Values Enactment in Organizations:
A Multi-Level Examination†

Melissa L. Gruys*
Department of Management, Wright State University, Dayton, OH 45435-0001
Susan M. Stewart
Department of Management, Western Illinois University–Quad Cities, Moline, IL 61265-5881
Jerry Goodstein
Department of Management and Operations, Washington State University–Vancouver, Vancouver, WA 98686-9600
Mark N. Bing
Department of Management, University of Mississippi, University, MS 38677-1848
Andrew C. Wicks
The Darden School of Business, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22906-6500

Business writers and practitioners recommend that core organizational values be integrated into
employee work life for enhanced organizational productivity, yet no published studies have
empirically examined the antecedents and outcomes of values enactment. Using longitudinal
data on 2,622 employees, hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) results revealed that tenure and
department-level values enactment were significant predictors of individual values enactment.
Furthermore, employees who demonstrated high levels of values enactment were less likely to
leave, and employees of high or low levels of values enactment in departments whose levels of
values enactment matched their own were the most likely to be promoted.


Keywords: values; values enactment; organizational values; values-based performance;
performance; promotion; voluntary turnover