Last week, we started the discussion about socio-technical systems and its impact on today’s organizations. In the next few weeks, we will address three practical applications (i.e. value modeling, technology relevancy, and human factor buy-in). Understanding value modeling is a critical attribute that managers need to acquire in times of uncertainty and high risks. Effective leadership becomes the hallmark of high performing organizations.
Organizations must model its values to both first-line supervisors and managers in a socio-technical system. However, it won’t happen without good leadership. Leadership is defined as the ability to influence others toward a shared objective or goal.
Dr. Richard Daft explains that today’s employers are looking for authentic leaders who understand them, act consistent with high ethical standards, and empowers others with their openness and candor. Dr. Daft argues, “To be authentic means being real, staying true to one’s values and beliefs, and acting based on one’s true self rather than emulating what others do.”
Yet, some organizations expect employees to understand its culture, its values, and its principles by attending new employee orientation or by reading a company brochure. This is simply not the case. Vince Adams, who has over 20 years as an environmental manager, understands delicacy of balancing a socio-technical system.
Adams has extensive experiences with both government and private organizations that are finding themselves neglecting to outline and demonstrate its value systems to employees. Adams states, “Companies must build values into their employees so that employees know what the expectations are for that organization.”
James Kouzes and Barry Posner, authors of The Leadership Challenge, have researched several thousand businesses and government executives and they outline setting the example as a critical attribute of an effective leadership. Kouzes and Posner argue, “Once people are clear about the leader’s values, about their own values, and about shared values, they know what’s expected of them and can better handle the conflicting demands of work and personal affairs.” Therefore, employees expect leaders in organizations to model these values in their organizations, and this is also true for socio-technical systems.
Discuss the concept of value modeling for today’s leaders.
© 2013 by Daryl D. Green
 The Leadership Challenge by James Kouzes and Barry Posner