Graves Value Theory

Clare W. Graves' Value Systems Theory is a psychology model that helps individuals understand their own values and how those values impact their lives.

The theory has seven levels, each representing a different stage of development. Values at each level are based on the individual's needs and experiences at that particular stage.

This theory can be applied to businesses, as well as individuals, to help them better understand themselves and others, and how they can improve or develop further.

What is Clare W. Graves' Value Systems Theory?

Clare W. Graves’ Value Systems Theory is a psychological model that suggests that human behavior and personality are both a both/and proposition, rather than an either/or debate. It posits that external life conditions (existential problems) trigger psychosocially congruent internal neurobiological equipment (mind capacities) to create a ‘level of psychological existence’ or worldview. This theory, which was first published in the Harvard Business Review in 1966 and has since been developed around General Systems Theory, helps to explain how business development and existence levels change over time by breaking down human behavior into multiple levels of existence. As such, it has had a significant impact on business development and existence levels, with its use still applied to diversity and human factors issues today.

What are the main components of this theory?

Clare W. Graves's Value Systems Theory is a theory that outlines different levels of existence and how they influence business development and life in general. The seven levels described in the theory are Level 1 (Animal), Level 2 (Tribal), Level 3 (Knight), Level 4 (System of Loyal Bureaucracy), Level 5 (Patriotism), Level 6 (Participatory Community) and Level 7 (Breakthrough Experiences).

At level one, the focus is on solving existing problems effectively, while at level two people sacrifice themselves for what is perceived to be the “One True Way”. At level three, people sacrifice for their tribe or leader and at level four, there is a sense of stability, conformity, obedience and sacrifice as people participate in numerous affiliations reflecting the values of this level. Ability-wise, long-range planning, patience and impulse control are well developed at this stage. Levels five to seven refer to patriotism; enabling everyone to participate equally in growth; experiencing life differently; thinking about things from new perspectives leading to breakthrough experiences respectively.

  1. Level 1: Survival (Beige)
  2. Level 2: Security (Purple)
  3. Level 3: Egocentric (Red)
  4. Level 4: Order (Blue)
  5. Level 5: Achievement (Orange)
  6. Level 6: Community (Green)
  7. Level 7: Synergy (Yellow)
  8. 8. Level 8: Global Consciousness and Planetary Survival (Turquoise)

See Also