Martin’s Musings: Emergence

eccentric interests!


Some thoughts on values — some quick answers to some regular questions:

Can Human Values be changed?

There are a couple of ways of to look at it. I will go into a little detail here. Please ask me where you would like a deeper answer.

Values are really about priorities. Valuing one thing over another. We also hold a number of values in high priority at one time. The framework that I use has 125 total human values, of which, 15-20 a person holds in high priority.

Our priorities can change over time. Or if there is a significant event such as a trauma may create sudden shifts. However, the more foundational the values are, the harder they are to change.

In an organization, you want some minimal number of values in common as a way of communicating. A person can shift the priorities a little especially if they see the positive possibilities of better communication and potential for success within the organization.

Can Factors causing changes in each individual’s values be inside each individual? or outside? or both?

I would say both. Some values are intensely personal and shift with the growth of the individual. But a person’s circumstances can also affect priorities.

Can individual’s values be changed as he/she practices new values in their works?

Yes, I see capability = values + skills — you need to have the value or desire for achieving a certain value but you must also have the skills. If you do not have the value you will not practice the skills — if you do not have the skills you will not be able to achieve the value.

capability is when the two of these things come together. An organization can help on both counts. They can support a value by making it clear that it is important for success and by also providing the training needed for practicing the skills.

What should we do to make human values in accordance with organization’s values or other individuals? and how to do so?

This is a recursive issue. It is the totality of the individuals in the organization that make up the organizations values. But it is up to the organization to configure these in a manner that can maximize success. Usually, it is a good idea for the organization to have some corporate values or principles which are defined by clusters of the human value held by the employees. That way the individuals can see how there personal values and strengths can lead to the success of the organization. It becomes a kind of recursive system.

Value measurement is a key to understanding how values are understood within an organizational context. Please explain to me how we can measure the values since human values mostly belong to the human perception and conciousness.

There are basically two ways that values are expressed. Language and behavior. With language we can express our desires and needs. Values are embedded in what we think, say and write. Behavior is similar — we act (behave) in a manner consistent with trying to achieve those things that we value.

If we presume that there are a finite number of possible human behaviors, then there is a finite number of possible descriptors of these behaviors. Values can be these descriptors. If you have all the possible descriptors (values) then you should be able to describe any human behavior by values clusters.

Questionnaires are one way that people can look at descriptions of behaviors and decide which ones they are most likely to engage in. If these are based on the definition of each individual value, then you get something that is measurable. As long as we use the same measuring stick then we have something that allows us to compare alike items.


February 11, 2002 - Posted by | Random Thoughts

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