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Value-based management: learning to create high performing organizations by putting man before money

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Conclusions and references

This course has provided evidence that organizations guided by sound human values provide a high quality of life to their associates (including low absenteeism and turnover), and are much more profitable than merely profit-driven organizations. Even so, there are relatively few value-intensive organizations in today’s society.

This may be because not enough attention is given to this effective management style, and because we need more people with sound values and intrinsic motivation. Fortunately, a recent nationwide survey, carried out by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, indicates that the teenagers of today are much more concerned with healthy values and attitudes than former generations. This is gratifying – it may indicate that we will find many more value-driven organizations in the future.

"I have developed a better self-insight into what qualities I may have as a manager or associate in a company, and gained points of view about what characteristics one ought to have. This growth has, between other things, taken place through the many – more or less structured – discussions we have had during the lecturers, and with fellow students, friends, and family. This development, and the subject matter of this discipline in general, have provided me with thoughts about what criteria I need to satisfy in my future work, and how, if it comes to that, I will organise my own company."

– Erik Devold, Student

The real examination of the course will be to what extent the students later on are able to apply the principles and practices of value-driven management in their working and private life, and the extent to which they will be able to succeed. Yet, it was gratifying that many of the students expressed that the course had given them the desire to start up their own businesses – in part, to secure work in an organization with satisfactory human values!

In conclusion, it is hoped that this course will contribute to raising human values and to creating higher-order individual and organizational performance and achievement.


The author wishes to thank Mr. Per Ø. Staff, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Oslo University College, Sue de Verteuil and John Peters of Emerald for their valuable comments and suggestions during the preparation of this paper.

Recommended Reading List

  • Collins, J. C. & Porras, J. I. (2002), Built to Last: Successful habits of visionary companies, Harper Business Essential, New York, NY
  • Harung, H. S. (1999), Invincible leadership: Building peak performance organizations by harnessing the unlimited power of consciousness, MUM Press, Fairfield, IA
  • Harung, H. S. & Rieber, P-C. (1995), "Core values behind 115 years of development: A case study of G. C. Rieber & Co., Bergen, Norway ", The TQM Magazine, vol. 7 no. 6, pp. 17-24.
  • Harung, H. S. (1996), "A world-leading learning organization: a case study of Tomra Systems, Oslo, Norway ", The Learning Organization: an International Journal, vol. 3 no. 4, pp. 22-34.