Work Value Survey


This measure, (Work Value Survey) developed by Schwartz (1994), rates the importance of 56 outcomes and modes of behavior. The value items can be grouped into 10 categories:

  • Power, which includes values such as social status, prestige, and control over resources or people.
  • Achievement, which includes values such as personal success attained by demonstrated competence.
  • Hedonism, which includes values such as pleasure and sensuous self-gratification
  • Stimulation, which includes values such as excitement, novelty, and challenge
  • Self-direction, which includes values such as independence in thought and action, as well as exploring
  • Universalism, which includes values such as understanding, tolerance, and protection of the welfare of people or nature
  • Benevolence, which includes values such as preservation and enhancement of the well-being of family, friends, and close associates
  • Tradition, which includes values such as respect for acceptance of traditional culture and religion
  • Conformity, which includes values such as restraint in actions and impulses that could upset or harm others or violate norms
  • Security, which includes values such as safety, harmony, and stability of society (Schwartz, 1994)

Brett and Okumura (1998) used seven of the items to construct a measure of individualism/collectivism and six of the items to construct a measure of hierarchy/egalitarianism.


Coefficient alpha values were .71 for power, .76 for achievement, .67 for hedonism, .77 for stimulation, .69 for self-direction, .80 for universalism, .76 for benevolence, .61 for tradition, .72 for conformity, and .56 for security (Feather, Norman, & Worsley, 1998). Coefficient alpha for individualism/ collectivism was .80 and .77 for hierarchy/egalitarianism (Brett & Okumura, 1998).


In an examination of the extent to which the categories of values were repli­ cated in 97 samples from 44 countries, Schwartz (1994) found that all 10 value categories were either distinct or overlapped with an adjacent value category in 84% of the cases. Eight categories were distinct in 98% of the studies. Schwartz also found that 47 of the 56 items demonstrated consistent meaning in at least 83% of the studies. The value items that showed the least consistency were healthy, self-respect, and detachment (Schwartz, 1994).

Brett and Okumura (1998) found that individualism correlated posi­ tively with the importance of hierarchy and the importance self-interest. In­ dividualism correlated negatively with distributive tactics in negotiation and focusing on role power in negotiation. Importance attached to hierarchy cor­ related positively with the use of distributive tactics in negotiations and with planning the use of power in negotiation.


Schwartz, S. H. (1994). Are there universal aspects in the structure and con­ tents of human values? Journal of Social Issues, 50, 19-45. Items were taken from Table 3, p. 33. © Blackwell Science. Reprinted with permission.


Responses are obtained using a 9-point Likert-type  scale  where -1  = opposed to my values, 0 = not important, 3 = important, 6 = very important, and 7 = of supreme importance.

Power items:

  1. Social power
  2. Authority
  3. Wealth
  4. Preserving my public image
  5. Social recognition

Achievement items:

  1. Successful
  2. Capable
  3. Ambitious
  4. Influential
  5. Intelligent
  6. Self-respect

Hedonism items:

  1. Pleasure
  2. Enjoying life

Stimulation items:

  1. Daring
  2. A varied life
  3. An exciting life

Self-direction items:

  1. Creativity
  2. Curious
  3. Freedom
  4. Choosing own goals
  5. Independent

Universalism items:

  1. Protecting the environment
  2. A world of beauty
  3. Unity with nature
  4. Broad-minded
  5. Social justice
  6. Wisdom
  7. Equality
  8. A world at peace
  9. Inner harmony

Benevolence items:

  1. Helpful
  2. Honest
  3. Forgiving
  4. Loyal
  5. Responsible
  6. True friendship
  7. A spiritual life
  8. Mature love
  9. Meaning in life

Tradition items: 

  1. Devout
  2. Accepting portion in life
  3. Humble
  4. Moderate
  5. Respect for tradition
  6. Detachment

Conformity items:

  1. Politeness
  2. Honoring parents and elders
  3. Obedient
  4. Self-discipline

Security items:

  1. Clean
  2. National security
  3. Social order
  4. Family security
  5. Reciprocation of favors
  6. Healthy
  7. Sense of belonging