It is the decades of data we have collected through these surveys that form the root of all our knowledge, understanding and expertise in advising our clients on the impact of Cultural Values on their business area and interests. While the survey focuses on Britain, the insights it gives are transferable to other cultures.
As we would expect from the theoretical under-pinning of our work, the broad sweep of Values associated with each of our Maslow Groups and Values Modes has remained relatively stable in our latest update but we are able to discern some interesting changes.
Here's a little taste of a "headline" that we can uniquely address from a Values perspective, backed by quantitative evidence.
After decades of decline, there has been a resurgence in the Settler Maslow Group. This change in the balance of Values spells danger to corporations and institutions, including government, who apply past best practice to today's economic situation.
In February 2014 ...
The polarization of British culture continues and intensifies.
In the last year the dominant narrative - ‘the way we think and do things around here’ - has dramatically changed. The shared consensus - to agree to disagree in a democratic way - has fallen by the wayside as rising levels of inequality of rewards and less opportunity for wide swathes of the population have lead to a survival of the fittest, winner takes all culture, along with falling care and concern for the less able or fortunate. Make no mistake, this is about values and NOT about economics!
In May 2013 ...
Take a look at Pat Dade's commentaries on the Local Government elections and the state of the Westminster Parties - both evidence of the Settler bubble making its mark on British society.
In December 2012 ...
The Settler "bubble" is showing some signs of stabilising, and seems likely to revert to its longer term trend over the next several years. One of the effects of the temporary resurgence of Settlers is that some politically correct "unmentionables" are very much "mentionable" now. Attitudes amongst the public have not really changed - it's just that people are openly saying things on the "telly", in Parliament, etc. This expected return to normal in the values profile is certainly no indication that the politicians have succeeded in putting the economic and ethical house in order - far from it. There's precious little sign of belief that our leaders have done anything to "make it better" for the "ordinary people". No, the return is just a mark of people doing what people have always done in adversity - shrugging their shoulders and making the best of it. The spirit of Winston Churchill lives on as many Britons would acknowledge his signature end to telephone calls, even in the darkest moments of war - KBO! (Google it if you aren't familiar with it, but disregard all references to Kuyper Belt Objects).
In September 2012 ...
After two and a half years of coalition, it's no surprise that we found that the big losers are the Lib-Dems, with their support waning to a miserable 8% after the heady days of Cleggmania. Their values heartland is as strongly Pioneer as ever (53%) but they've haemorrhaged Prospector support. (Who wants to be on the side of the "losers"?) Labour is up to 29%, of which 72% are Pioneers/Prospectors. Conservative support is down at 24%, of which 68% are Settlers/Prospectors. The BNP are almost out of sight, and the big winners from the continuing Settler bloom are UKIP, running the Lib-Dems close at 6% support, of which 57% are Settlers. The Greens are doing well at 4% but, with 64% of their support being Pioneer, they've got a big "values hole" to climb out of before they'll mean anything to the electorate at large. The real "floating voters" are the 41% of "don't know" supporters who are Pioneers. Just by themselves, they represent 9% of the electorate. And underneath all this, we are finding traces of a new anger, simmering just below the surface - not yet actualised. If you thought the riots of 2011 were serious, let the lid off what's there now - in the general populace, from young bucks to wrinklies - and you ain't seen nothin' yet!
In November 2010 ...
We found that Prospector support for ANY of the parties was evaporating into the "don't know" universe. When asked about the desirability of an overall majority, 22% were for the Conservatives, 17% for Labour and 16% for the Lib-Dems. When asked about the UNdesirability of an overall majority, 35% were against the Conservatives, 43% against Labour and 29% against the Lib-Dems. The general pattern of support, by values, was essentially unchanged. The Conservative heartland was Prospector/Settler (71%); the Labour heartland was flat-ish but, fundamentally, Prospector/Pioneer (69%); and the Lib-Dem heartland was rock-solid Pioneer (55%). On balance, given the relative growth of the Settler group, the country got what it "wanted" - a Conservative/Lib-Dem coalition.
Who's crying now? Those Prospectors who sat on the fence.
The Settler resurgence spells danger for a fragile social cohesion based on needs for individuality. It also heralds a revival of the old blame game between "Us and Them". The clash of an old morality and a new ethics will create a new political tightrope as the political "centre" disappears. Now it isn't about IF Labour will lose the next General Election, it's HOW it will lose.
In addition, we have developed a number of innovative tools to examine the data. These take a quantum leap beyond simple tabulation and provide ways to visualize the richness of this multi-dimensional data set in easy-to-absorb ways.
Chris Rose's epic journey through Cultural Dynamics' Values Space. More