Applying a universal content and structure of values in construction management

Journal of Business Ethics 90 (4):473 - 501 (2009)
There has recently been a reappraisal of value in UK construction and calls from a wide range of influential individuals, professional institutions and government bodies for the industry to exceed stakeholders’ expectations and develop integrated teams that can deliver world class products and services. As such value is certainly topical, but the importance of values as a separate but related concept is less well understood. Most construction firms have well-defined and well-articulated values, expressed in annual reports and on websites; however, the lack of rigorous and structured approaches published within construction management research and the practical, unsupported advice on construction institution websites may indicate a shortfall in the approaches used. This article reviews and compares the content and␣structure of some of the most widely used values approaches, and discusses their application within the construction sector. One of the most advanced and empirically tested theories of human values is appraised, and subsequently adopted as a suitable approach to eliciting and defining shared organisational values. Three studies within six construction organisations demonstrate the potential application of this individually grounded approach to reveal and align the relative values priorities of individuals and organisations to understand the strength of their similarity and difference. The results of these case studies show that this new universal values structure can be used along with more qualitative elicitation techniques to understand organisational cultures.
Keywords business  construction  management  project  value  values
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Nicholas Rescher (1969). Introduction to Value Theory. Englewood Cliffs, N.J., Prentice-Hall.

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