Values as Basic Convictions of an Individual

Values represent basic convictions of an individual as to what is right, good or desirable. They imply enduring conviction and carry moral flavor. There may be set of values which form a value system. This system represents an order of priority of individual values in relation to their relative significance. It can be ascertained by assessing the relative significance assigned by an individual to varied objects such as freedom, pleasure, self-respect, honesty, obedience and equality culture is a source of values. It contains as well as reinforces them. People learn to includes values from their parents, teachers, friends, media and all those whom they respect and thus to imitate them. 

A value is an assumption upon which implementation can be extrapolated. A value system is a set of consistent values and measures. A principle value is a foundation upon which other values and measures of integrity are based. Values are general beliefs containing an individual’s ideas about what is right and what is wrong. In other words, values represent basic convictions that a specific mode of conduct or end state of existence is personally or socially preferable to an opposite or converse mode of conduct or end state of existence. They contain a judgmental element in that they carry on individual’s ideas as to what is right, good or desirable. Values have both content and intensity attributes. The content attributes state that a mode of conduct or end state of existence is important. The intensity attribute specifies how important it is when we rank an individual’s values that forms our value system. This system is identified by the relative importance we assign to such values as freedom, pleasure, self-respect, honesty, obedience and equality.

Importance of Values

Values are at the core of all decision making. Without teaching the simple value that hurting others is wrong, you cannot expect anything you do to make a long-term difference. There is no way to ever stop someone from hurting another person if that is what he or she really wants. Values are important to study of organizational behavior because they lay the foundation for understanding of attributes and motivation and because they influence our perceptions. Individuals enter an organizations with preconceived notions of what “Ought” and what “Ought not” to be. Of course, these notions are not value free. On the contrary, they contain interpretations of right and wrong. Further, they imply that certain behavior or outcomes are preferred over others. 

This is true in the workplace, on the street, on public transportation or in schools and colleges. The first and most significant step in ending violence is to stop people from wanting to hurt others, and values are the best way to achieve this. At their core, schools / colleges must honor and teach the idea that humans are precious and never should be hurt. Values lay the foundation for understanding attitudes. The importance of values is discussed as follows:
  1. Personal value system influences one’s perception of individuals.
  2. Personal value system influences one’s perception of situations.
  3. Personal value system influences one’s decision-making process.

Types of Values

There are two classification as regards to the types of values as:

A. Allport et al (1960) Value Classification
One of the earliest efforts to categorized values was made by Allport and by his associates. They identified six types of values.
  1. Theoretical value: Theoretical value places high importance on the discovery of truth through a critical and rational approach.
  2. Economical value: Economic value emphasizes the usefulness and practicability.
  3. Aesthetic value: Aesthetic value places the highest value on form and harmony.
  4. Social value: Social value assigns the highest value to the love of people.
  5. Political value: Political value places emphasis on acquisition of power and influence.
  6. Religious value: Religious value is concerned with the unity of experience and understanding of the cosmos as a whole.

2. Rokeach (1985) Value Classification
Milton Rokeach conducted the Rokeach Value Survey (RVS). The RVS consists of two sets of values with each set containing eighteen individual value items.

Set I Terminal Values: Refers to desirable end states of existence, the goals that the person would like to achieve during his life time

Set II Instrumental Values: Refers to preferable modes of behavior means of achieving one’s terminal values.

Terminal Values
Instrumental Values

  • A comfortable life (a prosperous life)
  • An exciting life (a stimulating, active life)
  • A sense of accomplishment (lasting contribution)
  • A world at peach (free of war and conflict)
  • A world of beauty (beauty of nature and the arts)
  • Equality (brotherhood, equal opportunity for all)
  • Family security (taking care of loved ones)
  • Happiness (contentedness)
  • Inner harmony (freedom from inner conflict)
  • Mature love (sexual and spiritual intimacy)
  • National security (protection from attack)
  • Pleasure (an enjoyable, leisurely life)
  • Salvation (saved, eternal life)
  • Self-respect (self-esteem)
  • Social recognition (respect, admiration)
  • True friendship (close companionship)
  • Wisdom (a mature understanding of life)

  • Ambitious (hard working, aspiring)
  • Broad minded (open-minded)
  • Capable (competent, effective)
  • Cheerful (light hearted, joyful)
  • Clean (neat, tidy)
  • Courageous (standing up for his beliefs)
  • Forgiving (willing to pardon others)
  • Helpful (working for the welfare of others)
  • Honest (sincere, truthful)
  • Imaginative (daring, creative)
  • Independent (self-reliant, self-sufficient)
  • Intellectual (intelligent, reflective)
  • Logical (consistent, rational)
  • Loving (affectionate, tender)
  • Obedient (dutiful, respectful)
  • Polite (courteous, well mannered)
  • Responsible (dependable, reliable)
  • Self-controlled (restrained, self-disciplined)

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