Sometimes personal values conflict with organizational values - a leader that values honesty and an organization that values high profits. When does the honesty supersede profitability? Organizations have been deeply wounded by such value conflicts, mostly because employees did not feel they had a forum to discuss these conflicts. An open values exchange on values is critical to clarifying the limits of behavior and personal responsibility. "Value commitments, value judgments, value standards, value relationships, and valuational experiences are the day-to-day expression of symbolic human meanings that bring order and significance into human transactions." (Frederick, 1995, p. 111).
Leaders project values into the organization through their perceptions, attitudes, and behavior. A leader's preferences are also revealed in the attitudes he adopts towards organizational stakeholders. While there will always be differences between leaders and the organizational community regarding levels of importance, creating consensus about key values is an important task. "One of the most important keys to greater effectiveness is a close link between personal and organizational values. A survey by the American Management Association of 1,460 managers and chief executives suggests that an understanding of this relationship will provide new leverage for corporate vitality." (Jaffe, 1993, p. 22).
Frederick, William C. (1995). Values, Nature, and Culture in the American Corporation. Cary, North Carolina: Oxford University Press, Inc.
Jaffe, Dennis T. (1993). Organizational Vision, Values and Mission. Menlo Park, California: Course Technology Crisp.