Skip to content
Skip to main content

About this free course

Become an OU student

Download this course

Share this free course

Understanding organisational value
Understanding organisational value

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

1 Understanding organisational value

Creating value is an important part of any and all organisations. You will learn the definition of organisational value and its relationship to organisational values, as you study this course. You will start by examining your existing ideas about organisational value in Activity 1.

What is value? How do you define it? How do you create and sustain it? These are philosophical questions that have concerned people since time immemorial. For some, it has meant living a life in line with morally just values. For others, it has been cultivating positive virtues such as courage and tolerance. And yet for others, value simply means anything that brings happiness to others.

More recently, value has been largely linked to the economic pursuit and creation of profit. This embracing of economic value is witnessed in the priority given to fiscal values, and the idolisation of figures such as the entrepreneurs. It has even crept into traditionally non-economic realms where all things must contribute to one’s professional and therefore economic value. An individual should have a work-life balance to avoid burning out, and might consider adopting mindfulness practices to enhance their efficiency and better cope with the pressure of the modern workplace.

Yet this preoccupation with narrow economic value is being challenged and expanded by broader conceptions of business or organisational value. Here value is defined as the ability of an organisation to transform its products or services and increase its use and benefit to a wide range of stakeholders, from employees to customers to society. The table below outlines various aspects of organisational value:

Table 1 Aspects of organisational value
Employee High wages, good benefits, empowering workplace, professional opportunities, etc.
Financial Viable and sustainable profit, competitive
Customer Safe, beneficial, and convenient products
Operational Quality suppliers, efficient processes
Partner Fair and mutually beneficial relationships
Managerial Clear authority and decision-making
Societal Benefits society beyond economic value

As you complete this activity, be sure to keep track of your answers as well as any other thoughts or questions that come to mind. Then as you continue throughout the course you can refer back to them to see how your ideas of organisational value have changed or even been strengthened!

Activity 1 Critically reflecting on organisational value

Timing: Allow around 30 minutes for this activity

Watch this video interview with Mrs. Sani Jackson, Director of Optima Partners Alliance, an organisation that helps investors and companies develop regulatory systems that both create value and ensure compliance. Then answer the questions that follow.

Download this video clip.Video player: author="dh9746" timestamp="20200424T115647+0100" type="surround"
Copy this transcript to the clipboard
Print this transcript
Show transcript|Hide transcript
Video 1 Regulatory change and compliance
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

Now answer the following questions:

  1. How does this interview support and challenge dominant ideas of value?
  2. How would you advise an organisation to define and consider value?
To use this interactive functionality a free OU account is required. Sign in or register.
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

Now continue to the next page, which discusses the relationship of organisational value to organisational values.