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The Value of Corporate Values, Values at a New Level - An Emerging Strategic Priority

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Module 4 DQ 2-3: The Value of Corporate Values, Values at a New Level - An Emerging Strategic Priority


Module 4 DQ 2 
Synthesize three examples of how an organizational leader can contribute to society through his or her leadership role in their organization.
Module 4 DQ 3
Some experts say that the focus of trustees and senior leaders in "for-profit companies" should be on creating shareholder wealth and maximizing profitability. Other experts say the company must serve a higher purpose and make a contribution to society. Provide two arguments for both sides of this argument with support from research.
Electronic Resource1. The Value of Corporate Values
Read "The Value of Corporate Values" by Van Lee, Fabish, and McGaw, from Strategy+Business (2005).
Additional Material1. The Voice of the Stakeholder: Is Sustainability Sustainable? Twelve Works Argue There is Value in ‘Corporate Values`
Read "The Voice of the Stakeholder: Is Sustainability Sustainable? Twelve Works Argue There is Value in ‘Corporate Values`" by Samuelson and Birchard, from Strategy+Business (2003).

Today`s boards and leaders are moving beyond just focusing on financial results and even customer satisfaction results. They realize that businesses must make a contribution in areas like environmental protection and social consciousness. At the same time, the communities in which they operate expect that they are making a contribution to and are involved in the community. These expectations require a careful examination of the values held by the organization, its leaders, and its trustees to ensure that the organization does have a set of values and a culture that support this external focus on society. Servant leadership is a model based on a focus of contributing to society by adding to the common good.
Servant Leadership: A Model Based on Contributing to the Common Good
Servant leadership is a model created by Robert K. Greenleaf that focuses on serving others in order to serve society and the common good (Greenleaf, 1991). Greenleaf (1991) described the essence of what being a servant leader meant when he said:
The servant-leader is servant first... It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. He is sharply different from the person who is a leader first, perhaps because of the need to assuage an unusual power drive to acquire material possessions. For such it will be a later choice to serve − after leadership is established. The leader-first and the servant-first are two extreme types. Between them there are shadings and blends that are part of the infinite variety of human nature. (p. 7)
In examining Greenleaf`s writing, one realizes that his end game was not about developing leaders or organizations. His endgame was to develop servant leaders and organizations to contribute to society in order to create a better society. He wanted to understand what was needed in leaders and in organizations to create this better society (Greenleaf, 1998). He believed that by serving each other, one can create a better society. Greenleaf (2004) stated:
THIS IS MY THESIS: caring for persons, the more able and the less able serving each other, is the rock upon which a good society is built. Whereas, until recently, caring was largely person to person, now most of it is mediated through institutions, -- often large, complex, powerful, impersonal; not always competent; sometimes corrupt. If a better society is to be built, one that is more just and more loving, one that provides greater creative opportunity for its people, then the most open course is to raise both the capacity to serve and the very performance as servants of existing major institutions by new regenerative forces operating within them. (p. 1)
These servant leaders would act ethically, spiritually, and with a focus on serving society. For Greenleaf (1998) the "prime test of rightness of an act is: How will it affect people, are lives moved toward nobility?" (p. 96). Many of the best companies to work for today focus on serving society and their stakeholders, and in many ways their leaders act as servant leaders (Ruschman, 2007).
Values for Today`s Leaders: Trust, Spirituality, Social Consciousness, Environmental Protectionism, and Social Responsibility
Corporate senior leaders and boards of trustees are exploring values at a very different level than they have done in the past. Values are still considered to be an important aspect of defining the organization`s culture as well as the organization`s expected set of behaviors. At the same time, organizations are examining the values of the organization in terms of its social contribution or contribution to society. In part, this focus is being driven by a more humanitarian or humanistic approach from a global perspective. And, in part, it is being driven by a realization that social responsibility is valued by many of the stakeholders, including customers and employees. As such, it has been considered a strategic imperative in some organizations.
From a global humanitarian perspective, we see nations such as the Philippines facing poverty across the country. In countries requiring economic and social support, humanistic entrepreneurship has gained tremendous support from various funding agencies such as the World Bank and the United Nations. Research has found that even with this focus on social and economic humanitarianism there is still the opportunity for profitability. "But what is less emphasized in many accounts of entrepreneurship is the approach of some entrepreneurs to building enterprises which not merely deliver financial results, but also promote the holistic development of the members of the enterprise. This approach can be termed humanistic entrepreneurship" (Teehankee, 2008, p. 89).
For organizations that want to operate in a global context, there are values that are important to incorporate within their culture. In his research in the area of global business, Teehankee (2008) identified a set of universal values or rights critical for success. These rights include: reciprocity, respect for life, acting fair, being honest, striving for justice, and honoring the environment. These universal rights, or values, are critical to establish the trust that is needed to create relationships across organizations and across countries for businesses to work successfully with each other in today`s global environment.
Values at a New Level: An Emerging Strategic Priority
For organizations operating in today`s chaotic global environment, research is finding that a values-based leadership approach can be valuable in today`s diverse approaches to business. Organizations and their leaders need a values-based leadership approach that serves the local requirements while adapting to the evolving global organization. These values will create a culture that enables organizations, leaders, and employees to succeed in today`s constantly changing environment and prepares the organization to improve its performance decade after decade (Samuelson and Birchard, 2003).
Research identified how many companies are beginning to publicly state that they believe an explicit set of values is important to their success. Booz Allen`s global study of 30 countries and over 300 executives focused on identifying the relationship between having a clear set of values and performance in organizations (Van Lee, Fabish, and McGaw, 2005). Companies such as Xerox, Southwest Airlines, and Starbucks have developed clear specific statements of values. Many of these same organizations are measuring the behaviors associated with these values as part of performance management. Specific objectives and performance measures are used to measure attainment of these values (Van Lee et al., 2005). Senior leaders are being held accountable for role modeling these values since their support is perceived as one of the major factors in making the values a reality. Customers and other stakeholders; however, expect more than a statement of values. They want to see companies demonstrating those values (Van Lee et al., 2005).


Module 4 DQ 2 and DQ 3 Name: Institution: Module 4 DQ 2 An organizational leader has a significant role towards transforming the society. First, an organizational leader can change the society by protecting the environment. Business activities usually pollute the environment leading to environmental degradation. Thus, a manager can take measures aimed at keeping the environment surrounding the company clean. For instance, a leader will transform the society by ensuring the sewage from the business plant gets proper treatment before being released into surrounding rivers (Ruschman, 2007). A leader would also strive to reduce the level of carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere to contribute to the red


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