Measuring Value as the Driving Force Behind Personal and Professional Development

By Bob Smith

We talk a lot about values these days. In the business world, we continually focus on providing value to our customers, as well as gaining value from suppliers and vendors. We also look at the values of our overall organizations and of the individuals who work within them.

But how do we define value? It’s such an intangible concept, and most discussions become bogged down due to its vague nature. Generally, the only way to measure values is through observation of behavior. It seems to defy quantification.

The science of axiology, however, was developed more than 30 years ago as a means to mathematically analyze and define how people think and what they value. Pioneered by the late Dr. Robert S. Hartman, former research professor of Philosophy at the University of Tennessee and National University of Mexico, this ordering logic for the value sciences was based on Hartman’s life-long quest to answer the question: What is good?

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