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Company Values: An Evaluative Case Study on the Existence of Value Ambassadors in a Semi
– State Organisation.
The purpose of this study is to gain a greater understanding of company values and how they can be socialised throughout an organisation with initiatives such as a value ambassador programme in the context of staff working in an Irish semi – state International airport. New values have been introduced to this organisation in 2014 after the arrival of a new CEO and after the feedback from the results of a staff survey conducted at the time, called for an update to the 10-year-old existing Values of the company.
One hundred employees came together to design these values, which is a different approach to the traditional methods of creating values, which is the organisation themselves designing their company values, and expect their employees to abide by them. This company created Value Ambassadors to socialise these values throughout the organisation and to guide people on how to apply values and challenge colleagues who do not live up to it. The company have developed a behaviour guide “Calling It”, which was developed by Value Ambassadors to provide staff with simple tips to call out employees who are not following company values, one example of how these value ambassadors socialise values throughout the company.
After an evaluation of this programme, the results found that there are a few issues that need to be addressed at Company X to ensure the development and effectiveness of the Value Ambassador initiative. However, there is evidence that suggests that this programme is working and contributing to the company’s effort of socialising their values throughout the organisation.
CHAPTER ONE – INTRODUCTION
“Your personal core values define who you are, and a company’s core values ultimately define the company’s character and brand. For individuals, character is destiny. For organisations, culture is destiny.” (Hsieh, 2010)
This chapter outlines the main research question and objectives of this research project. The background based upon which the research was formulated and conducted will be presented, including the rationale for the study. The chapter concludes with an overview of the remaining chapters which make up the research project.
1.2 RESEARCH QUESTION
The aim of this research is to investigate how company values can be socialised throughout an organisation. The specific research question is: Does the existence of Values Ambassadors (VA’s) increase the adoption of company values within an organisation and given the costs associated with the Value Ambassador programme, should Company X continue to invest in this initiative?
1.3 RESEARCH ORGANISATION
This study was carried out at an international airport in Ireland. For the purposes of the study, the organisation will be referred to as ‘Company X’ in order to protect it’s identity and anonymity. Information about this organisation that was deemed useful for this research, such as staff demographics, were obtained directly from a contact within Company X.
Company X currently employs over four thousand staff globally. In 2017 alone, Company X has recruited over five hundred new staff in Ireland to cope with growing passenger numbers at the international airports that they operate. This company is a commercial semi – state organisation. The two airports that Company X operates are of huge importance to the Irish economy, particularly as Ireland is an island nation. Company X introduced new company values in 2014 after the arrival of a new CEO, who saw the need to replace the existing company values which were ten years old at that time. One hundred employees came together to develop these new values, which was a different
approach to the traditional ways of management, forming the values and passing them down to staff. Instead the power was given to this group of employees to create the four new company values for Company X. The names of these values are “Brilliant at the essentials”, “Respecting each other’s value”, “Passing the baton, not the buck”, and “Always better”. The company then started an initiative called the Values Ambassador programme. One hundred employees across the organisation volunteered for the role of Values Ambassador to socialise these new set of company values throughout the company and to ensure that staff from all levels live by these values. An example for some of the roles of a Values Ambassador would be to publicize, champion and brief their colleagues about the values and to help drive awareness. This current research was conducted at the large international airport based in the east of Ireland as a larger sample of eighty Values Ambassadors are based there.
1.4 RESEARCH RATIONALE
The Values Ambassador role is entirely voluntary and is mainly comprised of shift workers. Employees who are involved with the Values Ambassador role will be unavailable to work their shift in order to attend meetings and other VA activities. Due to this, the employee must be replaced with another shift worker to cover them while they take part in these activities, which comes at a cost for the company. Other costs associated with this programme would be the materials cost associated with running the campaigns to publicize the company values. Company X wants to know whether this initiative is meeting its objectives in relation to increasing the adoption of company values in the organisation, if it is cost effective and whether they should continue to invest in it.
1.5 RESEARCH LIMITATIONS
i. This research is restricted solely to a single international airport in a specific country. This airport is one of the four companies operated by Company X. Therefore, the data that will reflect on the whole of Company X will only be gathered from one of their companies.
ii. The views from employees to get their perception on the Values Ambassador programme were gathered via online survey, however, this survey was conducted within only one department within Company X with a population of forty employees and a sample size of twenty-one.
1.6 CHAPTER OVERVIEW
The following provides an overview of the six chapters in total and additional content, which is presented in this research:
i. Chapter One is the introduction chapter which provides the basic idea underlying the research concept i.e. to evaluate the introduction of Values Ambassadors into a large semi – state organisation to find out if they effectively enhance the adoption of values by the company’s employees. This chapter also contains the organisational background and rationale for the study, as well as the research question and limitations.
ii. Chapter Two is the Literature Review which examines the existing academic research and theories relating to the topic. Specifically, this chapter looks at literature around company values as well as the leadership styles associated with a values ambassador style role. It also contains examples of what other companies have done to socialise their values throughout their organisation with one in depth look into a specific initiative.
iii. Chapter Three is the Methodology chapter which provides an overview of the research strategy, the research participants, the research approach and any ethical considerations that were taken throughout this research.
iv. Chapter Four is the Findings chapter which describes the outcomes of the thematic analysis of the data gathered from interview and surveys, which relates back to the research question.
v. Chapter Five is the Discussion chapter. This chapter elaborates and expands on the findings of the research, relating them back to the literature.
vi. Chapter Six is the conclusions and Recommendations chapter. This concludes the study in addition to providing suggestions and recommendations or strategies to be adopted in order to enhance work related outcomes in the subject area.
vii. Bibliography: This section lists those works of interest referenced in the text.
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