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Discovering the Millennials’ Personal Values Orientation: A Comparison to Two Managerial Populations


  • James Weber

    () (Duquesne University)


Abstract Values theory posits that individuals have values and they are formed by upbringing and life’s experiences and influence an individuals’ cognitive processes, decisions, and behavior. Emerging onto the business scene is a new population group, the Millennials. This research seeks to explore Millennials’ values from the viewpoint of their personal value orientation (PVO). Managerial PVO from the 1980s and 2010s are used as comparative populations. The Millennials’ PVO is generally consistent with managerial PVO from past research. They tend toward a Personal, rather than Social, and Competence, rather than Moral, value orientation. Yet, some subtle differences emerged. Millennials are more self-focused and less other-focused than managers from the 1980s or 2010s. They emphasize competency skills more than today’s managers but less than the managers of the 1980s and place more worth on moral values than managers of the 1980s but less than today’s managers.

Suggested Citation

  • James Weber, 2017. "Discovering the Millennials’ Personal Values Orientation: A Comparison to Two Managerial Populations," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 143(3), pages 517-529, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jbuset:v:143:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10551-015-2803-1
    DOI: 10.1007/s10551-015-2803-1

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Mary Crossan & Daina Mazutis & Gerard Seijts, 2013. "In Search of Virtue: The Role of Virtues, Values and Character Strengths in Ethical Decision Making," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 113(4), pages 567-581, April.
    2. Ahmet Ekici & Sule Onsel, 2013. "How Ethical Behavior of Firms is Influenced by the Legal and Political Environments: A Bayesian Causal Map Analysis Based on Stages of Development," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 115(2), pages 271-290, June.
    3. B. Posner, 2010. "Values and the American Manager: A Three-Decade Perspective," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 91(4), pages 457-465, February.
    4. Argandoña, Antonio, 2002. "Fostering values in organizations," IESE Research Papers D/483, IESE Business School.
    5. James Weber & David Wasieleski, 2013. "Corporate Ethics and Compliance Programs: A Report, Analysis and Critique," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 112(4), pages 609-626, February.
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