It’s Not What You Think
New Horizons in Management series
This chapter describes the essence of the value-based organization – the meaning of value, the new way in which work is becoming organized, and the organizational implications of knowledge, learning and innovation in that context. Chapters 5, 6 and 7 examine many of the vain attempts to obtain the beneﬁts of becoming value-based while preserving the essence of the traditional organization. Chapter 8 provides a model or framework for managers who want to transform their organizations into ones that are value-based. In order to understand what makes an organization value-based, it is necessary to establish what is meant by the term value. Often, it is easier to understand what something is not before attempting to discover what it is, and that certainly is true in this case. The most popular view of what is meant by value is to confuse the plural – values, with the singular – value. The word values is often used to convey diﬀerent meanings. For some, it could mean the values that are held by the organization itself, viz. the vision, aspirations and goals of its most senior managers. For others, it refers to personal values – beliefs that determine those activities that a worker will or will not do. Still others argue that both are important, and that managers should align the values of the organization with those of its workers so that collectively they can achieve both personal and organizational goals.1 From this perspective, values means more than one value. In the singular, value also...
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