, Volume 97, Issue 3, pp 443-460

Influence of Personal Values and Value Congruence on Unethical Practices and Work Behavior

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The study examines whether (a) personal and organizational values differ in private and public sectors, and (b) personal values and value congruence – the extent of matching between personal and organizational values – influence unethical practices and work behavior. Three hundred and forty middle-level managers from four manufacturing organizations rated 22 values as guiding principles to them to identify their personal values. In order to index organizational values, 56 top-level managers of the same organizations rated how important such values were to the organization. Results revealed that the important shared values among managers of private and public sectors are product quality and customer service. Congruence between personal and organizational values is found to be higher in the private sector compared to the public sector. Middle-level managers in the private sector shared the organizational values more than the managers in the public sector. Irrespective of the type of organizations and age of managers, personal values more potently and consistently decreased unethical practices and increased work behavior compared to value congruence. Hiring managers emphasizing personal values can demote unethical practices and promote work behavior.