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Values and perceptions in organizations; a study of value orientations and social interaction perceptions in education organizations. Hodgkinson, Christopher Edward

Abstract

A preliminary analysis of the concepts of attitude and value is made together with an examination of these concepts in relation to general phenomena of perception. The concept of organizational climate as some form of aggregate of social perceptions is then considered and hypotheses are derived specifying relationships between values and perceptions with in an organizational context. The major hypotheses can be summarized as postulating relationships between values and a) perceptions of social and leadership behaviour, b) organizational role, c) the operationalized concepts of authenticity, inner-direction and other-direction, and d) biographical variables. In addition a number of a prioi explorative propositions were stated and the relationship between organizational climate and the concepts of value congruence and consonance were examined and tested. The instruments used for measuring values and perceptions were respectively modifications of the scales developed by William A. Scott and the Organizational Climate Description Questionnaire developed by Andrew W. Halpin and Don B. Croft. In addition a general questionnaire was used for the purpose of collecting biographical data. The research was conducted in the early part of 1968 and involved a randomly selected sample of 40 public elementary schools from seven school districts in the Vancouver metropolitan area. Respondents numbered 68 school administrators and 523 teachers. Findings of the empirical study showed significant relationships between values and perceptions at both the individual and the school level of analysis. Significant value differences were observed between administrators and teachers (e.g. the former valuing creativity and independence less than the latter) which cannot be accounted for simply in terms of biographical variance. This leads to the tentative conclusion that organizational role is a substantial determinant of individual value orientation and the consequences are discussed. The findings also lead to certain doubts being cast upon facets of previous research viz., the importance of the notions of value congruence and consonance as developed by Dante Lupini and the conceptual and methodological validity of the organizational climate concept as developed by Andrew W. Halpin. In sum it can be stated that significant relationships' were found between specified values and the dimensions of organizational climate (e.g. directly between intellectualism and intimacy and inversely between independence and esprit) and some evidence was derived to infer a relationship between value orientation and organizational role. A concluding section examines the implications of the findings and proffers a tentative outline or schema for the investigation and development of a theory of organizational value.

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