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Shared Values in an Organization: Definition & Explanation

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  • 0:00 Why Are Shared Values…
  • 0:42 Key Concepts
  • 1:44 Example
  • 2:36 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Shawn Grimsley
Shared values represent an important component of most private and public organizations. In this lesson, you will learn what shared values are and some key concepts about them. After the lesson, you can reinforce your knowledge with a short quiz.

Why Are Shared Values Important?

Creating and implementing shared values is important for all organizations. They provide guidance for organizational decision-making and also provide a kind of ethical compass for organizational action.

Shared values are organizational values that are usually developed by the organization's leadership and then adopted by the other members of the organization. The values are shared and followed by all members of the organization when acting on behalf of the organization. They may also be referred to as core values.

Key Concepts

Shared values help to define what an organization is, what an organization does, and what an organization aspires to be. It is common for shared values to be reduced to writing in a mission statement, or a brief document describing why an organization exists. Shared values provide overall guidance for organizational members to make the correct decision in a given situation.

An organization driven by numbers or profits, without any guiding values or vision, may become dysfunctional, leading to ethical, moral or even legal violations. Implementing shared values can help an organization to avoid these problems. Its leaders might impose general values over all organizational behavior, objectives, and goals. Ideally, shared values should be implemented to serve the needs of all organizational stakeholders, including employees, managers, and clients of the organization.

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