Original Research

Staff perceptions of organisational values in a large South African manufacturing company: exploring socio-demographic differences

Nico Martins, Melinde Coetzee
SA Journal of Industrial Psychology | Vol 37, No 1 | a967 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajip.v37i1.967 | © 2011 Nico Martins, Melinde Coetzee | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 11 February 2011 | Published: 11 November 2011

About the author(s)

Nico Martins, University of South Africa, South Africa
Melinde Coetzee, University of South Africa, South Africa


Orientation: Companies’ concerns about increasing their competitiveness, responsiveness and adaptability in a globalised, highly complex and turbulent business environment have led to a renewed interest in the role of corporate values and culture in improving organisational effectiveness and performance.

Research purpose: The objective of the study was to explore the perceptions of men and women staff members, as well as members of various race and age groups, in a large South African manufacturing company about the current enactment of organisational values and the importance of these values.

Motivation for the study: The challenge of managing multi-cultural work forces from different gender, race and generational backgrounds makes an understanding of how peoples’ values align with those of their organisations, as reflected in their cultures, necessary. Research design, approach and method: Using an organisational values scale, the researchers conducted a quantitative survey on a random sample of 988 participants employed in a large South African manufacturing company.

Main findings: ANOVAs and post hoc multiple comparison of means tests revealed that gender, race and age have a significant effect on some of the dimensions of organisational values and that these biographical groups differ significantly in their perceptions of the importance of certain organisational values as well as how their organisations enact them.

Practical/mangerial implications: The findings highlight the importance of understanding staff perceptions in creating greater commitment to organisational values as important aspects of an effective organisational culture.

Contribution/value-add: This study is original research that contributes new knowledge to the field of organisational psychology and management practices.


enacted values; espoused values; diversity; organisational culture; organisational values; staff perceptions


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