Unlike personality traits, described as enduring dispositions, values relate to goals and ideals that transcend specific actions and situations. Despite being universal, the degree to which individuals care about each value varies, forming their hierarchical value system.

To help you identify individual value systems, Teamscope uses the refined values theory devised by Schwartz, et al. (2012). Schwartz defines values as the standards for judging behaviour both in ourselves and others and in a professional setting, they relate to the enduring goals and motivations of an individual. These value constructs have been supported across 80 countries and gender since their publication in 1987.

Adapted from Schwartz's universal values model, Teamscope's values survey identifies core motivators and attitude-drivers, as well as the type of work environments individuals would thrive in. These insights help leaders:

  • Determine value-fit: According to research, value-fit has been found to strengthen organisational culture, improve engagement, and help with employee retention.
  • Motivate teams: What drives individuals varies greatly, and understanding people's collective motivations can help you boost productivity and morale.

Compatible and conflicting motivations

According to Schwartz, universal values fall on two different spectrums, demonstrated as outer and inner rings on the values wheel. These spectrums are self versus personal focus and protecting versus expanding the self.

Person-focused goals are concerned with individual outcomes, while social-focused goals are concerned with consequences for others. Values can also be related to protecting the self or expanding the self. Self-transcendence and openness to change values express self-expansive, growth orientations. They oppose conservation and power values, which involve self-protective, anxiety-control orientations.


Schwartz, S. H. (2003). Chapter 7: A Proposal for Measuring Value Orientations across Nations. Questionnaire Development Package of the European Social Survey.

Schwartz, S. H. (2006). Basic Human Values: Theory, Methods, and Applications. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Schwartz, S. H., et al. (2012). Refining the Theory of Basic Individual Values. Journal of personality and social psychology.

Schwartz, S. H., et al. (2016). Value Tradeoffs and Behavior in Five Countries: Validating 19 Refined Values. European Journal of Social Psychology.

Schwartz, S. H. (2017). „The Refined Theory of Basic Values.“ Values and behaviour: Taking a cross-cultural perspective. Springer.

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