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The cross-cultural application of the adapted Schwartz values instrument in South Africa
Welthagen, Gerrit Cornelius
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Different value systems are a major source of diversity between people and culture groups. A better understanding of these differences can be a valuable tool when a diverse work force, as found in South Africa, has to be managed. Values can act as a unifying theory for the field of human motivation, as a way of organising the different needs, motives and goals proposed in other theories. The values theory describes aspects of the human psychological structure that are fundamental, aspects presumably common to all humankind. The objective of this study was to investigate the construct equivalence of the values as measured by the Work and Organizational Values Scale for new applicants from different language groups in the South African Police Service (SAPS), and to investigate the relationship between the value patterns of the different language and gender groups. A cross-sectional survey design was used. The study population consisted of two groups who applied for jobs in the South African Police Services (SAPS). The first group consisted of civilians (N=3 400), while the second group consisted of police applicants (N=1 800). The Work and Organizational Values Scale was administered. Descriptive statistics, exploratory factor analyses, and multivariate analysis of variance were used to analyse the results. Principal component analysis with a direct oblimin rotation resulted in two factors. The first factor was interpreted as self-enhancement (power, materialism and prestige) versus conservation (conformity and security). The second factor was interpreted as collectivism (social commitment, relations, and environment) versus individualism (goal-orientedness. stimulation and self-direction). These factors were found to be equivalent for four language groups. Statistically significant differences were found between the value priorities of different language groups as well as genders. However, larger practically significant differences were found between males and females than between different language groups. Recommendations for future research were made.