Obedience in an Organisation?
In 1961 Stanley Milgram a Yale University psychologist conducted an experiment that is well worth reading about. The purpose of the experiment was to measure the willingness of participants to obey an authority figure who instructed them to perform acts conflicting with their personal conscience. The results showed that people under the direction of someone in authority were willing to administer electric shocks to another person.
In 2006 a similar experiment was conducted which had similar results. There is some argument about both experiments and their conduct. However, this does raise a question about how people respond in an organisation. Do we abdicate some of our responsibility to our bosses and organisations? I know that in the Army we talk about just wars and the moral, ethical and legal responsibilities of soldiers on the battlefield. These questions are just as valid in any workplace.
These studies show how important it is that we have a personal set of values. We need to ensure that when conducting our work we reflect our values in that work. This is not always easy and there will mostly likely be conflict between your values and the organisation’s requirements. I have friends that have left an organisation as their values did not align with the work that the organisation required. This is not always an easy situation. It is also important to remember that we all have different values.
- Do you have a clear sense of your personal values?
- Have you ever had a clash of values between yourself and your work?
- What did you do about it?
Posted on Friday, 14 Aug 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged Business, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Life, Management, Obedience, Organisation, Organisational Culture, Passion, Values. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Obedience in an Organisation?.