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Business and Professional Ethics Journal

Volume 38, Issue 2, Summer 2019

George Lan
Pages 147-175
DOI: 10.5840/bpej201961879

Personal Values and Value Priorities of Undergraduate Business Students

The Schwartz Values Survey (SVS), developed by Shalom Schwartz, was used to explore the values and value priorities of undergraduate business students in a mid-sized Canadian university. These business students considered family security as their top individual value and ranked successful, healthy, and enjoying life among their top ten individual values. On the other hand, detachment, accepting my portion in life and social power were least valued. They regarded Benevolence and Achievement as their top two value types (cluster of related values), and ranked the higher order meta-value Self-Transcendence first followed by Openness to Change. The accounting and finance majors considered Hedonism as their top priority while the other business majors valued Benevolence most highly; however, overall, there were more similarities than differences between these two groups. When compared with the males, females valued the meta-value Self-Transcendence significantly more and exhibited values and value systems that have more of a social focus and less of a personal focus. First-year and fourth-year business students ranked the meta-values in the same order; however, Self-Transcendence was rated as significantly more important to the students in their first year compared to those in their fourth year.