A main thrust of the ACE program — as is evident from its first report “The Main Trends of Socio-Cultural Change” — is to sensitise management to the new modes of executive thought about organization, product development, and marketing that emanate from the study of value change. In this process we must instill a certain scepticism to many current practices. From the perspective of value change it is easy to see that what is accepted today is questioned tomorrow and obsolete the day after tomorrow; in this sense value change resembles technological change and requires alertness and flexibility on behalf of the corporations.
The ACE typology presented in this report offers top management a general way of describing their societies, markets and personnel in terms of the human values they embrace. It is meant to replace the more or less explicit notions we have in these matters about ourselves and our European neighbours. But it is not meant to replace one corporate orthodoxy with another. For one major lesson of ACE is precisely the escape from typologies and other rigid orthodoxies.
Reason is to Descartes and his followers something that joins all intellects. Human beings may vary in their customs and desires but they are alike in one crucial respect: they are equipped with reason. Reason may not always have a strong voice in human affairs. However, when and if reason is used, men and women of all times and all civilizations arrive at the same conclusions. This is the foundation of all varieties of classicism : there is one universally valid taste and opinion based on reason. Thus the artists in the classical tradition disregard individual differences and create general types, universally valid forms. The scientists in the same tradition seek a small number of types, e g a periodic system of matter, and eternal laws of nature. The politicians in this tradition strive for a clean-cut order with the universal application of law emanating from a central government believed to embody the best of reason. Seen in this classical tradition businessmen are engaged in pursuit of balance sheets; and, regardless of your line of business, these balance sheets have the same rational layout and can be analysed for good or weak points by the same methods. The classical industrialist runs his plant and its logistics in a rational way at a fixed MTM well suited to the standard and typical workers whom he believes constitute his labour force.
Generalized conceptions of man of these kinds are found in all classical typologies. Ours, however, is not a classical typology.
Darwin disproved the rationalist dogma of Descartes about the consistency and permanence of reason. Man has developed, unfolded and enriched his person, including his reasoning, and he is able to grow to further heights and levels. (He is also able to regress to incredible lows and make himself extinct.) This has led to new classifications in which we find types in the form of stages rather than states of reality. We call them evolutionary typologies. Ours is such evolutionary typology.
The evolutionary ACE typology of values is a synthesis of two unfolding processes. On one hand, we have the historical development of European societies from agricultural through industrial to welfare societies. On the other hand, we have the biographical development of modern man from the dependency needs of infancy, which primarily aim for biological well-being, to a primacy of needs for achievement and self-actualisation.
The first source of our typology is historical sociology. Sir Henry Maine (1822-1888), an English legal scholar, opened up the topic by describing the development from a patriarchal social order based on status (position) to an individualistic order based on contract. In simple, old societies man’s experience and destiny are predetermined by ascribed statuses: his birth and other events beyond his control. Early
Rome, as well as feudal Europe, Tribal Africa, caste-dominated India are thus status-dominated, or, underdeveloped societies. These ascribed statuses determine nearly all activities and affiliations, whether religious or secular, including occupational pursuit, business associates, marriage mate, home, style of life, and power and influence in the larger community. The modernization of a society, according to Sir Henry, consists of letting an ever increasing number of actions and life histories be dependent upon freely negotiated contracts rather than on predetermined statuses. In a developed society the individual, himself, can decide and negotiate his entry into a church, an occupation, a trade relation, a marriage, a neighbourhood, a political body, et cetera. Modernization thus consists of a lifting of restrictions of status and an opening of opportunities for contract. The Roman empire, the French or American revolutions were giant steps in this process.
In the same vein, German sociologist Ferdinand Tönnies (1855-1936) formulated the most famous typology of them all in his book Gemeinschaft und Gesellschaft. The Gemeinschaft period begins with social relations grounded in family life and domestic economy; later, with the development of agriculture and rural village life, there is a shift to cooperative patterns based on locality. Then follows the growth of town life and community of religious faith and artistry. Values, however, still centre around kinship and guilds, the provision of daily bread and supplies for the winter seasons. The Gesellschaft period of history opens with the growth of city life based on trade and contractual relationships. Industrialization and the rational manipulation of capital and labour are accompanied by the growth of the state and of national life. Values of production, money-making, and efficiency prevail. Cosmopolitan life, toward which Tönnies thought society was moving, would be based on informed public opinion and rule by wise men.
Other scholars have varied the theme of Geminschaft and Gesellschaft. French sociologist Émile Durkheim (1858-1917) focused a brilliant analysis on a society with mechanical solidarity (similar tasks) and one with organic solidarity (complementary tasks). American anthropologist Robert Redfield (1897-1958) pursued a parallel path regarding the modernization of primitive tribes: from Folk society to Urban society.
Research in Sweden on the effects of this societal continuum on public opinion discovered that a new structure had emerged with striking consequences on people’s values. Once a society based on status and then in transition to one based on contract, post-war Sweden had pioneered in a society based on “insured contracts”. In varying degrees the latter has become the norm throughout Western Europe.
The change is this: competitors in the Gesellschaft (contractual society) do no longer have to face the roughest consequences of their losses. A system has evolved in which one can still gain both small and big winnings but one can only incur small losses. The Swedish pension reform enacted in the 195Os indicates the prevailing spirit: each citizen is guaranteed an annual old age pension from the government that amounts to some sixty percent of his average earnings during the ten best years of his employment. By retiring from the labour market he may lose some income, to be sure, but never more than forty percent of what he had in his best years. A floor is thus provided through which we will not sink. A floor of another kind is represented by the large number of positions, both in government and industry, that have tenure contracts. (In Sweden, this has long been common in collective bargaining contracts for white-collar workers. A law in 1974 made this mandatory for all workers.) In these positions one’s job is secure but promotion is dependent upon performance. Both these examples indicate a curious mixture of status and contract: a man’s status is insured as in a feudal society but he can compete for better contracts as in the developed society. This kind of “insured contract,” or secure advance, is very characteristic of the welfare states. Young America proclaimed man’s inalienable right to the pursuit of happiness through freely negotiated contracts. This was a truly revolutionary principle when the prevailing world belief was that a man must remain at his given station. The welfare states endorse this pursuit of happiness and add to it a second revolutionary concept, a guarantee that the happiness achieved not be lost.
Welfare has developed according to two different models: “the emergency service model” and “the basic service model.”
The emergency service model is based on the idea that the labour market and the goods and services market, together with family, relatives, neighbours and friends, constitute the normal channels for satisfying the needs of citizens. If, for one reason or another, these prove inadequate, help is provided by social welfare, which thus temporarily forms part of the lives of some citizens. This kind of social welfare is selective.
The basic service model is based on the assumption that health care, housing, education and so on are not commodities but rights. Social weifare gives people these services free of charge or at subsidized prices, according to their individual needs. Here social welfare is a permanent part of every citizen’s life. This kind of social welfare is general.
The emergency service model predominates in American welfare theory and practice. There the premise is that those who fall below a certain standard of living — the poverty line — shall receive help. This type of residual welfare is relatively cheap.
The basic service model predominates in Europe. The European systems were described by Kahn and Kammermann significantly enough under the title, Not for the Poor Alone.
The basic service model is costly and, in practice, leads to a high tax society.
In line with the basic service model, Swedish social policies have encouraged the idea that the main responsibility for people’s welfare rests on society, not on the individual. We have documented this change in the 1960s and 1970s by asking the following question in several polls:
“Do you believe that it is up to the individual or to society to ensure that everyone enjoys a good standard of living?”
Uncertain, don't know
It is primarily young people who, by a great majority, assert that the standard of living is society’s responsibility. The stage is thereby set for the large-scale emergence of a breed of values that previously were the property of only a small group of people.
To sum up: it is no longer adequate to talk about two types — such as Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft. The development of society requires at least three basic types:
Each has a corresponding value system:
|The values of sustenance have their roots in the agrarian society. The key words are survival and security, that is, these values are built up around life necessities, and the need for well-filled barns. The fruits of labour belong to the worker. According to the values of sustenance he provides himself and his family with basics of sustenance.
|The values of production have their roots in the industrial society. The key words are solidarity among workers on the one hand and efficiency on the other: the values are built up around involvements with the processes of production and the generation of prosperity. The fruits of labour (which are considerable) are shared by the workers and the representatives of capital. According to the values of production are works for economic growth and for a certain standard of living.
|The values of reproduction have their roots in the welfare state. The key words are empathy and personal growth: the values are built up around an abundance of education and care which leads to involvement with ones own development and the development of others and the creation of quality of life. The fruits of work (besides a salary and capital accretion) are the work itself and what it offers in terms of meaning, comradeship, and potential for personal growth. According to the values of reproduction one works for self development and quality of life.
The Europeans have a heavy cultural baggage of sustenance from an agricultural past when family farms produced for self-sufficiency rather than the market. (In the US the sustenance people tends to be outcasts from the market, rather than from their ancestral farms.) The values of production have a history as long as industrialization, and European countries vary a great deal in the number of generations steeped in the environment of industrial values. Of special interest is the fate of the values of production in Great Britain, the first country to industrialize. Values of sustenance and production are thus found in the societal types described by Maine, Tönnies, Durkheim, Redfield, and others. The values of reproduction are novel in this century, not as such, but as dominating values for very large groups or segments of societies. The latter values can be understood as a massive response to the welfare state in which large proportions of adults hold paid employment, not in the production and distribution of goods, but in the teaching or caring for other people in the service of the welfare machinery. In the United States, the campus epitomizes a situation in which most everybody is involved with ideas and people rather than with machinery and products. Therefore, the American college population shows markedly stronger expressions of these new values than the rest of society. In Western Europe with its basic service model of welfare, the breeding conditions for values of reproduction in the form of institutionalised welfare are more widely dispersed throughout society.
Our argument so far sums up in this diagram.
society ==> Values of reproduction
society ==> Values of production
society ==> Values of sustenance
The second source of our typology is personality studies which define the stages of growth from psychological immaturity to a rich and full adult life. The inspiration comes mainly from Erik H Erikson, David McClelland, and, above all, Abraham H Maslow. This research tradition has been given a reinterpretation by Arnold Mitchell in a typology central to the Values and Life Styles Program (VALS) of SRI. The main contribution of the SRI team is the thesis that there are two parallel paths to ego development, one outer-directed and one inner-directed. Mitchell presents this “doubie hierarchy” in this diagram:
The left arrow of psychological development is the traditional, outer-directed hierarchical path. The right arrow is the contemporary inner directed hierarchical path. Everyone starts his or her psychological development with a primacy of basic biological needs of physical security and of basic emotional needs of trust and belonging. Those retaining these priorities also in adulthood are cal led Need-Driven. They divide into Survivors, Sustainers, and Belongers. Among Post-Belongers there are two alternative options. Those who give priority to their need of esteem are called Outer-Directed. The need for esteem, however, is divided into two levels by Mitchell. Those whose adult priorities are found here are called Emulators and Achievers. The other route concerns self-development. Those who put their priorities here are cal1ed Inner-Directed. The Mitchell team distinguishes between three levels of priorities here: 1-Am-Me, Experiential, and Societally Conscious. At the top of both paths, Mitchell places a small number of exceptionally mature individuals who are able to successfully balance all phases and priorities, the Integrated.
The basic division is between three categories: the Need-Driven, the Outer-Directed, and the Inner-Directed. The first category acts because of needs rather than choice. The last two categories can choose between acting upon external cues or internal cues.
One brief and simple example: The Need-Driven person may loose weight because he or she is too poor to get enough nutrition. The Outer-Directed may loose weight because it makes him or her look better to others. The Inner-Directed may loose weight because it makes him or her feel better.
The diagram below sums up the argument of the relations between the hierarchy of needs and personality-types.:
|Self-actualization ===> Inner-Directed
|Esteem ===> Outer-directed
|Belonging, security, survival ===> Need-Driven
We are now close to a so-called aha-experience. In comparing the personality traits of the three basic personality types with the values we find typical of the three basic societal types we note some striking correspondences.
The Need-Driven person is very likely to embrace the values of sustenance which relate to the basic necessities for survival: food, clothing, lodging, and some security in the event of illness and in old age.
The Outer-Directed person is very likely to embrace the values of production which relate to the requisite elements of growing prosperity, e g order, ambition, efficiency.
The Inner-Directed person is very likely to embrace the values of reproduction which relate to what is necessary for personal •inner growth and a genuine understanding of other people, e g self-exploration and care for others.
Our argument can thus be summed up in this diagram.
|Belonging, security, survival
Here we have the foundation of the ACE-typology used to compare the
values and personalities of contemporary European societies:
A. Need-Driven personalities with values of sustenanceThe confidence we have in the typology is enhanced by the fact that it could be derived both from sociology and psychology.
B. Outer-Directed personalities with values of production
C. Inner-Directed personalities with values of reproduction
You arrive at the points (A), (B), and (C) in our diagram whether you start from the left or from the right.
As a representation we will in this report use a square divided in three ways:
We will use the size of the boxes to indicate prevalence of a value type or personality type.
The researchers’ raw material — e g statements in interviews — is actually the same when we analyse values and personalities. When we sum up consonant statements made by a large number of citizens we record national value trends. When we sum consonant statements made by one and the same person we record his personality.
Before proceeding to use the typology it is worthwhile to stress again its developmental character. We will do this with one illustration from personality research and one from value research.
It is obviously true that individuals are not fashioned from whole cloth. They do not embrace all the values and attitudes of a one specific value orientation but are rather “tapestries in which one or two weaves emerge predominant” (Greta Frankel), it is also true that not even the predominant weave may remain the salient one throughout a lifespan. Here is an illustration of a change brought about by a job shift. The interview comes from a research program called Jobs in the 1980s.
A 53-year-old man who had worked on an assembly line for 35 years was a typical security-minded individual 20 years ago and regarded his job as his duty as the Family breadwinner. Recently, however, he was forced to quit his old job because of back injury and take a position as a janitor at a local high school. His obligations to his now-grown children no longer fetter him, and he finds himself thriving in the reproductive sphere. He describes his former and present work thusly:
I: It was perhaps a duty?
R: Earlier, yes. The I said to myself “Ugh, I have to go to work again.”
I: Then it was just a necessary evil to earn a living?
R: Yes. It was something you forced yourself to do. Of course, it wasn’t quite that bad all the time.
I: What is it that makes you thrive so at your present job?
R: I work with young people. It’s hard to explain. It’s a feeling I have inside.
I: Would you try to describe that feeling?
R: It’s very hard, it’s a feeling of you. The spontaneity the young show.
In the sphere of production this man counted his blessings in terms of being able to maintain his security and living standard and his self-esteem was based primarily on being a good provider. When he switched to the sphere of reproductive work his blessings became feelings held inside. There seems little doubt that his latter work helped evolve aspects of his personality that had been there also during earlier years.
While the prosperous welfare states have created conditions for values of reproduction on an unprecedented scale, it must be pointed out that the surge of inner-directedness is not unique to our times. The study of earlier periods of value change may help us think more clearly about contemporary ones. History indicates that dissonant value currents may coexist.
In the midst of the Enlightenment of the 18th century, when the Encyclopaedists felt that their final victory over all sorts of superstition, prejudice, and emotional nonsense was close at hand, mysticism, gushing religiosity, and romanticism rose to put an end to the century of enlightenment and reason. In the main, the thus victorious values were not a reaction against the Enlightenment; they were actually a stream of values parallel to the Enlightenment that rose to hegemony. Zinzendorf and Swedenborg — not to speak of Rousseau — were as typical sons of the l8th century as were Voltaire and Diderot.
The prevalence of parallel but dissonant streams of values fighting for hegemony in the media, in conversation, in the appraisal of products for purchase and in judging persons for promotion also applies to our times.
Values of reproduction and inner-directed personalities were actually rather common during the heydays of the values of production and materialism in the l95Os and early 1960s. They took the form of a “bourgeols sentimentality” which is well documented in the mass consumption of popular magazines and movies and many opinion and market surveys. Mostly, these values were to be found among middle-class housewives. Here the concern with such production values as family status and cleanliness, mixed with concerns about romance, beauty, love, care, and, naturally, the romance, beauty, and love of their media idols. Advertising agencies experienced much scorn, not only from intellectuals but also from top management, for relating to such values — but most of the time they were absolutely justified in doing so.
The surfacing of inner-directedness in the late 1960s and 1970s — taking the form of environmental concern, cultivation of inner life etc — means that bourgeois sentimentality took new forms and became acceptable, rather than rejected, by the younger generation of the educated middle class. Among its many expressions, let us cite one that beautifully sums up its credo:
Recognizing that the earth and the fullness thereof is a gift from our gracious God, and that we are called to cherish, nurture, and provide loving stewardship for the earth’s resources, and recognizing that life itself is a gift, and a call to responsibility, joy, and celebration, I make the following declarations:
This is the so called Shakertown Pledge that engaged many college youths in the USA in the early l970s. Its statements are reflected, although sometimes partially and prefatorily, in many of the opinion waves of the 70s in Europe as well.
It may be noted in passing that the Shakertown Pledge also indicates a decisive weakness of the new values of reproduction. By emphasizing the individual components of a good social life they push the structural components into the background. Classes, institutions, markets, organisations, power centres surely wield a much stronger influence on history than the Shakertown formulations suppose.
The three types of values we have delineated are nothing new under the sun. But their relative strength varies from time to time, from place to place, and with the demographic composition of populations. In the advanced countries of the West there has been a dramatic shift during the past half-century. The proportion of people stuck with the values of making a living has decreased since the 30s. The values of production rose to a peak in the 50s. In the 70s we saw a decline of the values of production and a rapid rise in the values of reproduction.
The chart above indicates what we think has been the main drift of the three value currents in Western Europe in the past half-century. There are, as we shall see, considerable differences between European countries in the resulting proportions.
The Need-Driven steeped in the Sustenance values are usually either on the older side or on the younger side, more rarely middle-age. Rural and small-town backgrounds dominate on the older side. The family farm in the country or the family shop in town provide typical settings. Farm hands, helpers, personal service, and holders of odd jobs are typical among those Sustenance-Minded who are not self-employed. The main stratification in the category is precisely between those who have no security or property and those who have the plot of land, little shop, petty job, or pension to sustain themselves. Urban areas with declining affluence or a breakdown of the welfare system form a new breed of sustenance people. Here we find aimless city youth, conditioned by poor schooling and unemployment, accustomed to chaotic living. They have no rural background or family shop to return to in which a self-sufficient living can be had.
The Outer-Directed steeped in the values of production are more often men than women. They are a large group found everywhere but more commonly in small cities than in the country or big metropolis. Many hold jobs in trade and industry and in government bureaucracies. They fill the whole range of class positions from traditional unionised, working class to solid and business and administrative classes. The category thus is stratified mainly according to occupational class. It thus divides handsomely into traditional left-right politics with one segment having equalitarian (socialist) leanings and one with entrepreneurial (bourgeois) leanings.
The Inner-Directed steeped in the values of reproduction are more often women than men, and more of ten younger than older. They are more common in metropolitan areas and big cities than in small towns and the country. Many hold jobs in the institutions of health, education, and welfare. They are stratified primarily according to education. High education — and preferably in humanistic and social fields rather than in business and technology — are the background of the best and the brightest in this category.
Such is the over-all picture. Again, as we shall see, differences in degree are considerable between various countries.
By cluster analysis of large inventories of questionnaire items we first identify the three types in all the participating European countries and their share of national samples. In the second phase we analyse in Britain, France, West Germany, and Sweden each group for special subtypes. The latter may or may not be the same in various countries.
Details of the methodology is described in Appendix II.