Values and Poetic Organizations: Beyond Value Fit Toward Values Through Conversation

Ellen R. Auster, R. Edward Freeman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In the midst of greed, corruption, the economic crash and the general disillusionment of business, current conceptions of leadership, organizational values, and authenticity are being questioned. In this article, we fill a prior research gap by directly exploring the intersection of these three concepts. We begin by delving into the relationship between individual values and organizational values. This analysis reveals that the "value fit" approach to creating authenticity is limited, and also indicates that a deeper exploration of the nature of values and the role of leadership is necessary. More specifically, we propose that organizational values should be viewed as an opportunity for ongoing conversations about who we are and how we connect. Through this type of dialogue which we define as "value through conversation", we can create what we call poetic organizations. A typology of four interconnected values each of which forms a foundation for the critical questioning and inquiry that might be found in poetic organizations is developed. We suggest that this conceptualization offers a new and dynamic approach for thinking about the relationships between leadership, values, and authenticity and has important implications for both research and practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-49
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Business Ethics
Volume113
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Authenticity
  • Business ethics
  • Leadership
  • Responsibility
  • Values

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