The Hierarchy of Managers' Personal Values and Universal Management Attributes: Empirical Evidence From Austria, Poland, and Slovenia

The Hierarchy of Managers' Personal Values and Universal Management Attributes: Empirical Evidence From Austria, Poland, and Slovenia

Zlatko Nedelko (University of Maribor, Slovenia), Maciej Brzozowski (Poznań University of Economics and Business, Poland) and Paweł Bartkowiak (Poznań University of Economics and Business, Poland)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1013-1.ch008

Abstract

The main purpose of this chapter is to examine and compare the importance of managers' personal values and universal management attributes in organizations from Slovenia, Austria, and Poland. In this study, the analysis of results focuses on (1) personal values of managers, where 57 variables were verified, which were measured on a nine-point Likert scale and (2) evaluation of selected, universal management attributes that determine managerial behavior in organizations, whose measurement was performed on eight-point semantic scales. In order to compare the significance of managers' personal values and universal management attributes between respondents' groups from Poland, Slovenia, and Austria, the method of one-way analysis of variance and t-test for independent groups were applied.
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Theoretical Background

Personal values have gained a lot of attention during the last three decades in management and organizational behavior works. According to Schein (2004), understanding of organizational culture is fundamental to study what goes on in organizations, how to run them and how to develop them. A big interest into values in the literature is proven with plethora of contributions examining the role and importance of personal values, using different theoretical backgrounds. Based on the overview of papers the most commonly used approaches to investigate personal values include cultural dimensions from Hofstede (2001), Schwartz theory of basic values (Schwartz, 1992), Rokeach value theory (Rokeach, 1973), and Ronen and Shenkar (1985) approach.

The various disciplines of psychology and the social sciences (i.e. social psychology, developmental psychology, cross-cultural psychology, sociology, management science, organizational behavior science) are building on and extending the knowledge of personal values (Cieciuch & Schwartz, 2020). Some recent volumes by Brosch and Sander (2016), and Nedelko and Brzozowski (2017) attests to the centrality of values in human life by bringing together various perspectives and knowledge on values being developed by such different sciences us neurology, economics, political science, music, and psychology.

Psychologists perceive values as an aspect of personality that underlies and motivates attitudes and behavior (Cieciuch, Schwartz, & Davidow, 2015). Personal values are motivational in nature and define what is essential to people (Rokeach 1973; Schwartz 2006). Schwarz and Bilsky defined values as “central desires and beliefs regarding final states or desirable conducts that transcend specific situations, guide the choice and evaluation of our decisions and, therefore, of our conducts, becoming an integral part of our way of being and acting, to the point of shaping our character” (1987).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Personal Values: Are defined as concepts or beliefs, referring to desirable behaviors or end states, transcend specific situations. Values are conceptualized as important life goals or standards which serve as guiding principles in a person’s life.

Management Behavior: The study of human behavior in management settings. Management behavior can be perceived as the interface between human behavior and leading the organization, and the organization itself.

Schwartz Value Survey (SVS): Includes a list of 56 single personal values, ten individual level sub-dimensions, four groups on the second level sub-dimensions and two groups of individual-level higher-order dimensions, namely individualism and collectivism values.

Managers’ Personal Values: Beliefs and guiding principles held by managers regarding both their life in general, but also means and ends that should be identified and implemented in the running of the organization. The individual and organizational dimensions of values are interrelated and they mutually affect each other.

Behavior: Is the range of actions and mannerisms made by individuals, organisms, other natural or artificial entities in conjunction with themselves or their environment.

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