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Foundations in the Understanding of Values

After our extensive review of available literature on values and our study of some specialized projects in this field, and after numerous focused discussions among our consultants,

June 23rd, 2023

After our extensive review of the available literature on values and our study of some specialized projects in this field, and after numerous focused discussions among our consultants, we have adopted and developed a number of principles that have guided and shaped our understanding and philosophy of the subject of values in general. These include:

  • There is a clear ambiguity in the term 'value' and its concept in various scientific fields.
  • Values are universal; they are agreed upon by most religions, cultures, races, and peoples.
  • The nurturing environments for individuals are divided into the environments of organizations, the societal environment, and the national environment. Families, educational institutions, public and private sector organizations, and non-profit organizations all have defined individuals, that are subject to a system, and each of them has an agreed-upon leader. On the other hand, the environments of small and large communities usually lack a clear system or organization of relationships and often do not have any agreed-upon leader, except for the nation, which is a form of society but has an agreed-upon leader.
  • The sponsor and owner of nurturing environments are responsible for shaping the values of individuals belonging to those environments.
  • All civil society institutions and social media, as non-responsible influencers, actively contribute to influencing the values of all nurturing environments.
  • Creating a nurturing environment to be supportive of values is a key factor in individuals acquiring and empowering those values.
  • The personal values of an individual may or may not align with the values of the nurturing organization, either in their entirety or in part, and they may also align in type and degree of acquisition.
  • Values vary from one individual to another and from one organizational entity to another, depending on changes in goals or priorities.
  • The values of the nurturing environment may change over time depending on its contextual reality.
  • Organizations aim to build value systems to motivate their members to achieve the vision and goals of the nurturing environment to which they belong, enabling that system to achieve its vision and goals.
  • A value has three hidden dimensions: knowledge, emotion, and belief, with a fourth visible dimension being behavior.
  • A single value includes other sub-values, forming the original value.
  • Values interconnect with each other, where some components (sub-values) of one value may be components of another. Therefore, common components exist between different values, and the same component (sub-value) may be an original value in itself.
  • Organizational values regulate an individual's relationship with themselves, their colleagues at work, their relationships within and outside the organization, and it is preferable for them to align with personal values, this means activating values in three integrated circles: the individual, the organization, and society.
  • Values are acquired, and subject to all principles, laws, mechanisms, and strategies of learning.
  • • Basic conditions for understanding values include transforming them from abstract concepts into clear entities by defining them, identifying their sub-components and behaviors expressing them, analysing the dimensions of the components, highlighting their benefits and the drawbacks of acting in contradiction to them, mechanisms of acquiring them, empowerment paths, which are collectively referred to as embodying values.
  • To empower values in individuals, it is necessary to address the sponsor and influencer responsible for acquiring and empowering values in the affected individuals.
  • Values can be measured in individuals to determine the degree of their acquisition and adoption of personal or organizational values. Values can also be measured for organizations (personal entities) to identify the degree to which they meet the requirements of the advocated values, their existence, and strength within the organization.
  • Values are not just functional or technical skills but are based on the individual's belief in them, therefore, an individual's acquisition of a value is only achieved by engaging them in the process of empowering it, transforming the value into their personal conviction, a behavioral guide on which their choices and stances are built.

Dr.Sa’ad Ibrahim

Founding Partner & VP, Arrowad Group,

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