Ideal- and counter-ideal values as two distinct forces: Exploring a gap in organizational value research
Motives and values at work have long been key topics of business and management studies. In a focused review of the literature on the nature of human values, we identify a disconnect with the literature on human motivation despite the otherwise inherent relatedness of the two fields. Specifically, extant theory and research have conceptualized values generally in terms of ideals, namely desired end-states that individuals strive to approach. Although values, by this definition, express motivational concerns, theories of human motivation suggests that there are two forces to consider, i.e., approach and avoidance motivation. By applying this “two forces”perspective to value research, we identify a gap in the literature on values: namely, the idea that individuals are also influenced by counter-ideal values, i.e., end-states that they deliberately seek to avoid. The identification of this gap opens up new opportunities for value research in general and organizational value research in particular. To pave the way for future research, we critically discuss the few studies that have taken first steps into that direction and outline research questions that may follow for issues such as employer branding and person-organization fit. We close by providing suggestions on how to tackle the issue in organizational practice.
Van Quaquebeke, N., Graf, M.M., Kerschreiter, R., Schuh, S.C., & Van Dick, R. (2014). Ideal- and counter-ideal values as two distinct forces: Exploring a gap in organizational value research. International Journal of Management Reviews.