Public and private differences in employees’ values: a cross-country investigation of Schwartz’s basic human values theory

Mathias Frost, Jesper Rosenberg Hansen*, Jesper Wulff

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Individuals’ personal values have a significant influence on their attitudes and behaviors within organizations, yet we have limited knowledge about whether and how personal values differ across sectors. This study investigates sector differences in personal values, applying Schwartz’s well-established constructs of basic human values. We hypothesize that public employees are more likely to have stronger self-transcendence and conformity values and weaker openness to change values than private employees. Using multi-year data from 20 countries, we find that public employees have stronger self-transcendence and conformity values, consistent across countries, with a few differences across industries. No systematic sector difference in openness to change was found.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Public Management Journal
Volume26
Issue6
Pages (from-to)807-828
Number of pages22
ISSN1096-7494
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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