www.downloadslide.com Chapter Two Individual Behavior, Personality, and Values 45 Values in the Workplace 2-4 The decision to embrace energy efficiency and to “go green” was easy for owner Jerry Gray and his 25 employees at Sloan Electromechanical Service & Sales. The market was shifting in that direction, but the bigger influence was everyone’s personal values. “It was primarily about the values—my personal values and our company’s values. Talking with my employees, we all agreed this was the right thing to do,” Gray recalls. The San Diego provider of motor, generator, and control services initially experienced higher inventory costs and more sales effort to educate customers, but the results are paying off for the business and for Gray’s peace of mind. “It was just the morally right thing to do,” he says. 54 Jerry Gray and his employees relied on their personal values to guide them in the decision toward energy efficiency and more environmentally friendly business practices. Values, a concept that we introduced in Chapter 1, are stable, evaluative beliefs that guide our preferences for outcomes or courses of action in a variety of situations. 55 They are perceptions about what is good or bad, right or wrong. Values tell us to what we “ought” to do. They serve as a moral compass that directs our motivation and, potentially, our decisions and actions. They also provide justification for past decisions and behavior. People arrange values into a hierarchy of preferences, called a value system. Some individuals value new challenges more than they value conformity. Others value generosity more than frugality. Each person’s unique value system is developed and reinforced through socialization from parents, religious institutions, friends, personal experiences, and the society in which he or she lives. As such, a person’s hierarchy of values is stable and long-lasting. For example, one study found that value systems of a sample of adolescents were remarkably similar 20 years later when they were adults. 56 Notice that our description of values has focused on individuals, whereas Jerry Gray and other executives often describe values as though they belong to the organization. In reality, values exist only within individuals—we call them personal values. However, groups of people might hold the same or similar values, so we tend to ascribe these shared values to the team, department, organization, profession, or entire society. The values shared by people throughout an organization (organizational values) receive fuller discussion in Chapter 14 because they are a key part of corporate culture. The values shared across a society (cultural values) receive attention in the last section of this chapter. Values and personality traits are related to each other, but the two concepts differ in a few ways. 57 The most noticeable distinction is that values are evaluative—they tell us what we ought to do—whereas personality traits describe what we naturally tend to do. A second distinction is that personality traits have minimal conflict with each other (e.g., you can have high agreeableness and high introversion), whereas some values are opposed to other values. For example, someone who values excitement and challenge would have difficulty also valuing stability and moderation. Third, although personality and values are both partly determined by heredity, values are influenced more by socialization whereas heredity has a stronger influence on an individual’s personality traits. TYPES OF VALUES Values come in many forms, and experts on this topic have devoted considerable attention to organizing them into clusters. By far, the most widely accepted model of personal values is Schwartz’s values circumplex, developed and tested by social psychologist Shalom Schwartz and his colleagues. 58 This model clusters 57 values into 10 broad values categories that are organized into the circular model (circumplex) shown in Exhibit 2.6. The
www.downloadslide.com 46 Part Two Individual Behavior and Processes EXHIBIT 2.6 Schwartz’s Values Circumplex Openness to change Selftranscendence Self-direction Universalism Stimulation Benevolence Hedonism Conformity Tradition Selfenhancement Achievement Security Conservation Power Sources: S.H. Schwartz, “Universals in the Content and Structure of Values: Theoretical Advances and Empirical Tests in 20 Countries,” Advances in Experimental Social Psychology 25 (1992): 1–65; S.H. Schwartz and K. Boehnke, “Evaluating the Structure of Human Values with Confirmatory Factor Analysis,” Journal of Research in Personality 38, no. 3 (2004): 230–55. 10 categories include universalism, benevolence, tradition, conformity, security, power, achievement, hedonism, stimulation, and self-direction. Each category is a cluster of more specific values (not shown). For example, conformity includes the specific values of politeness, honoring parents, self-discipline, and obedience. These 10 broad values categories are further clustered into four quadrants. One quadrant, called openness to change, refers to the extent to which a person is motivated to pursue innovative ways. This quadrant includes the value categories of self-direction (creativity, independent thought), stimulation (excitement and challenge), and hedonism (pursuit of pleasure, enjoyment, gratification of desires). The opposing quadrant is conservation, which is the extent to which a person is motivated to preserve the status quo. The conservation quadrant includes the value categories of conformity (adherence to social norms and expectations), security (safety and stability), and tradition (moderation and preservation of the status quo). The third quadrant in Schwartz’s circumplex model, called self-enhancement, refers to how much a person is motivated by self-interest. This quadrant includes the values categories of achievement (pursuit of personal success), power (dominance over others), and hedonism (a values category shared with openness to change). The opposite of self-enhancement is self-transcendence, which refers to motivation to promote the welfare of others and nature. Self-transcendence includes the value categories of benevolence (concern for others in one’s life) and universalism (concern for the welfare of all people and nature).