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123

Organizational Structure of Values


Lawrence A. Crosby
Mary Jo Bitner
Arizona

State University

James D. Gill
Walker Research Inc., Tempe, AZ

The study reported here attempts to overcome weaknesses in previous investigations of the factor structure of the Rokeach Value Survey. The approach involves
comparing a priori models of how values are organized by testing hierarchically
nested models using confirmatory factor analysis. One model posits that values are
independent, while the other models suggest that both terminal and instrumental
values can be organized along a few underlying dimensions. The findings indicate
that 1) instrumental values ratings reflect the importance of three underlying unipolar dimensions: self-direction, conformity, and virtuousness; 2) terminal values
ratings reflect the importance of one bipolar dimension, self-actualization versus
hedonism, and two unipolar dimensions: idealism and security.

Introduction
The nature and structure of human values is a topic of continuing interest in
marketing, other business fields (e.g., Hofstede, 1985), and the social sciences
generally (see Clawson and Vinson, 1978). Within the marketing discipline, theories
have been advanced regarding the impact of values on buyer behavior (e.g., Vinson
et al., 1977). Also within marketing, empirical studies have established linkages to
product/brand choice (e.g., Henry, 1976), store patronage (Becker and Conner,
1982), price-quality perceptions (Petit et al., 1985), leisure attitudes and activities
(Jackson, 1973), shopping orientation (Darden et al., 1979), media usage (Becker
and Conner, 1981), media preferences (Beatty et al., 1985), and the various intervening variables of consumer behavior (Homer and Kahle, 1988; Pitts and Woodside, 1984). Values antecedents have also been investigated (e.g., Crosby et al.,
1984; Kahle, 1986).

Address correspondence

to Lawrence A. Crosby, School of Business,

Journal of Business Research 20, 123-134 (1990)


0 1990 Elsevier Science Publishing Co., Inc. 1990
655 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10010

Arizona State University,

Tempe, AZ 85287.

014%2963/90/$3.50

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The interest in values research is accompanied by concerns regarding the conceptualization of values and the validity and reliability of values measures. For
example, considerable effort in several disciplines has been devoted to investigating
the factor structure of the Rokeach Value Survey (RVS) (Rokeach, 1973), probably
the most commonly used measure of values. Using exploratory factor analysis,
researchers have sought to explain the covariation among the 36 items in the RVS
(Darden et al., 1979; Feather and Peay, 1975; Heath and Fogel, 1978; Maloney
and Katz, 1976; McKernan, 1982; Vinson et al., 1977). Despite the considerable
activity, there is disagreement among researchers regarding the dimensions underlying the 36 values of the RVS. This disagreement is not surprising, given the
arbitrary assumptions that underlie exploratory factor analysis.
The study described in this article attempts to overcome weaknesses in previous
investigations of the factor structure of the RVS. The study is motivated by theoretical concern with uncovering basic goal orientations underlying human activity
and personality. The approach involves confirmatory factor analysis via LISREL
(Joreskog and S&born, 1984). The models tested are based in theory and draw on
previous research results.
The Rokeach

Value Survey

With a few exceptions (e.g., Beatty et al., 1985; Homer and Kahle, 1988; Kahle
et al., 1986), studies investigating the relationship between values and consumer
behavior have typically employed the RVS (Munson, 1984). Rokeach (1973) has
argued persuasively that values are separately organized into relatively enduring
hierarchical structures of terminal and instrumental values. He defines values as
. . . enduring beliefs that specific modes of conduct (instrumental values) or endstates of existence (terminal values) are personally or socially preferable to opposite
or converse modes of conduct or end-states of existence (p. 5). The RVS was
developed by the selection of 18 terminal and 18 instrumental values from a larger
compilation of several hundred value descriptors based on . . . retaining only one
from a group of synonyms or near synonyms. . . retaining only those judged to be
maximally different from or minimally correlated with one another. . . . (Rokeach,
1973, p. 29).
One organizational issue debated in the consumer literature concerns the a priori
classification of values into two groups: terminal versus instrumental. An argument
for their separate treatment is that terminal and instrumental values are by definition
different (ends versus means), although they may be causally related. Furthermore,
past attempts to factor analyze the entire 36 x 36 correlation matrix of rankings
(e.g., Feather and Peay, 1975; Rokeach, 1973) or ratings (Vinson et al., 1977)
have produced factors that tend to be exclusively terminal or instrumental. Thus,
drawing a means versus ends distinction seems appropriate (for a contrary opinion,
see Heath and Fogel, 1978). Although the distinction is useful and intuitive, further
reduction of the 36 values would aid theoretical understanding and perhaps lead
to more parsimonious and generalizable models.
Another challenge to understanding the dimensionality of the RVS is the controversy over value importance measurement via rankings or ratings (e.g., Munson
and McIntyre, 1979; Reynolds and Jolly, 1980). While both methods have their
advantages and disadvantages, rankings have been criticized as imposing an artificial

Organizational Structure of Values

.I BUSN RES
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contrast on the data (Alwin and Krosnick, 1985). In other words, rankings may
force respondents to make trade-offs they would not otherwise make. Some people,
e.g., may feel that self-direction and conformity are both important modes of
conduct even though they are logically opposite. Since a goal of the data reduction
is to uncover underlying value dimensions in the respondents psycho-logic (not
the researchers), ratings would seem to be preferred, as they impose fewer constraints on the data.
Competing

Models of Values Organization

Independence

Model of Terminal and Instrumental Values

Noting generally low correlations among the values and citing factor analysis results
that failed to account for the majority of the variance, Rokeach concluded that
the 36 values could not be safely reduced (Rokeach, 1973). Other researchers have
sought to uncover the organizational structure of the RVS and have found from
four to ten dimensions. Differences may be explained partially by the use of rankings versus ratings and 36 x 36 versus 18 x 18 item correlation matrices. However,
the possibility must also be acknowledged that Rokeachs conclusion is correct and
that the values are basically independent, which leads to the following hypotheses:
Hla: There is no systematic association among the instrumental values contained
within the RVS, beyond that attributable to correlated measurement error.
Hlb: There is no systematic association among the terminal values contained within
the RVS, beyond that attributable to correlated measurement error.
Implicit in Hla and Hlb is the recognition that correlated measurement error
could potentially mask the independence of value items and, therefore, needs
to be controlled. This can occur when ratings are used to measure values importance. A drawback of ratings is their susceptibility to problems of response styles
or sets (Alwin and Krosnick, 1985).
Nonindependence

Model of Instrumental Values

While factor structures from previous RVS research are by no means identical,
there are some striking similarities. A review of these studies (Feather and Peay,
1975; Rokeach, 1973; Vinson et al., 1977) suggests an external-internal
organization of instrumental values, as depicted in Table 1. Internal dimensions composed
of varying subsets of self-direction values shown in Table 1 have carried labels such
as inner-directed, competence, self-expansion, self-reliant, achievement-oriented.
External dimensions have been of two types, one group reflecting conformity (e.g.,
other-directed, sociality, self-constriction, adherence to social norms), and the other
focused on concern for others (e.g., religious morality, compassion, virtuous, altruistic). Also, as previously noted, conformity and/versus self-direction have been
hypothesized to underlie Kohns measures of parental values (Alwin and Jackson,
1982; Jackson and Alwin, 1980). Kohns values would be classified as instrumental by Rokeachs definition (e.g., honest, clean, self-controlled, responsible). The
characterization of instrumental values as internally or externally focused is consistent with the description of Riesman et al. (1950) of inner- versus other-directed

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L. A. Crosby et al.

Table 1. Hypothesized

Instrumental

Values Organization

External
Conformity
dimension
Cheerful
Clean
Obedient
Polite
Responsible
Virtuous dimension
Forgiving
Helpful
Honest
Loving

Internal
Self-direction
dimension
Ambitious
Broadminded
Capable
Courgeous
Imaginative
Independent
Intellectual
Logical
Self-controlled

personality.
Similar distinctions
are drawn between nonsocial
and social motives
(McGuire,
1974), self-perception
differences reflecting an internal or external focus
(Rogers, 1951; Wylie, 1961), and internal versus external locus of control (Lefcourt,
1966; Rotter, 1966).
H2: Instrumental values are organized according to their internal or external focus.
External values are further distinguished by whether they promote conformity or
virtuousness. Thus, three dimensions are predicted, as shown in Table 1.
An alternative
configuration
of instrumental
values would suggest that these
three dimensions
are to some degree redundant.
Fewer than three factors may
exist with the values clustered at opposite ends of one or two bipolar dimensions
(e.g., conformity
versus self-directed).
If this is the case, then H2 would not be
able to withstand a test of discriminant
validity.

Nonindependence

Model of Terminal Values

A review of previous research (Feather and Peay, 1975; Rokeach,


1973; Vinson
et al., 1977) suggests that terminal values may be organized as depicted in Table
2. The first distinction,
societal or personal, pertains to whether the desired endstate applies mainly to the individual
(e.g., sense of accomplishment,
comfortable
life) or would be a collective benefit (e.g., world of beauty, world at peace). This
distinction
is consistent
with the notion that consumers
can be segmented
by the
degree to which they consider the societal consequences
of their consumption
decisions (e.g., Webster,
1975). The distinction
is also consistent
with research
involving the nine-item
List of Values (LOV), where external/internal
and apersonal/personal
dimensions
have been identified (Homer and Kahle, 1988).
Terminal
values can be positioned
as lower or higher order. As noted by
Rokeach, Maslows (1954) conception
of higher-order
and lower-order
values can
be fruitfully
employed.
However,
it is recognized
that a lower-order
versus
higher-order
distinction
is quite judgmental
(Kahle, 1983). This nomenclature
is retained,
however, in light of Rokeachs explicit recognition
of Maslows work.
A more appropriate
label might be material-psychological.
In previous research
involving
the RVS, the self-actualization
dimension
has also been termed selfrealization
or delayed gratification.
Hedonism
corresponds
to such dimensions
as

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Structure of Values

Table 2. Hypothesized

127

Terminal Values Organization


Higher Order

Societal

Personal

Idealism dimension
A world of beauty (beauty of nature and
arts)
Equality (brotherhood, equal opportunity
for all)
Freedom (independence, free choice)

Self-actualization dimension
Sense of accomplishment (lasting
contribution)
Inner harmony (freedom from inner conflict)
Mature love (sexual and spiritual intimacy)
Salvation (saved, eternal life)
Self-respect
(self-esteem)
True friendship (close companionship)
Wisdom (mature understanding
of life)

Lower Order
Security dimension
World at peace (free of war and conflict)
Family security (taking care of loved ones)
National security (protection from attack)

Hedonism dimension
A comfortable life (a prosperous life)
An exciting life (a stimulating,
active life)
Happiness (contentedness)
Pleasure (an enjoyable, leisurely life)
Social recognition (respect, admiration)

personal or immediate
gratification.
Values included under idealism have loaded
on factors labeled noble and social harmony.
Security and safety are terms that
have been used to describe the fourth dimension.
H3: Terminal values are organized according to whether they are personally or societally focused and based on a higher-/lower-order
distinction,
as shown in Table 2.

Thus, four dimensions

are predicted.

Again, a logical alternative


to H3 is a reduced space with fewer dimensions,
some of which might be bipolar. The potential for dimension
reduction would be
revealed in tests of discriminant
validity.

Sample

and

Procedure

The data were obtained from a multiwave survey of adults conducted


via mail in
California and Colorado. Five hundred households participating
in a national panel
were selected from each state, with the use of a quota sampling procedure.
Households were selected for inclusion by the matching of household characteristics
with
census data for each state. A random procedure was used to select an eligible adult
within each household.
A total of 461 respondents
participated
in all phases of the
survey (46% overall response rate), 418 of whom had complete data on all the
value items.
A rank, then rate approach was used to measure the importance
of the 18
terminal
and 18 instrumental
values included in the RVS (Rokeach,
1973). For
reasons previously stated, value ratings were believed to be the appropriate
measures of importance,
given the purpose of the study. Yet, it was recognized
that
value rankings may give rise to more precise data in that respondents
are encouraged to make fine distinctions
about the relative importance
of the values. In an
effort to encourage
data quality, but still allow respondents
to judge some values

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L. A. Crosby et al.

as equally important, a two-step procedure was employed. Respondents began by


ranking the list of alphabetically arranged terminal values. Next, each of the terminal values was rated on a 7-point Extremely Important to Not at All Important scale. The two-step piocedure was thkn repeated for the instrumental
values.

Analysis

and Results
The efforts to test Hl-H3 followed the recommended procedures for confirmatory
factor analysis (CFA) (Anderson and Gerbing, 1988; Gerbing and Anderson, 1988).
Confirmatory factor analysis is the preferred method for testing the unidimensionality of scales, i.e., that the alternate indicators (values) of the same underlying
construct (values dimension) share just one trait in common. The CFA was confined
to the ratings data. While the measurement scales of both the ratings and rankings
are ordinal, ratings are more amenable to causal analysis than ranks that have the
added problem of being ipsative in nature (Alwin and Krosnick, 1985).
The analysis is best understood with reference to the models in Figures 1 and
2 (ignoring for now the numerical estimates). Consistent with H2 and H3, each
value is depicted as a function of one value dimension, a methods bias, and a
unique (random) error component (Q). The methods bias factor attempts to account
for the inherent positive correlation of values ratings (Alwin and Krosnick, 1985).
The overall goodness of fit of these models, evaluated according to the similarity
of predicted with actual correlations, provides a direct test of unidimensionality
(Gerbing and Anderson, 1988, p. 187).
The proposed models were tested using LISREL (Jbreskog and Siirbom, 1984)
with the analysis performed on the correlation matrices of instrumental and terminal
values ratings. The maximum likelihood (ML) estimation method was employed,
providing significance tests of individual parameter estimates and overall model fit.
The following results were obtained regarding the overall fit of the two models:

Instrumental(Fig. 1)
Terminal (Fig. 2)

X2

df

Prob.

GFI

RMS

416.71
341.64

114
111

,000
,000

.91
.92

.05
.OS

The significant chi-square results (normally indicating a lack-of-fit) must be interpreted in light of several considerations. First, the magnitude of the chi-square
is dependent on sample size (Jiireskog, 1978, p. 447). The sample of 418 is relatively
large and in . . . large samples almost any model . . . is likely to be rejected (Long,
1983, p. 75). Second, ML assumes a multivariate normal distribution of the observed
variables, which is not the case for the values ratings. Violations of multivariate
normality tend to inflate the chi-square. Third, the other indicants of model fit are
within an acceptable range. For both instrumental and terminal values, the
goodness-of-fit index (GFI) exceeded Bentler and Bonetts (1980) heuristic of .90.
Also, the Root Mean Square Residual (RMS) values of .05 indicated only modest
deviation between the predicted and actual correlations.
Supporting the interpretation that the models in Figures 1 and 2 adequately fit
the data, tests using the unweighted least squares (ULS) estimation method yielded

Organizational

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Structure of Values

129

c=.69,

Ambltlous

_Xl
F&
21
_x2
28

48

Broadminded

F&
_
F=.46,

28

X6

Courageous

X10

lmaglnative

Xl 2

Intellectual

X18

Self-Controlled

Xl 7

Responsible

F=.64,

Figure 1. Instrumental

values model (maximum


nificant (t-value < 2.00).

likelihood estimates).

Key: * = not sig-

extremely
high GFIs: instrumental
= .98; terminal = .98. Unlike ML, ULS makes
no assumptions
about the distribution
of the observed variables. Because statistical
tests of individual parameter estimates are not possible with ULS, the ML solutions
were relied on for the remainder
of the analysis (the ML and ULS parameter
estimates were all very similar in magnitude).
A hierarchical
testing procedure was used to assess the need for a methods bias
factor in the two models (Bentler and Bonett,
1980). Essentially,
this involved
eliminating
the methods latent variables (& for instrumental,
& for terminal),
reestimating the models, then testing the change in x2 against the change in degrees
of freedom. The results of this analysis appear in Table 3. The number 1 models
for instrumental
and terminal values correspond
to Figures 1 and 2, respectively.

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L. A. Crosby et al.

.4

Senseof Accomplishment

.E

X10

Inner Harmony

.l

Xl 4

Salvation

.L

Xl 5

Self-Respect

.L

Xl 7

True Friendship

.L

Xl8

Wisdom

Xl

A Comfortable

X2

An Excltmg Life

.E

150

F =.53
-_
I =.70
-+

.I

E =.46
-

Xl3

Pleasure

=.6_7,
~

Xl6

Social Recognltlon

.13

MethiBias

Life

-a
Hedkm

57

Figure 2. Terminal values model (maximum likelihood estimates).

(t-value < 2.00); ** = fixed parameter;


.09*, q134= .77.

Key: * = not significant


also: +,, = .28, +,4 = Sl, & = -.44, & =

The number 2 models contain no methods effect. Throughout


Table 3, the Ax2
and Adf are evaluated relative to model number 1. As the results show, the change
in x2 was statistically significant for both instrumental
and terminal values, indicating
a need to retain the methods factors.
The general approach of comparing hierarchically
nested models was extended
to assess further the construct validity of the values dimensions.
The competing
independence
versus nonindependence
hypotheses (Hla versus H2 and Hlb versus
H3) were examined by comparing the fit of the methods-only
models (nos. 3) with
the full, hypothesized
models (nos. 1). As Table 3 reveals, rejecting
the independence models and associated hypotheses was possible.

Organizational

Structure

Table 3. Tests

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of Values

of

Nested Models

x2

df

Ax2 Adf

Instrumental values models


Model number
1. Hypothesized
model with method control
2. Hypothesized
model without method (no e4)
3. Hypothesized
model with only method (no &, &, k3)
4. Self-Direction
= conformity
(+,, = 1)
5. Self-Direction
= virtuous (+,3 = 1)
6. Conformity
= virtuous (I& = 1)
Terminal values models
Model number
1. Hypothesized
model with method control
2. Hypothesized
model without method (no &)
3. Hypothesized
model with only method (no t,, .$, .&, 54)
4. Self-Actualization
= hedonism (I& = 1)
5. Self-Actualization
= idealism ($13 = 1)
6. Self-Actualization
= security (+,4 = 1)
7. Hedonism
= idealism (+Z3 = 1)
8. Hedonism
= security (& = 1)
9. Idealism = security (9% = 1)

417
615
1226
474
446

342
549
1006
342
354
347
353
352

114
132
198
18
135
809
21
115
57
1
Failed to converge
115
29
1

< 0.001
< 0.001
< 0.001

111
129
207
18
135
664
24
112
0
1
Failed to converge
112
12
1
112
5
1
112
11
1
112
10
1

< 0.001
< 0.001
N.S.

< 0.001

<
<
<
<

0.001
0.05
0.01
0.01

Although there was systematic variation among the values over and above the
methods effect, it did not necessarily follow that the values dimensions were properly specified. Both discriminant and convergent validity needed to be established.
Again, by following procedures recommended by Anderson and Gerbing (1988),
discriminant validity was assessed for each pair of instrumental and terminal values
constructs by constraint of the estimated correlation parameter (4,) between them
to 1.0, then performance of another chi-square difference test (i.e., Ax2 and Adf
relative to the no. 1 models). As reported in Table 3, discriminant validity was
supported by a significantly higher x2 in all cases but one (except where the model
failed to converge altogether). Among the terminal values, there appeared to be
a lack of discriminant validity between self-actualization and hedonism. With &, =
1, the model fit the data as well as when &, was estimated; all of the self-actualization values loaded negatively on 5, and all the hedonism values loaded positively
on c2. In other words, self-actualization and hedonism were perfectly (albeit negatively) correlated, and, rather than two dimensions, there was only one bipolar
dimension underlying the data, anchored at one end by self-actualization and at
the other end by hedonism. The other component of construct validity, convergent
validity, was assessed by determination of whether each values pattern coefficient
on its posited underlying construct factor was significant (Anderson and Gerbing,
1988). The magnitude of the coefficients is reported in Figures 1 and 2. For the
instrumental values, the ML estimates were based on the hypothesized model (no.
1). For the terminal values, the ML estimates were based on the alternate model
(no. 4), with the correlation between self-actualization and hedonism fixed at
&, = - 1.0 so as to generate all positive pattern coefficients. With one exception
among the instrumental values (responsible on conformity) and two exceptions
among the terminal values (mature love on self-actualization and social recognition
on hedonism), the coefficients were statistically significant.
The final step in the measurement process involved assessing the reliability of

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L. A. Crosby

et al.

the values constructs.


In addition to unidimensionality,
the usefulness
of a scale
also depends on its reliability or freedom from random measurement
error. According to Gerbing and Anderson
(1988), reliability should be assessed after unidimensionality
is established
(p. 190). With the use of the formula fi= (%,)2/
((CA,)+ CG,,), these estimates of reliability
were computed:
self-direction
= .81,
conformity = .57, virtuousness
= .65, self-actualization/hedonism
= .62, idealism =
.58, security = .67. These results suggested fair-to-moderate
reliability in the measurement
of the constructs.
While improvements
in reliability
could no doubt be
obtained by deletion of values from the analysis (i.e., increase of the specificity of
the latent variables),
this was considered
incompatible
with the research purpose
of the testing of models representing
the organization
of the entire RVS.

Conclusion
The CFA results failed to support the independence
model of values (Hla, Hlb)
while supporting
the nonindependence
models of both instrumental
and terminal
values, as specified in Figures 1 and 2. With the exception of the self-actualization
and hedonism dimensions
(as discussed above), the organizational
structures were
as hypothesized
in H2 (instrumental)
and H3 (terminal).
These findings support
the development
of more parsimonious
and, hopefully, more generalizable
models.
Based on the results reported here, future research may attempt to respecify the
models by either a) deleting responsible,
mature love, and social recognition;
b)
allowing them to load on different factors; or c) representing
them as unique values
measured by single indicators.
The choice will depend on further development
of
the theory of value organization
and on empirical tests performed
on new data.
Additional
work is also needed to begin the development
of nomological
networks that link the values dimensions
to consumer behavior. For example, it might
be speculated
that consumers
whose instrumental
values are external/conformity
focused might be more prone to normative
compliance
and national-brand
consumption,
while those who are internally
focused might be more likely to experiment with new products and to complain when they are dissatisfied. With respect
to terminal values, it might be speculated that those who are motivated by societal/
higher-order
(idealism)
concerns would be more likely to support regulation
of
business, ecological consumption,
and consumer boycotts. On the other hand, those
consumers whose terminal value structure is dominated
by self-actualization
values
might exhibit greater than normal demand for educational
products and be less
materialistic
in their lifestyles than would those whose terminal
value structure
reflects a hedonistic orientation.
These latter consumers may be heavy purchasers
of leisure products and services and more likely to seek out highly stimulating
consumption
environments.
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