• Maibrit Christensen
4. term, Applied Philosophy, Master (Master Programme)
The purpose of this thesis has been to examine, from a moral philosophical point of view, using value-based organizational theory, how organizational values are expressed, as well as what importance is placed on the organizational values by the employees.
In the last few decades value-based organizational theories have emerged and many organizations has adopted a set of values. Several organizational theories focus on the adoption process itself, but few shed light on how the employees experience and use these values.
The focus of this thesis has been to examine the perspective of the employee and their experience of how these sets of values are expressed within the organization, as well as the importance the set of values have for the employees of the organization.
This thesis is based upon a qualitative style questionnaire, using mainly open-ended questions, requiring the employees, from different parts of the organisation, to write about their experiences and behaviour in relation to the values of the organization. In total 29 employees took part in the survey and conveyed their experience of how the values of the organization are expressed and what influence they have. From the analysis of the questionnaire, themes emerged related to the employee’s knowledge of the organizations set of values and that the set of values often has directional meaning for the employees.
The survey data created a base for a philosophical discussion and problematisation, using the virtue ethics of Aristotle as well as Immanuel Kant’s ethics of duty, to elucidate the focus of this thesis.
Using Aristotle’s virtue ethics, it became apparent that the organizations set of values are rarely verbalised between the employees of the organization but is more often expressed as silent knowledge through the behaviour of the employees. Furthermore, it became clear that the meaning of the organizational values is dependent on context, wherein the employees regard the values as belonging to the organization, and relates to them in a professional context, separate from their personal set of values. Drawing on a Kantian perspective a critical point emerges, namely the ability to question if the use of organizational values is superfluous, as from this perspective the employees are regarded as independent, reasonable beings capable of choosing and doing what is right.

Keywords: Value based organization theory, Values, Moral philosophy, Organization, Ethics, Employee perspective.
Publication date2 Jun 2020
Number of pages80
External collaboratorRanders Kommune
HR leder Helle Bonde helle_bonde@randers.dk
Information group
ID: 333051531