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The Influence of Value Statements on Affective Commitment: A case of civil servants
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

There has been a value-based control fad sweeping through organizations in recent years and more recently this “fad” made its foray into government agencies. A reason for this is the decline of citizen’s trust in government agencies. Value statements have been suggested as one part of the solution for this problem. Although, many have argued to what extent value statements influence the behavior of employees. Studies have shown that employees exhibit high awareness of organizational values. However, less than half of them are being said to be living the values. A reason for this may be that values are explicated through value statements with the aims and beliefs that will guide employee behavior and employees are expected to act in accordance with them even if they do not support them personally. Affective commitment is an employee’s emotional bond with the organization and is highly desirable as it holds many benefits such as increased job performance. Studies on value congruence have shown that employees who hold similar values to those of the organization can influence affective commitment. This complicates the process of value statements influencing affective commitment as value statements also are subject to deep breed cynicism. However, civil servants are rather different than employees in the private sector. Working for the public good drives them, this is known as the notion of public service motivation. This can help mitigate aspects of aimed cynicism as government agencies most often have value statements that go with the public service values of civil servants. This aspect makes civil servants an interesting group to study when it comes to affective commitment. Thus, as there was an absence of research in this area, the purpose of this qualitative study was to explore how civil servants awareness and use of value statements influence affective commitment. The chosen research strategy was a case study and the research was conducted by using both a deductive and inductive approach. The empirical data has been gathered through two focus groups, the first consisting of seven civil servants and the second six. Participants were strategically chosen to be able to observe differences contributed by recruitment and socialization.Results of this study show that there is a difference in the construct of awareness. Civil servants understanding the context that the values constitute tend to influence a conscious use of value statements. Relying on smart solutions to remember values, however, tend to trigger an unconscious use of value statements. The use of value statements influences affective commitment by stimulating loyalty and an interest in the future development of the organization. It was found that cynicism does not prevent the use of value statements. However, cynicism does prevent the use of value statements to influence affective commitment. It can be concluded that public-service motivation and analytical capabilities had a major role concerning civil servants use of value statements and its influence on affective commitment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 41 p.
Keyword [en]
Social Behaviour Law
Keyword [sv]
Samhälls-, beteendevetenskap, juridik, Värdegrund, medvetenhet, affective commitment
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-58428Local ID: f01f055c-eecd-4522-b91a-42e79f88a224OAI: diva2:1031816
Subject / course
Student thesis, at least 30 credits
Educational program
Business and Economics, master's level
Validerat; 20160608 (global_studentproject_submitter)Available from: 2016-10-04 Created: 2016-10-04Bibliographically approved

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Huhta, IsakLandström, Axel

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