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Relationship between values and workplace: an exploratory analysis

Pritam Singh (Management Development Institute, Gurgaon, India)
Asha Bhandarker (Management Development Institute, Gurgaon, India)
Sumita Rai (Management Development Institute, Gurgaon, India)
Ajay K. Jain (Management Development Institute, Gurgaon, India)


ISSN: 0263-2772

Article publication date: 23 August 2011




There exists limited research directly highlighting the relationship between value preference and its association with people's expectations from the workplace. Studying personal value preference is important because a substantial body of research indicates that a specific pattern of value orientations predicts world views, and, hence, it may predict behavior in the workplace. Based on the above‐mentioned assumptions, the present study aims to explore the impact of value preferences on the meaning of workplace, across MBA‐ and non‐MBA graduates and Indian and non‐Indian graduates. It is proposed that value preferences will have a significant impact on meaning of workplace and values preferences are likely to differ across national culture.


The paper draws on qualitative research, a pilot study and survey research design. Data were gathered from a sample of 312 graduates, consisting of 231 management students and 81 non‐management students. Of these 245 are Indians and 67 non‐Indians studying in India, the USA, and the UK.


Results of exploratory factor analysis helped the authors to derive ten significant factors from the meaning of workplace scale and four factors from the values scale. Results of stepwise multiple regression analysis have shown significant positive impact of value preference on the choice of preferred workplace. More specifically, higher progressive orientation has been found to positively influence the intrapreneurship factor of meaning of workplace factor. Values of personal growth, self‐fulfillment, and community development have explained a large amount of variances in work‐life balance and physical ambience.

Research limitations/implications

The literature on workplace design and the meaning of workplace is limited and a comprehensive list of variables of psychological climate is not available. Thus, extensive future research needs to be carried out in this direction. Knowing the employer's perspective about the evaluations of the workplace attributes may provide a different perspective of the meaning of workplace. Finally, this study could be expanded by using qualitative interviews along with quantitative techniques to get more in‐depth data and probe further in the factors that the graduates take into consideration while rating the extent of desirability of different environmental attributes.


This paper is important in that knowledge about the values of potential employees can be used to make sure that the organization recruits employees whose perceptions match the psychological environment existing in the company. Furthermore, organizations can use such information to design work environments in such a way that they meet the expectations of newer generations of workers. The study reveals cross‐cultural differences between perceptions and values. These are particularly important in the case of multinational corporations, which consider the impact of cultural and societal values while designing work environments and processes in different countries, as well as while recruiting employees with different cultural backgrounds.



Singh, P., Bhandarker, A., Rai, S. and Jain, A.K. (2011), "Relationship between values and workplace: an exploratory analysis", Facilities, Vol. 29 No. 11/12, pp. 499-520.



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Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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