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Bridging the Values Gap by Ellen R. Auster, R. Edward Freeman

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CHAPTER 6

Historical Values: Exploring the Impact of Our Past

Every person has a history. As French philosopher and author Albert Camus purportedly once said, “Life is a sum of all your choices.” Each of our histories is uniquely us. These histories become encapsulated as memories that follow a story line, although over time the story line may evolve. Our story lines also dramatically influence and shape the upcoming choices we make and actions we take.

The same is true for organizations. Every organization is the sum of all the choices and decisions of everyone in it. This history shapes the organization’s collective memory and identity—how those in the organization view the world and their past, current, and future choices and actions. History ...

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