Extrinsic and Intrinsic Work Values: Findings on Equivalence in Different Cultural Contexts

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Academic literature emphasizes the importance of work values to job satisfaction and commitment. There is agreement that work values are multidimensional—most often identified as having extrinsic and intrinsic elements. However, little work has gone into assessing the measurement invariance of work values in different contexts. In this contribution, we ask, Do we find similar patterns of extrinsic and intrinsic work values across different cultural contexts? As such, we investigate the validity of work values when they are applied in cross-national analyses by identifying sets of items that can be translated into scales of extrinsic and intrinsic work values that carry a similar meaning in those cultural contexts. We thus want to know which items that make up work values are best understood in diverse contexts and are most suitable for cross-cultural analysis. We tackle this issue by relying on the European Values Study 2008, as well as the CUPESSE data from 2016. The results reveal that there is a trade-off between the number of items researchers use to study work values and the number of countries analyzed if we aim for a more equivalent analysis of work values across Europe.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAnnals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)60-83
Number of pages24
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019

    Research areas

  • cross-cultural research, measurement equivalence, scalogram analysis, work values

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