Value Changes and Their Marketing Implications: a Russian Survey


Jacques-Marie Aurifeille (1993) ,"Value Changes and Their Marketing Implications: a Russian Survey", in E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 1, eds. W. Fred Van Raaij and Gary J. Bamossy, Provo, UT : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 249-261.

European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 1, 1993      Pages 249-261


Jacques-Marie Aurifeille, I.U.T. Saint Nazaire, France

Russia has been chosen as a basis for studying the process of terminal and instrumental value changes. There are three main issues. First, the confirmation of the value system overall stability: regressing and progressing values tend to balance mutually, which suggests to avoid basing strategies on a single value. Second, the instrumental values appear to be more stable than the terminal ones; this suggests that more attention should be given to the instrumental values when lasting segmentation and positioning strategies are required, especially in countries where great changes are occurring. Third, the structural and causal analysis indicates that means-end strategies have a good robustness against value changes, but that studying these changes is essential for strategic versatility, anticipating and making the most of consumer value evolution.


During the last three years, considerable cultural changes have occurred in Russia's economic, political and social life. A different doctrine has developed, which aims at stimulating peoples' initiative through previously banned concepts and values such as free market, profit and individualism. As seventy year old references and identities are vanishing (name and borders of the nation, social hierarchy, marxist conception of time and history), people are urged to revise their cultural patterns drastically.

Values are clearly involved in this process, either defined as "mode[s] of conduct or end state of existence personnally or socially preferable to opposite or converse [ones]" (Rokeach, 1973) or as "guiding the individual's adaptation to the circumstances in his environment" (Kahle and Timmer, 1983) [Thus, Kluckhohn observes that: "it should be profitable to observe members of (...) groups confronted with any objective crisis situation (...). Under such circumstances the durability of values may come to light and hence the manner in which various challenges make or do not make for the suspension of values. (...) conflict situations (marital, political, economic) throw values into relief" (Kluckhohn, 1951, p 405).]. Indeed, the extent and speed of Russia's mutation provide a considerable case for studying the dynamic of values and the corresponding issues for marketing strategy.

As evidenced by prominent works, studying the way values are changing is of prime importance for both value theory and its operational consequences :

- values are forces observable mainly through activation (Kluckhohn, 1951, p 405)

- value research is primarily aimed at changing values, either for education or for persuasion (Rokeach, 1973, e. g. p 21 and 234) [Rokeach (1973, p 21) notes that: "A major advantage gained in thinking about a person as a system of values rather than as a cluster of traits is that it becomes possible to conceive of his undergoing change as a result of changes in social conditions. In contrast, the trait concepts has built into it a characterological bias that forecloses such possibilities for change in advance. This very fixedness (...) probably accounts for the fact that it has received so little attention...".].

- knowledge of value changes is necessary "to forecast consumer demand" and adapt marketing strategy accordingly (Muller and Kahle, 1991).

As a free market system is just appearing in Russia, value studies are a legitimate preliminary step toward more marketing investigations; in particular, the study of value evolution should help discerning long term trends from short term turbulences. More generally, the findings about Russia may also contribute to the conceptualization of marketing strategies in present or future fast evolving countries. Finally, marketing research is concerned by the study of value evolution because it deals with basic aspects of value theory. In this paper we focus on two issues: the stability of values and value systems, the structure of value changes and the relationship between the terminal and the instrumental values.

- The stability of values and value systems. Value studies, in particular those aiming at market segmentation, have often emphasized the fact that values are "enduring" (Rokeach, 1973; Rokeach and Ball-Rokeach, 1989; Inglehart, 1985). However, several experiments indicate that "enduring" may often be considered in a weak sense. For instance, Rokeach has provided a striking example of value changes resulting, within a few days, from the simple manipulation of people engaged in a value experiment (Rokeach, 1973, chap. 9, 11); he called these changes "long term" ones (Rokeach, chap 9) because they were still observable one year and a half only after the experiment. Another survey, by Kahle, Poulos and Sukhdial (1988), has revealed a great evolution of the values of the American aging baby-boomers, during a period (1981-1986) which, the authors considered, faced no "fundamental technological changes and dramatic events" [Other examples are reported in Rokeach (1973), notably (p. 308) university students giving increased importance to the "world of beauty" value after their professor mentioned that young and better-educated people tend to rank this value higher than the general public does.]. These observations may be encouraging for research on persuasion strategies. However, as Yankelovich (1981) points out, the question of value stability is basically a problem of knowing how to estimate the importance of value changes [Yankelovich (1981) considers that "So variegated is American culture that an observer who wishes to highlight its continuity can easily do so; conversely, an observer who wishes to document the changing nature of American life can also have his way. The subtle question of judgement is always: 'Have important things remained the same or have they changes?'".]. For instance, it is still unclear whether, for marketing purposes, values should be considered as a system or as autonomous forces driving different means-end processes. Most works on value evolution suggest that, to some extent, value systems are homeostatic: the progression of some values is balanced by the regression of other values (examples given in Muller and Kahle, 1991) [These authors note (p 10) that late baby-boomers feel less and less concerned with the personal achievement values and embrace increasingly other values: fun and enjoyment, warm relationship with other (...).]. Hence, they suggest that values should be considered relatively to the whole value system. In this paper a method for measuring the importance of value changes is proposed which avoids some basic problems of longitudinal surveys. The results shed some light on the global stability of value systems (homeostaticity), on the differences between terminal and instrumental values' stability, as well as on the implications for marketing segmentation and positioning.

- The nature and structure of value changes. As suggested by previous studies, value evolution is a structured phenomenon. However, these studies have focused on the few values with the most striking changes (Rokeach, 1973; Kahle et al. 1988; Muller and Kahle,1991) rather than on a structural analysis. Moreover, instrumental values were left out of marketing research on value evolution [Rokeach's lists of terminal values and instrumental values are reported in appendix A (questions Q3 and Q7). Instrumental values (i.e., "modes of conduct") are assumed to allow the achievement of terminal values (i.e., "end states of existence"); for instance "competence" may be a way of achieving "social recognition". However, Rokeach observed that "Finally, a question may be raised about the possibility of inducing lasting change in instrumental values. There seems to be no compelling theoretical reason why instrumental values should not be capable of being lastingly altered (...)". To our knowledge, no published marketing research deals with the subject of instrumental values evolution.]. It seems plausible, however, that analyzing value evolution in a means-end perspective [Briefly: means-end theory postulates that terminal values drive consumers' buying behavior through a knowledge structure hierarchized in levels of growing abstraction: terminal values -> instrumental values -> psychosocial consequences -> functional consequences -> abstract attributes -> concrete attributes (Olson and Reynolds, 1983). An illustration of the specific importance of instrumental values in the means-end chains is given in Aurifeille, 1991.] should clarify the terminal-instrumental value relationship and uncover specific strategies for persuasion, segmentation or positioning.

In this paper, the two main issues are studied with data collected from a survey in Russia's capitals of Moscow and St Petersburg. The research methodology and hypotheses are presented first. Then, the empirical results, their marketing implications and the study's limits are discussed.


2.1 Measurement

Traditionally the analysis of psychosocial evolution is longitudinal, based on data collected at different times. In this study, a different strategy is adopted: respondents are asked to state directly whether each value of a list has become more or less important to their life; this is done by rating a 7 point "much less important - much more important" semantic scale (cf. questionnaire in appendix A). This strategy, primarily imposed by the absence of previous Russian data [To our knowledge, there has not been any published Russian RVS hierarchy. One 1986 LOV hierarchy, collected in the USA from soviet managers is given in Kahle (1991), with no mention of the study's date and place. It is compared with Russia's hierarchy in the following section.], has several assets which suggest that it may be, in general, a pertinent substitute to longitudinal value studies:

- Theory and usual practice insist on the cognitive component of values (Rokeach, 1973, p 20); they assume that people are aware of their values and can estimate their importance to life. In addition, Rokeach (1973, chap 8) posits that value awareness is culminating precisely when self-contradictions force the individual to change his values. Hence, it seems reasonable to suppose that people are well aware of alterations in their value hierarchy and are able to rate the decrease or the increase of their values' importance.

- A value's actual meaning and connotations evolves with time and society. Across time, people rank the same words but not exactly the same meanings (e.g. the "excitement" value; Muller and Kahle, 1991). Using a single time survey ensures a more up-to-date and coherent comparison.

- Generally, longitudinal studies cannot question exactly the same persons over time; this results in sampling heterogeneity and biased statistics.

However, using a single time survey raises two difficulties:

- The possibility that consumers' need for cognitive consistency (Abelson and Rosenberg, 1958) may alter the importance of the acknowledged value evolution. Though such eventuallity should not be denied at priori, it should be noticed that the very meaning of value evolution is precisely to respond to feelings of self-contradiction (Rokeach, 1973, p 224). Hence, acknowledging value evolution simply reflects consumers efforts to preserve consistency. Moreover, the importance of Russia's economic and social shifts fully justifies that a person experiences value changes.

- The fixing of an adequate time reference. A three year time reference was chosen after asking several Russian and foreign observers in Russia when they felt that the changes had become evident in Russia's life. In the survey, the formulation of the questions made it clear for the respondents that the three year time reference did not refer to a rigorous calendar datum; no respondent claim was made for a more definite reference. Therefore, it may be assumed that, at the psychosocial level, the duration suggested by the time reference had some homogeneity accross respondents. Hence, telescoping errors (Eisenhower, Mathiowetz, Morganstein, 1991) [Two biases may occur in such measures. Recall decay occurs when the measure applies to discrete events with a low salience (e.g., the number of cigarettes smoked in a week). Hence, it should not affect notably value changes, which should be either continuous or salient. A telescoping error occurs when the measure applies to a seldom and important event without biographical meaning (Means, Swan, Jobe, and Esposito, 1991) (e.g., the buying of an expensive hi-fi equipment); such event may be mentioned by the respondents though it occurred before the reference period.] are expected to bias only marginally the exploratory findings of the research.

Several reasons have guided the choice of Rokeach's list of values (RVS) to conduct this survey [Detailed cross-cultural comparisons of the existing value referentials are available in several papers, for instance in Kahle (1991), Beatty, Homer and Kahle (1988), Laskey (1991).]. First, RVS covers a broad scope of terminal values, in particular those relating to the "seek for personal gratification" dimension (Valette-Florence, 1988) which are relevant to consumption (Munson and McQuarrie, 1988; Grunert and Juhl, 1991) [Munson and McQuarrie (1988, p. 382) consider that "the full RVS inventory will almost always be more appropriate" than shorter value lists when the value questionnaire is not completed with numerous attitude questions about attributes and products.]. Next, unlike LOV, RVS considers both the terminal and the instrumental values. Finally, unlike VALS, all the RVS values are positive; thus, respondents can evaluate them more sincerely, especially when they have some feelings of national pride or sensitivity to foreign opinion (Laskey, 1991).

Choosing between the ranking and the rating of values' importance is also a major question in value analysis. Several works have been dedicated to the question of knowing whether value importance should be rated or ranked, with different conclusions (Munson and McIntyre, 1979; Reynolds and Jolly, 1980; Rankin and Grube, 1980; Alwin and Krosnick, 1985). In this study, ranking was chosen for the measure of values hierarchy and rating was preferred for the measure of values evolution. Two main reasons suggested using ranking for the value hierarchy. First, the RVS list of values has been determined on a ranking basis. Second, Rokeach provides theoretical reasons for preferring a relative measure (rank) to an absolute measure (rate): according to Rokeach (1973, p 6) the measure of a value's absolute importance translates the initial learning of the value, assumed to have been taught as an independent entity, while a relative measure (ranking) translates the fact that "Gradually, through experience and a process of maturation, we all learn to integrate the isolated absolute values we have been taught into a hierachically organized system [Y]" (Rokeach, 1973, p 6). Value hierarchies, that is ranks, are then assumed to be less archetypal and more pertinent for research on value evolution (Feather, 1973).

2.2 Data collection

The questionnaire's structure is simple ; it consists of nine questions on a single recto-verso sheet (cf. appendix). To overcome as much as possible the linguistic problems, the questionnaire's translation was done following a translation/back-translation procedure between English and Russian. Moreover, to neutralize order of presentation effects, fifty percent of the questionnaires were printed with the instrumental value questions before those referring to terminal values (i.e.: questions Q3 to Q5 were permuted with Q7 to Q9).

Data were collected in 1992 from Russian consumers living in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Quotas by age and sex were respected; within these limits, respondents were selected at convenience among working people (mainly: doctors, executives and hotel staff). Data support was a self-administrated questionnaire that people could fill out at home and were free to hand back whenever possible. Four hundred questionnaires were distributed, out of which 58% percent were handed back. Among these, 87.1% were entirely and correctly filled out, resulting in 203 analyzable questionnaires and a 51% overall response rate. There may be several explanations of the satisfactory overall response rate:

- people's involvement in the responding task, in particular because of the subject's newness and the self-relevant matters [Visual examination of the questionnaires revealed interviewees' involvement in the responding task (pencil used before pen, scratching out, correcting fluid, etc...).]

- the reality of value changes in 1988-1992 Russia, which made it easier for respondents to understand and answer the questionnaire

- the adequate choice of a three year time reference.

Furthermore, a large majority of the interviewees (85%) acknowledged and rated a personal value evolution and the statistical pertinence of the collected answers was found satisfactory [Bartlett's test of sphericity (Bartlett, 1950) indicates a probability inferior to 0.0000 that value changes responses were given at random. Similarly, Kaiser's measures of sample adequacy indicate that value changes share one common structure (global MSA index and most values' index are above 0.5; Kaiser, 1970) For more precision see, below, the results of confirmatory analyses.]. These results support the hypothesis that, at least in Russia's specific case, value changes are within people's cognition and may be measured with a single time survey.

2.3 Research hypotheses

As indicated in the introduction to this paper, the study of Russia's value evolution may - in addition to descriptive information on the nature of the Russian market - shed some light on basic aspects of value theory. Those analyzed here refer to value stability, to the structure of value changes and the relationship of terminal and instrumental values:

- H1: instrumental value are less stable than terminal values.

This hypothesis derives from means-end theory's assumption that terminal values exert a driving force on consumers' lower knowledge levels (cf. above: note 6). It seems reasonable, then, to suppose that the guide should be more stable than its consecutive effects. Similarly, the greater instability of instrumental values is suggested by their greater means-end proximity with situational variables like consequences and behaviors.

- H2: the increase and decrease of the terminal values' importance are mutually compensating.

- H3: the increase and decrease of the instrumental values' importance are mutually compensating.

Implicit in H2 and H3 is the homeostatic principle that value changes translate a reorganization of the value system rather than a general evolution of values' importance (Rokeach, 1973, chap 10; Muller and Kahle, 1991, p 10).

- H4: The instrumental value changes are influenced by the evolution of the terminal values.

This hypothesis is complementary of H1; it assumes that the means-end hierarchy of effects is operating in value evolution.




3.1 Value hierarchies

A variety of methods is available to estimate value importance at the aggregate level. The most frequent method considers the percentage of first rank obtained by each value (Kahle et al., 1988; Grunert, 1991; Valette-Florence, Grunert, Grunert and Beatty, 1991; Kahle, 1991). For the purpose of cross-study comparisons, this method tends to become a standard. However, it ignores values' systemic organization, which, according to Williams (1968) and Rokeach (1973), is essential to the understanding of values. Several procedures have been designed to solve this problem (Williams, 1968; Kamakura and Mazzon, 1991; Aurifeille, 1992); in this study, the sample's aggregate value hierarchies have been estimated using an assignement maximum-size/minimum-cost algorithm (Aurifeille, 1992; Marcotorchino and Michaud, 1979; Aurifeille and Morel, 1987) [Choosing Spearman's metric, EQUATION (where n is the number of values, p the number of respondents, rik the rank of i by y and Ri the ranking vector of all values by respondent i), an optimal aggregate ranking vector P is reached when the consensus function FC(P) is minimum, that is when EQUATION. Use of this algorithm permits to define a complete-order ranking (no ex-aequo) and to analyze the whole matrix of consumer rankings (not only the first ranks).]. Table 1 recapitulates the terminal and instrumental hierarchies in the order resulting from the assignment procedure and indicates, as second order criteria, the median rank and the first rank frequency.

As evidenced by the medians and the first rank frequencies, most value importance concentrates in a small subset of values. This fits in the line of other studies using the RVS and ranking approach (e.g.: Becker and Connor, 1981). Comparison of these dominant subsets with recent RVS ranked studies from different cultures puts into light some striking convergences. The sample's five most important terminal values (Happiness, Self Respect, Family Security, Inner Harmony and Freedom) are the same as those found among so diverse samples as Hispanic people from Florida (Laskey, 1991), American "Anglos" (Laskey, 1991), and North-American television heavy-users (Becker and Connor, 1981). This suggests that Russia's RVS structure does not differ radically from that of many countries [Rokeach's 1973 study of the values of Michigan State University students, also concluded that Freedom, Happiness, Self-respect and Wisdom were among the five most important terminal values.]. It should be noted also that values like Equality, National Security and Social Recognition, emphasized by the previous regime, are now notably unimportant.

More generally the "gratification" dimension suggested by Rokeach [This dimension explains the largest percentage of variance in Rokeach's Value Survey. The same observation was made in Australia (Feather and Peay, 1975, p. 152).] appears to explain convincingly the sample's terminal value hierachy: the values relating to an "immediate gratification" (Exciting Life, Pleasure, Comfort) are notably less important than those relating to "delayed gratification" (Wisdom, World at Peace, Inner Harmony). Since the immediate/delayed opposition refers explicitly to the notion of time perspective (Rokeach, 1960, chap 20; Bouffard, Lens and Nuttin, 1983) or time extension (Ko and Gentry, 1991, p 136); it is suggested that crossing value and time-orientation analysis could be efficient for segmentation and positioning on the Russian market [This was observed by Usunier, Valette-Florence and Falcy (1992) from a convenience sample.].



Finally, Accomplishment is significantly less important in the Russian survey than in the American ones; this may be interpreted as a greater Russian emphasis on abstraction (coherent with the observed importance of Wisdom, Inner Harmony, etcY).

Russia's instrumental value hierarchy is a little more typical. Four of the six dominant values (Honest, Independent, Responsible and Capable) are also among the six dominant values observed in US samples (Becker and Connor, 1981; Laskey, 1991); but there are two striking differences: Intellectual and Cheerful are notably more important in the Russian sample; conversely, the Loving value, usually ranked high in the American samples, is much less important in the Russian one. This enhances the superiority of the "utilitarian" values (Independent, Responsible, Capable, Courageous) on the "adjustive" ones (Polite, Self-control, Obedient, Broadminded) (Rokeach, 1973, p.15). The result is not surprising, since Rokeach's "adjustive values" were often suspected of being "pseudo-values" imposed by group pressures (Rokeach, 1973, p.15); however, it could be expected that, for historical reasons, social adjustive values would have been more important in the Russian survey.

In conclusion, we expected much larger differences between values in the Russian and American samples. The large similarities may come either from a fast evolution of Russia toward more American, Western value structures, or from RVS's capacity to uncover universal human values.

From a marketing point of view these observations suggest that Russian value strategies could be approached in a way analogous to that used in Western countries, with some additional emphasis on inner-direction (e.g. the weakness of Social Recognition, National Security) and abstraction (e.g. the importance of Intellectual and the weakness of Comfort, Pleasure, Excitment). As noted by Beatty, Kahle, Homer and Misra (1985), a majority of consumer behaviors are directed by individual values; therefore, the weakness of societal values in our sample suggests that value analysis is, virtually, a pertinent tool for segmenting the Russian market.

3.2 Overall stability of the consumer value systems

The percentages of consumers acknowledging value evolution were 86 for the terminal values and 83 for the instrumental ones. The overall stability of a consumer's value system can be conveniently estimated from questionnaire's Q4 and Q8 seven point scales (1= "my values did not evolve at all", 7 = "my values have evolved very much"). The average intensity of value evolution is low: 2.571. Large percentages of respondents indicated that values had evolved not at all (level 1) or just a little (level 2): 48% for the terminal values and 73% for the instrumental ones. Moreover, there is no very high evolution (level 7) and almost no level 6 evolution. This is consistent with researchers' proposition that values, as a system, are very stable. However, these results also illustrate that many people are aware of a personal value evolution, which legitimates a single time survey procedure.

A near majority of respondents (48%) declared a terminal value evolution greater than the instrumental one; meanwhile, only 10.7% of the respondents declared a greater instrumental value evolution. In particular, no evolution was declared for four instrumental values: Cheerful, Polite, Honest and Clean. Hence, the instrumental values appear to be significantly more stable than the terminal ones [A sign test of no significant difference between the evolution of terminal and instrumental values results in a probability inferior to 10-4.] and the H1 hypothesis of more stable terminal values cannot be accepted. The analysis of consumers' detailed answers to questions Q5 and Q9 confirm this view: for two thirds of the consumers the standard deviation of the terminal value evolution is greater than that of the instrumental one; this phenomenon is illustrated in graph 1.

The greater stability of instrumental values may have important implications for marketing strategy; for instance, planning long lasting positioning and segmentation may rely preferably on instrumental values. On the contrary, more versatile strategies (repositioning, de-marketing, attracting of competitors' customers) may rely on terminal values. These results also raise important questions about the primary driving force which terminal values are assumed to exert on instrumental values; for it should be expected that the guiding values be more stable than the guided ones. This issue is discussed in section 3.4, with a more detailed analysis of values' evolution.

3.3 Value systems' homeostaticity

The results of section 3.2 support the hypothesis of a globally static value system. However, as recalled in the introduction to this paper, several experiments have shown that specific values could evolve considerably. This suggests that values' increases and decreases may be compensating within each consumer's value system (Rokeach, 1973); in brief, the system's structure would get reorganized, with no alteration of its global importance. This hypothesis can be tested at the individual level of respondents by summing the answers to questions Q5 or Q9 which indicate the sign and the importance of each value evolution. The resulting distributions [This distribution considers only the consumers who declared at least one value evolution (i.e., at least one non-zero answer in questions Q5 or Q9). For instance: A consumer who declares just two terminal value evolutions, one regression (-2) and one progression (+2), will have a total value evolution equal to 0 indicating a constance of his global value concern.] are reported in table 3.





The homeostatic hypotheses H2 and H3 are not strictly confirmed: only 16 percent of the respondents have a null total evolution. However, more than two thirds of the respondents had their total value evolution (terminal or instrumental) within a [-2, 2] range, to be compared with the [-54, 54] possible range. Hence, it seems reasonable to conclude that people feel that the increases and decreases of their values are mutually compensating [Notwithstanding, the average evolution of both the instrumental and the terminal values is slightly positive: 0.33 for the terminal values and 1.426 for the instrumental ones. We suggest that this may result from the interview situation which implicitly stresses the global importance of values.]. These results support Rokeach's opinion that each value's importance should be measured relatively to the other components of the value system; in this perspective, ranking should be more adequate than rating. From a marketing point of view, the value system's homeostaticity indicates that strategies based on the concept of a single driving value (e.g. the MECCA model for means-end chain conceptualization of advertising, Reynolds and Craddock, 1988) may lack the complexity and the balance operating in the value system. Since our sample's value system has strong convergences with that of other countries (cf. previous section), the above observations may be valid at a larger scale; naturally more research, with larger samples and different countries, is needed to confirm and generalize the results.

3.4 The structure of value evolution

3.4.1 Method. The latent factors of value changes were explored in two stages.

First, an exploratory component analysis was made from the correlation matrix of value evolution ratings, using rotated varimax component analysis. The number of extracted dimensions was determined from Kaiser's (1970) criterion (eigenvalues above 1) [Following Anderson and Gerbing's (1988, p 418) approach, the pertinence of the chosen dimensionality was checked by testing the saturated model's chi-square with the null mode's number of degrees of freedom (see also Steenkamp and van Trijp, 1991). The saturated structural model corresponds to the model in which all parameters relating one factor to the others are left free; this results in the smallest possible chi-square value X0. Conversely, in the null structural model, the value of all the parameters relating one factor to the others is fixed to zero, which results in the largest possible number of degrees of freedom *. A pseudo chi-square test (Bentler and Bonett, 1980) of X0 with * indicates whether a satisfactory model is expectable. In both the cases of terminal and instrumental value evolution, Cattell's (1966) scree-test for determining the minimum space dimensionality was found insufficiently conservative.]. The structure of the terminal value evolution appeared to have six dimensions, equal to the dimensionality found by Vinson, Munson and Nakanishi's (1977), and consistent with Feather and Peay's (1975) five dimensional RVS structure. The structure of the instrumental value evolution had a lower dimensionality (4 factors), plausibly because of the lower number of variables (14 out of 18, cf. comments of table 2).



Second, a structural analysis was made, using J÷reskog and S÷rbom's Lisrel 7 (1989), to clarify the factorial model and to facilitate the interpretation. A model was searched in which each value would load on the smallest possible number of dimensions though preserving acceptable goodness of fit (GFI), root mean squared residual (RMS) and parameter t-values [Joreskog and Sorbom's (1989) modification indices give an estimate of how much the chi-square will decrease if a fixed parameter is freed. The same author's t-value calculation (parameter estimate divided per its standard error) indicates whether a parameter is significantly different from zero. (See Joreskog and Sorbom, 1989, p. 112 and 118, as well as Steiger, 1989, p. 92).]. This was done starting with a model in which lambda parameters were all fixed. Only the lambda parameters corresponding to a value highest loading were left free, with the loading as their starting estimate. The model was then progressively relaxed, according to the t-values and modification indices, until an acceptable fit was obtained. Estimation was made from the correlation matrices, using the maximum likelihood technique [The maximum likelihood estimation assumes a multivariate normal distribution of the observed variables, which may not be the case for semantic scale ratings. Since violation of multivariate normality inflates the chi-square, models should be judged primarily on their goodness of fit indices (GFI) and root mean squared residuals (RMS), referring notably to Bentler and Bonett's (1980) heuristic of an acceptable .9 GFI as well as to Crosby et al.'s (1990) observation of a .05 RMS in the structural analysis of the Rokeach value structure.]. Table 4 recapitulates the main statistics of the terminal value study: model chi-square, degrees of freedom, goodness-of-fit, root mean squared residual and standardized parameters.

3.4.2 Terminal values' evolution. Confirming the analysis in section 3.1, the dominant factor of value evolution corresponds to a "gratification" dimension (Rokeach, 1973; Feather and Peay, 1975): delayed gratifications (Inner Harmony and Wisdom) are opposed to more immediate ones (Pleasure and Happiness). Considering the total number of positive and negative evolutions declared by the respondents, the immediate gratification values appear to be progressing (183 increases versus 105 decreases); conversely, the delayed gratification values have been more frequently quoted as becoming less important (91 increases versus 137 decreases).

The second factor corresponds to Rokeach's (1973) personal vs social orientation (Social Recognition, True Friendship and Accomplishment vs Equality, Freedom and National Security). This opposition is typical of most studies on the structure of terminal values (e.g. in Feather and Peay, 1975; Valette-Florence, 1988). Though still a rather unimportant value (cf. table 1), Friendship appears to have greatly increased during the reference period (41 increases against 19 decreases). This may translate the new possibility of open and confident social relationships (free political and personal expression). Moreover, Kahle's (1991, p 4) suggestion that the importance of Friendship may translate "economic optimism" and success seeking is supported, here, by the association of Friendship with Accomplishment and Social Recognition. Conversely, National Security has a more balanced score (53 positive evolutions against 43 negative ones). Hence, Kahle's suggestion that security relates to "economic pessimism" is also supported by factor 2 which, finally, may be viewed as a optimistic/pessimistic time orientation.



Factors 3 corresponds closely to Crosby, Bitner and Gill's (1990) opposition between Hedonism and "Self-actualization". The Exciting Life value appears to have decreased (15 positive evolutions against 60 negative ones), while Salvation is progressing (63 increases against 19).

Factor 4, 5 and 6 explain smaller percentages of the variance and are more specific of Russia's situation. Factor 4 opposes National security and Freedom to Accomplishment and Comfort. This may be viewed as a political (Nation, Freedom) vs economical dimension (Accomplishment, Comfort). Factor 5 may be viewed as a serenity (Beauty, Peace, Harmony) vs assertion (Self-Respect, National Security) factor; both poles are progressing, indicating a greater concern of Russian people for ecology and a contrast between what may be seen as a "natural" pole versus a more "social" one (Nation, Self-respect, True Friendship). Finally, factor 6 is typically a security one: Family and National Security are opposed to Freedom and Happiness. Interestingly, the importance of Family Security has decreased for a very significant number of people; indeed, this regression has received spontaneous acquiescence from several respondents, as soon as they looked at the questionnaire. Obviously the change in Russia's regime has relieved families' anxiety regarding censorship and bureaucracy. Though understandable, this evolution raises important questions about the relationship of value priority and value attainment. According to Kluckhohn (1951) and Rokeach (1973) values are absolute goals which drive people behaviors independently from their level of fulfillment. Though this is not invalidated by our survey (Family Security is still a very important value, ranked third), it is plausible that this value regression has some effects on consumer behaviors. In other words: this raises the question of knowing whether value strategies should be based on the static hierarchy of values or on evolution measures translating value activation (that is value increases and decreases). For instance, if values are considered statically, a means-end advertising strategy based on our sample should focus on Happiness or Self-respect (ranked first and second); if the activation approach is chosen, the communication should be about Mature Love or World of Beauty, which have lower ranks but have progressed much more.

To summarize, the evolution of the sample's terminal values is characterized by a major increase in the importance of the "immediate gratification" and by the progression of the individual values opposed to the more "societal" ones. Ecology, via the World of Beauty value, may also be a promising area of consumer sensitivity. The liberalization of social life also reveals a negative relationship between value priority and value attainment, confirming Maslow's (1954) and Rokeach's distinction of "higher" and "lower order" values (Rokeach, 1973, p. 17; Crosby et al., 1990, p. 126) [It should be noticed however that Rokeach (1973, p 16) does not plainly rejects Maslow's view (Maslow, 1954). Muller and Kahle (1991) suggest that value attainability influences value evolution when they observe that "many aging baby boomers see self-fulfillment and personal achievement as unattainable; instead they increasingly embrace other values...".]. Finally, the main factor of terminal evolution (immediate/delayed gratification) refers clearly to time orientation, more precisely to "time extension" (Ko and Gentry, 1991); this confirms the interest of cross "value-time" segmentations (Usunier, Valette-Florence and Falcy's, 1992).

3.4.3 Instrumental value evolution. Factor 1 opposes Obedience to Ambition, Courage and Independence; it may be viewed as a Compliance vs Assertion dimension. The Obedience value appears to be notably progressing, while Independence regresses. This may translate a growing concern for socio-economical stability and order, though probably not questioning basically the value hierarchy (e.g. independence ranked second and obedience ranked sixteenth).

Factor 2 opposes the competence values (Capable, Responsible, Logical) to Imaginative. This is consistent with Rokeach's theory that value evolution occurs in reply to "feelings of self-dissatisfaction over issues concerning morality and competence" (Rokeach, 1973, p. 228). According to the numbers of positive and negative evolutions, competence values appear to have notably progressed. This suggests that marketing strategies in Russia should emphasize the ability of brands and products to enhance consumer competence. Alternatively, Imagination and Ambition translate a preference for less normative virtues.

Factor 3 may be interpreted as an "other- vs inner-directed" dimension (Feather and Peay, 1975) or as an attentiveness-detachment dimension, where Intelligence and Independence are opposed to more altruistic values (Helpful, Loving). Analysis of the numbers of positive and negative evolutions suggests an important regression of the detachment values, in particular the Intellectual one; since this value priority was a distinctive trait of the sample hierarchy, the evolution may be interpreted as a tendency toward more cross-cultural convergence.



Factor 4 is an all-positive factor, mainly driven by the Broadminded and the Forgiving values. It may be viewed as a Tolerance dimension, more oriented toward the future (Ambitious, Capable) than toward old accounts.

To summarize, the structure of instrumental value evolution supports Rokeach's assumption that Competence values play an important role in the evolution of values. This suggests adapted market strategies aiming at enhancing product or brand association with competence and self-reliance. The other major dimension is the "compliance-assertion" factor. Though frequently observed and mentioned in static RVS studies, this dimension was not assigned a specific role in Rokeach's theory of value evolution (Rokeach, 1973).

3.4.4 The relationship between terminal and instrumental value evolution. The hypothesis H4 of a causal influence between the terminal and the instrumental value evolution was tested with a causal structural modeling, using Lisrel 7 (J÷reskog and S÷rbom, 1989). Two models were tested: one, M1, where the 6 factors of terminal evolution are assumed to influence the 4 factors of instrumental evolution, and the other, M2, where the causality is reversed. These models were built classically with all the parameters left free, except the lambda X and lambda Y which were fixed at the values mentioned in table 4 and 5. In addition, the beta parameters were also fixed at zero, for the indirect effects were found negligible. As expected, the quality of these models is inferior to that of the all-terminal and all-instrumental models studied in the preceding sections [X2 = 1141.13, df = 451, GFI = .732, RMSR = 0.76. The parameters are standardized.]; however, in addition to the moderate RMSR and the absence of high residuals, the t-values of the gamma parameters indicate very significant relationships between the terminal and the instrumental factors of evolution. Table 6 recapitulates the values of the parameters significantly different from zero (t > 1.96).

Fourty per cent of the possible relationships are significant. To preserve space, we shall only discuss the issues which may have the most direct importance for marketing strategy; the interested reader is invited to analyse more precisely the different means-end combinations of table 6.

First, it may be observed that the primary driving role of terminal values (Gutman, 1982; Olson and Reynolds, 1983) is not systematically confirmed; it is observable in two cases (Ft2¦Fi3 and Ft4¦Fi4). This suggests that basing strategies only on the terminal values should not be robust against value evolution; for instance, a strategy based on Ft5 (Assertion) should take into account the evolution of Fi2 (Competence) and use it for a more efficient persuasion. However, most relationships are symetrical (e.g.: Ft2¦Fi2, Ft4¦Fi3, Ft6¦Fi4), which suggests a good robustness against value evolution. The more influential terminal factor is Ft2 (Social vs Personal orientation), which influences three of the four instrumental factors [Interestingly, the instrumental "self vs other" (Fi1) direction does not influence Ft2, which suggests that the progression of tolerance and open mind depends primarily on terminal values (Equality, Freedom...).].

Second, some factors are more involved than others in the process of value evolution. This is the case of Ft2, which relates to three of the four instrumental factors, and of Fi4, which relates to four of six terminal factors. According to Rokeach's (1960, p 55) distinction between the open and the closed minds, Ft2 and Fi4 may be called "open factors" for they are not isolated from the other elements of the system. Interestingly, both factors translate a social orientation (Ft2 was defined as a Societal vs Personal dimension and Fi4 as a Tolerance dimension). A simple explanation of this phenomenon would be that Russia's present evolution is basically a social one, with previous socialist values opposing to more individualistic ones. Consequently, the importance of the social-personal dimensions would be specific of today's Russia. A more general explanation would be that value evolution has essentially a function of social adaptation (Kahle, 1983) and that the all-positive tolerance dimension (Broadminded, Forgiving) found in this study is logically more involved in the value evolution process (Rokeach, 1960, p 394). Hence, special consideration should be given to the Social and Tolerance value factors when designing persuasion and lasting strategies.

Third, the immediate-delayed gratification factor (Ft1) is largely independent from the other terminal and instrumental factors of value evolution; following the aforementioned definition, it may be considered as a "close" factor. Since this factor refers to time extension, it seems that, unlike suggested in certain works (Bouffard, Lens and Nuttin, 1983, p 430), the time perspective has little correspondance with the ends seeked by the consumer. Similarly, unlike Rokeach and Bonnier's (1960) proposition, time extension does not seem to be systematically related to mind-openness. Indeed most value evolution appears to develop independently from the degree of time extension. It is then suggested that time orientation and value orientation should be considered as complementary in market segmentation (Usunier, Valette-Florence and Falcy 1992).


Finally, the Competence factor (Fi2) is weakly related with the terminal values. This does not support Rokeach's suggestion that value evolution often derives from self-dissatisfactions about competence. It should be noted, however, that the highest parameter of table 6 is precisely the one which translates an influence of competence.


The study of value evolution is of prime importance for marketing strategy. Value evolution does not occur simply in times of great socio-economical changes; it can be lastingly induced by a simple manipulation. Moreover, value evolution translates a move, an activation of consumer schemes; hence, it gives a less stereotypical view than static value hierarchies on consumer means-end processes.

The single time value evolution survey tested in this paper has given encouraging results at both the levels of the respondents' involvement and of the statistical coherence. However, considering the size of our sample, the obtained results have essentially an exploratory meaning; they indicate that:

- The terminal values can be less stable than the instrumental ones. This suggests that more consideration should be given to instrumental values, whenever a lasting positioning or segmentation strategy is wanted.

- A balance seems to operate within each value system, so that the progression of a value is compensated by the regression of another value. This suggests that marketing strategies should consider subsets of activated values rather than focusing on a unique driving value.

- Means-end strategies should be relatively robust against value evolution. However, the evolution does not follow systematically the means-end hierarchy. Hence, studying value evolution should help anticipating and making the most of consumer changes.

- Two value factors have a core position in the evolution structure: the Societal vs Personal dimension and the Tolerance one. These "open" factors can support a variety of value strategies, either macro (terminal value driven) or micro (means based), and should provide more strategic versatility.


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Jacques-Marie Aurifeille, I.U.T. Saint Nazaire, France


E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 1 | 1993

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