To read this content please select one of the options below:

The relationship between personal values, organizational formalization and employee work outcomes of compliance and innovation

Nathan Eva (Monash Business School, Monash University, Caulfield North, Australia)
Daniel Prajogo (Monash Business School, Monash University, Caulfield East, Australia)
Brian Cooper (Monash Business School, Monash University, Clayton, Australia)

International Journal of Manpower

ISSN: 0143-7720

Article publication date: 2 May 2017




The purpose of this paper is to examine the interaction between personal values and the organizational context in influencing work behaviors. Specifically, it examines the relationships between two dimensions of personal values based on Schwartz’s value theory – self-direction and conformity; and two work behaviors – innovation and compliance.


Survey data were collected from 187 employees in Australia. Multiple regression method was used to test the hypotheses.


The results showed that organizational formalization moderated the relationship between self-direction values and innovative behaviors. As hypothesized, the positive effect of self-direction values on innovative behavior was strongest in less formalized organizations. the authors also found that conformity values predicted compliance behaviors, but no evidence of moderation by organizational formalization.

Practical implications

It is important for organizations seeking particular work behaviors to ensure they are hiring employees with corresponding values and structuring the degree of formalization in the organization accordingly.


This research contributes to the interactionist perspective, demonstrating that formalization interacts with employee values to influence work behaviors. Further, the authors extend previous studies on self-direction values and creative behaviors by understanding how personal values impact innovative behavior.



Eva, N., Prajogo, D. and Cooper, B. (2017), "The relationship between personal values, organizational formalization and employee work outcomes of compliance and innovation", International Journal of Manpower, Vol. 38 No. 2, pp. 274-287.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles