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This article examines the work values and ethics literatures with the goal of integrating these diverse and independent research streams. The vocational behaviour literature and the management and organizational behaviour literature on work values, the Protestant Work Ethic construct, and business ethics theory are first reviewed and discussed, demonstrating how insights from these diverse research areas can inform each other. I propose a comprehensive definition of work values and a structural framework that reflects the central elements of the construct and reduces confusion over its conceptual boundaries. The framework consists of a two‐by‐two dimensional structure, with one continuum ranging from personal to social consensus‐type values, and the other axis corresponding to moral versus preference values. The contents of each resulting quadrant and the relationships between quadrants are examined. Implications of this proposed structure for organizational socialization are discussed to illustrate its potential application.


Originally published as:

Dose, J. J. (1997), Work values: An integrative framework and illustrative application to organizational socialization. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 70: 219-240. doi:10.1111/j.2044-8325.1997.tb00645.x