For All Good Reasons: Role of Values in Social Sustainability

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Florea, Liviu
Washburn University. School of Business
Kaw Valley Bank
Issue Date
May 2011
Alternative Title
Human resource management practices are at the heart of most organizations' social sustainability efforts. Despite the importance of human values for the design and implementation of such practices, few researchers analyzed how values relate to human resource management practices in organizations. The purpose of this conceptual paper is to integrate scholarship on social sustainability, human resources practices, and human values in delineating how four specific values - altruism, empathy, positive norm of reciprocity, and private self-effacement - support effective human resources practices in organizations. This paper identifies a set of distinct values that have sustainability implications and global relevance, and develops propositions with the objective of proposing relationships between these values and human resources practices, as well as effects of resource-based theory in potentiating these relationships. The current analysis suggests that values are potentially important for planning and implementing effective human resources practices.