The Values of Business and Federal Government Executives: More Different Than Alike

By Posner, Barry Z.; Schmidt, Warren H. | Public Personnel Management, Fall 1996 | Go to article overview

The Values of Business and Federal Government Executives: More Different Than Alike


Posner, Barry Z., Schmidt, Warren H., Public Personnel Management


Managerial values are crucial to an understanding of organizational behavior. Indeed, some have claimed that the direction and vitality of "America cannot be fully understood without knowing more about the values and visions of the men and women who manage it."(1) Values are at the core of personality, influencing the choices individuals make, the people that are trusted, the appeals heard, the strategies which will be enacted, and the way individuals and organizations alike invest their time and energy. In turbulent times especially, personal and organizational values provide a sense of direction amid conflicting views and demands.(2) An organization's culture, as Peter Drucker has observed, is a function of shared values.(3)

Across a variety of disciplines researchers have shown how values affect personal and organizational effectiveness.(4) For instance, an accurate understanding of the job requirements and the organization's values has been shown to enhance people's adjustment to their jobs, as well as their subsequent level of satisfaction and organizational commitment.(5) The fit between person-organization values has shown a strong relationship to positive employee attitudes(6) and has been able to predict job satisfaction and organizational turnover a year later, and actual turnover after two years.(7) Actual operating unit performance and value congruency have also been linked.(8) Robert Haas, Levi Strauss & Co. Chairman and CEO, has argued that: "In a more volatile and dynamic environment, the controls have to be conceptual. They can't be human anymore: Bob Haas telling people what to do. It's the ideas of a business that are controlling, not some manager with authority. Values provide a common language for aligning a company's leadership and its people."(9)

In these times, when the public-private sector interface has become increasingly important, it is essential that scholars and practitioners alike, in both sectors, have an accurate perception of one another. Several studies suggest that public sector managers are different from their private sector counterparts in terms of work-related values, reward preferences, and even personality types.(10) Research has found that "decision makers in the public and private sectors differ in their perceptions of the strategic derision process."(11)

Other researchers, while noting differences, have been equally struck by the similarities across managers in public and private sector organizations.(12) For example, managers in public and private sector organizations participating in the President's Commission on Executive Exchange reported no significant differences between the values, attitudes, and skills required for success within their respective sectors.(13) One major conclusion from a comparison of managers, analysts, and politicians within state government was their value similarity: "operating in a world of shared meaning and value consensus."(14)

In this study the managerial values of public and private sector managers with an eye toward appreciating areas of agreement as well as disagreement was investigated. Observed mainly were broad areas of differences - however, sometimes the areas were masked agreement on specific values and perspectives.

Methodology

Sample

The sample of business executives was provided by the American Management Association. From a random sample of 6,000 members, usable surveys were received from 1,060 managers (this 18% response rate is comparable with mail surveys for this population). Participation was voluntary and confidential. The American Management Association membership generally mirrors the characteristics of the U.S. management population.

The sample of government executives was provided by the Alumni Association of the Federal Executive Institute (FEI). The FEI is the major management training center for executives and GS-15 level managers in all federal agencies. Surveys were mailed from the FEI Alumni Association to their members and returned directly to the researchers. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

The Values of Business and Federal Government Executives: More Different Than Alike
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.