This report presents the results of research on the organizational values of credit unions. It shows which values credit unions rank highly and which receive little emphasis. In addition, the research investigates the degree to which values were shared among leaders within credit unions. This is an important issue because values heavily influence the organizational culture of credit unions. Although competitors can readily imitate strategies, practices, and technologies, values and the culture in which they are embedded are stable, rich, and difficult to imitate. Therefore, values and culture represent a critical source of enduring differentiation and competitive advantage for credit unions.
What is this research about?
The research uses statistical methods to develop “categories” of values, which encompass related individual values. The study examines how values varied with credit union size and financial performance and with the employment background of respondents and length of employment with the credit union. It determines the degree to which leaders within a credit union perceive their values as similar as well as the degree to which they were in fact similar. In addition, the study investigates how the degree of shared values within a credit union influence commitment to the organization, intent to leave, and how they influence the relative influence that leaders within the organization have over one another, as well as how well the directors work together as a team and the degree to which they break up into coalitions.
What are the credit union implications?
Assessing and comparing values will allow the leadership of a credit union to make explicit the key values of the organization and to effectively nurture them, rather than lose or destroy them. These values, and the culture in which they operate, provide a key competitive advantage to a credit union. For this reason, leaders who recognize and develop the key values of their credit unions reinforce and enlarge an important competitive advantage in the marketplace.