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Levels of Values

Values determine what people consider to be good or bad for a civilized society. In relation to business, social values define the objectives of business as well as the manner in which business affairs should be conducted. In the light of the social values, we can evaluate policies and practices of a business. For example, an important value of our society is honest dealings. That means the society does not approve of the sale of adulterated goods, use of false weights, hoarding of goods or black marketing in goods.

Some examples of values followed by top management of companies include the following:

=>    Service to customers
=>    Innovation and creativity
=>    Safety of product and processes
=>    Honesty
=>    Loyalty to company
=>    Achievement
=>    Gender equality.

In business organization, values are held at various levels and they all interact constantly to give shape to the business values system. These levels are:

1.    Individual Values. The members of business firm hold their own values regarding their personal conduct in business. These values constitute the base of business values.

2.    Group Values. The values held by formal as well as informal groups in the organization are of great important in determining overall organizational values. It is important to note that the group business values may or may not be in agreement with individual values. For example, the value system of an but he may be an active member of an informal or even a formal group lading support to such a conduct by the employees of the firm.

3.    Top Management Values. The business values at the organization level emerge from objectives, policies, philosophy of the top management and the culture of the organization.

4.    Environmental Values. The various environment constituents of business also hold norms and values of good business. These constituents are investors, lenders, customers, employees, suppliers, government, and the society as a whole.

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