The Positive Impact of Individual Core Values

Abstract

The role of values in organizations has been a highly researched topic (Collins in Good to Great, HarperCollins, New York, 2001; Collins and Porras in Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies, HarperCollins, New York, 1997; Frederick and Weber 1990; Kouzes and Posner, The Leadership Challenge, 4th ed, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, 2007; Pattison et al. Emerging Value in Health Care: The Challenges for Professionals, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, Philadelphia, 2010). However, little research has focused on values in health care settings. In addition, the research that has been done has focused on values from an organizational perspective, not from an individual perspective. Based on these two factors, in addition to the maturation and growth of the hospice industry and the researcher’s prior studies on hospice leadership and organizational practices, a research study was conducted to evaluate the core values of hospice professionals. Another key driver of the research was the expressed difference identified by leaders within the hospice industry that values of individuals new to hospice were different than those who have worked in the industry longer. A web-based survey was utilized to gather core values and demographic data from hospice professionals. Data were collected over a one-year period and involved 531 hospice professionals from 33 states. The demographic information collected was similar to comparative data from previous hospice studies. The top three core values identified in the study were family, faith, and love, and represented 76 % of all responses. No statistically significant identifiable differences, based on demographic variables, were found. Based on the findings, no support was found for the perceived differences noted by leaders working in the hospice industry. However, it identified that hospice professionals regardless of demographic characteristics appear to hold similar values as being important. Based on the findings, core values appear to be an area of commonality versus difference among hospice professionals and could serve as a focal point for building a positive organizational culture. Further research is suggested to evaluate the unique meaning of the key values identified by hospice professionals in the study. In addition, replication of the study in other health care settings would be encouraged.

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Correspondence to Paul D. Longenecker.

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Longenecker, P.D. The Positive Impact of Individual Core Values. J Bus Ethics 115, 429–434 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-012-1409-0

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Keywords

  • Core values
  • Health care
  • Culture
  • Team development