Value Alignment Essay

1269 words - 6 pages

Value Alignment

Introduction
British Petroleum (BP) is an oil company founded in 1909. They merged with Amoco Corporation in 1998 and became one of the largest oil companies in the world ("Encyclopedia Britannica", n.d.). Working in the oil industry for so long, BP has encountered many issues that have tested the organizations values. Analyzing those values and comparing them to personal values can lead to a better understanding of the organizations actions.
Personal and Workplace Values
Values are beliefs rooted deep in our subconscious that influence peoples actions and decisions (Gibb, 2010). During childhood, a beginning set of values are derived from interaction with parents, ...view middle of the document...

Value alignment allows the company to achieve its core mission. If personal and company values are misaligned, members work toward varying goals with questionable intentions, and with differing results. This is damaging to workplace relations, morale, and productivity.
Individual Values Drive Actions and Behaviors
Individual values are formed through experiences on a personal level that shape the actions and behaviors of each person. Every person tends to act in accordance with their own value system in their personal lives, although there may be conflict with workplace values. For example, an individual who is honest and wishes to do business fairly may fall into conflict if the company values are not the same. “Being impeccable with your word includes the valuable qualities of honesty, integrity, commitment, pride, and respect” (Gibb, 2010) pg 40. When personal values conflict with actions and behaviors either on a personal level or in the workplace, a state of tension is present that will cause issues until it is resolved. In the workplace, this can be exhibited by poor work performance and in personal life, by depression.
People naturally work to create alignment between values and actions to avoid these situations either through personal or workplace change. Personal change can be changes to environment or behavior, like removing elements from the environment that cause stress, or behavioral changes through counseling or habit changes. Workplace change can be addressing an issue with a supervisor up to leaving a job and working elsewhere. Personal values will drive the actions of individuals and cause them to succeed or fail based on how their personal values align with those around them.
Degrees of Alignment
According to Henry Yaeger of Banner Group LLC; alignment exists on a continuum and can be precisely measured, and can be influenced, changed over time, and correlated with collaboration (Yaeger, 2012). Alignment rarely can be answered simply yes or no answer, but is more likely measured by a degree of alignment between two factions. As for BP we want to look at their alignment of their stated values to that of their plans and actions.
Stated Values
According to BP.com their values are those of safety, respect, excellence, courage, and one team (BP, 2013). Over 4.9 million barrels of oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010. A drilling rig exploded causing the spill so we will take a closer look and focus on evaluating their value on safety. According to BP (2013): “Safety is good business. Everything we do relies upon the safety of our workforce and the communities around us. We care about the safe management of environment. We are committed to safely delivering energy to the world” (BP, 2013).
Actual Plans and Actions
BP has focused on collaborating their values with that of the societies in which they...

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