This case study was an exploration of values-congruence between personal and organizational values in a healthcare setting. Previous research has found that alignment between the two improves organizational effectiveness. The setting was a 384-bed urban Catholic hospital with Vincentian values. The efficacy of Vincentian values is found only in the academic and religious literature, not in that of healthcare. Published studies on registered nurses’ values focus primarily on ethical reasoning and decision making.
Employee values were defined using Rokeach’s conceptual model for instrumental and terminal values. Both are based on enduring beliefs with specific modes of conduct or end-states of existence and are personally and socially preferable. A small (N = 27) sample of nurses completed an electronic survey. Demographics included age, gender, religion, and ethnicity. Organizational values were defined as the 5 Vincentian values of the sponsoring health system.
Results revealed consistency between the survey tool’s instrumental and terminal values and Vincentian values (17 of 36), and alignment with the organizations’ values measured in high (9 of 17) and moderate (5 of 17) levels. There were varying levels of congruence between the nurses’ personal values and the organizational values. The values of self-respect, capable, helpful, honest, loyal, and responsible had high levels of congruence. Equality, family security, broadminded, courageous, forgiving, and loving had moderate levels of congruence, and inner harmony had low congruence. Few differences were found among the demographic subgroups within the sample.
Recommendations for the organization include more extensive values assessment to enhance organizational effectiveness for future leadership strategies and management direction. Support for values-based patient/family-centered care, such as tool development for goal achievement, competency evaluation, staff development, planning for healthcare services, and program development are the desired end products.
Recommendations for further research include assessing the relationship between Vincentian values and other key areas, including communication, management decisions, leadership, ethical decision making/judgment, and patient care quality and safety. The avenues for study of Vincentian values in healthcare are almost as endless as the challenges and opportunities in healthcare today.