Chapter 3: Values as independent variables

Do people’s value priorities influence their behaviour in systematic, predictable ways? This is the critical claim to fruitfulness for the use of the Values Theory.

The focus of this chapter is on the processes through which values are linked to behaviour, that is, on the ways that values can influence behaviour. The following example illustrates these processes:

Friday, as 5 pm approached, Joe was summoned to his boss’s office. To Joe’s surprise, the boss proposed that he become vice president for production at their new plant halfway across the country. Joe felt terrific. This was a golden opportunity - lots more independence, a chance to use his creative talents, challenges galore, and a clear step up the company ladder. “Talk it over with your family and get back to me on Monday,” he heard the boss say. As he drove home, Joe’s head raced with plans. He was sure he could do a good job. But the talk with his teenage daughters and his wife did not go smoothly. “But daddy, we’ve grown up here, all our friends are here, we love our school, and our church youth group. How can you do this to us? Can’t you wait ’til we go to college?” “Joe, I know this is important to you, but it will be tough for the girls, and I’ll have to find a new job too. We’ve invested so much in setting down roots and making a good life for our family here. I’ll feel lost in a new community.”