not organizational values, drive commitment and are the route to motivation and productivity. (Kouzes, p. 55) The primary reason for this is because values are individualized and intrinsic, (Bishop, 2013, p. 128) rather than programmed, making personal values more valuable than organizational values.


Bishop, W. H. (2013). The Genesis of Values in Genesis. Journal of Human Values, 19(2), 127–132.

Hultman, K. (2001). Balancing Individual and Organizational Values: Walking the Tightrope to Success. Wiley.

Kotter, J. P., & Heskett, J. L. (2011). Corporate Culture and Performance (Reprint edition.). New York etc.: Free Press.

Kouzes, J. M. (2012). The leadership challenge: how to make extraordinary things happen in organizations (5th ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

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