Ethics and Values in Industrial-Organizational Psychology

By Joel Lefkowitz | Go to book overview
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7
Values at the Group Level

Civil society is beginning to play a central role in the growing awareness that respect for human rights is a private sector as well as a public sector responsibility.

—Wesley Cragg

When the unit of analysis for a consideration of values is larger than the single individual, the concept of culture is inevitably engaged. Whether speaking of groups identified by a common social identity (e.g., their ethnicity or nationality), common social role (e.g., work groups), or both (e.g., members of the same occupation), values are incorporated within a multilevel conceptualization of culture in which they represent the more deeply embedded core, which influences the overt patterns of behavior and their artifacts at the periphery (Cooke &. Rousseau, 1988; Rousseau, 1990; Schein, 1990). Rousseau and Schein distinguished between values, by which they meant the espoused or normative values that are readily articulated and the deeply held assumptions of the social group or organization, which correspond to what Epstein (1989) referred to as experiential values or values in use (Argyris & Schon, 1978). In their extremely informative review of research on business values, Agle and Caldwell (1999) emphasized the importance of the multiple levels of analysis at which values may be studied. They articulated five levels as appropriate for this domain, as well as research concerning the relations among levels. In addition to individual values that represent the bulk of empirical research, there are four levels of macrovalues or group values: organizational, institutional, societal (i.e., national), and global (i.e., universal). In addition, sub organizational units of analysis are important to

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