Neidhart, H. & Lamb, J. (2012). Bringing personal values to work. Ethical Leadership: Building Capacity for those moments of Challenging Choices. Proceedings of the 2012, 17th Annual Values and Leadership Conference,M. Bezzina. Australia: Centre for Creative & Authentic Leadership.
This paper addresses the possible tension between organisational values and personal values at work. In particular this paper reflects on findings from a current research project around the issue of principals‟ leadership in the context of the Catholic school. We came to this research focus on the understanding that the issue of the leadership role of the principal is increasingly problematic. Church documents, diocesan policy and specific role descriptions expect that the principal will take responsibility for leadership in the Catholic school. However, the second half of the twentieth century has witnessed a growing secularism within western society, resulting in a “degree of ambivalence and neglect” (King & Crowther, 2004, p.83) about the place of religion in the organization (Lips-Wiersma & Mills, 2002). In this context, individuals may find a disparity between their personal values and those of the organisation. Thus individuals may experience personal conflict and present as “split personalities” (Alford & Naughton, 2001, p.7). In our current research, the findings to date suggest that principals recognise the challenge of aligning personal values and organisational values at work. They are concerned about the next generation of leaders in Catholic schools who, they suggest, may experience heightened tension between their personal values and those of the organisation. As a way forward these principals recommend an intentional role making process, supported by opportunities for faith leadership formation.
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