June 17, 2024


Value is an enduring belief that a specific mode of conducts or end state of existence is personally and socially preferable to the alternative modes of conduct or end states of existence. 

Once it is internalized, it becomes consciously or unconsciously, a standard
or criterion for guiding action, for developing and maintaining attitudes toward
relevant objects and situation, for justifying one’s own and others’ actions and
attitudes for morally judging oneself and others, and for comparing oneself with

Value, therefore, is a standard or yardstick to guide actions, attitudes,
evaluations and justifications of the self and others.
Values are tinged with moral flavour, involving an individual’s judgement of what is right, good or desirable. 

Thus values:
Provide standards of competence and morality.
Are fewer in number than attitudes.
Transcend specific objects, situations or persons.
Are relatively permanent and resistant to change, and
Are more central to the core of a person. 

Individuals learn values as they grow and mature. They may change over the life
span of an individual develops a sense of self. Cultures, societies, and organizations shape values. 

Values are important to the study of organizational behaviour because
they lay the foundation for the understanding of attitudes and motivation and
because they influence our perceptions.

Formation of Values 

Values are learned and acquired primarily through experiences with people and institutions. Parents, for example, will have substantial influence on their children’s values. A parent’s reaction to everyday events demonstrates what is good and bad, acceptable and unacceptable and important and unimportant. Values are also taught and reinforced in schools, religious organizations, and social groups. As we grow and develop, each source of influence contributes to our definition of what is important in life. Cultural mores have influence on the formation of values. Basic convictions of what is good or bad are derived from one’s own culture. 

Types of Values 

Allport and his associates categorized values into six types. 

1.  Theoretical: Interested in the discovery  of truth through reasoning and systematic thinking. 

2.  Economic: Interest in usefulness and practicality, including the accumulation of wealth. 

3.  Aesthetic: Interest in beauty, form and artistic harmony. 

4.  Social: Interest in people and love as a human relationship. 

5.  Political: Interest in graining power and influencing people. 

6.  Religious: Interest in unity and understanding the cosmos as a whole. 

Instrumental and Terminal Values 

Rokeach distinguishes between two types of values: Instrumental and Terminal.
Instrumental Value Instrumental values reflect the means to achieving goals; that is, they represent the acceptable behaviour to be used in achieving some end state. Instrumental values identified by Rokeach include ambition, honesty, self-sufficiency and courageousness. 

Instrumental value refers to a single belief that always takes the form: I believe that such and such a mode of conduct (example honesty, courage, etc.) is personally and socially preferable in all situations with respect to all objects. An instrumental value is a tool or means for acquiring a terminal value.

Terminal Value

Terminal values, in contrast, represent the goals to be achieved, or the end states of existence. Rokeach identified happiness, love, pleasure, self-respect, and freedom among the terminal values.
Terminal value takes a comparable form: I believe that such and such an end state of existence (example, salvation, or world at peace, etc.) is personally and socially worth striving for. A terminal value is an ultimate goal in a desired status or outcome.
A complete list of instrumental and terminal values is presented in the table below.

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