EDGR506 Concordia University Individual Core Values Identification Paper

Core values are defined as the unchangeable philosophical underpinnings that inform your choices and decisions and do not change over time. In sum, they are non-negotiables. These non-negotiables may come from your upbringing, your religious beliefs, or any combination of life experiences.

Argyris and Schon (1974) indicated in their research that though everyone has values they espouse or profess, those may not be the actual values they use when they act. From their studies, they concluded there are two theories related to your non-negotiables: a theory consistent with what you say and a theory consistent with what you do. Argyris and Schon contend that often people do not know they are using two different theories, but often a different theory is evident in behavior than the one stated as a value. For example, you may state that your value is family, but you may work long hours away from family. It does not mean you do not value family, but your espoused value may be different than your value in use.

Part of growing as a leader is related to mindset and the willingness to have what Dweck (2006) labeled a growth mindset. The willingness to look at yourself honestly and ponder whether the values you profess are the values you put into practice day in and day out will allow you to grow in leadership.

Lawrence Kohlberg (Collaborative Leadership Network, n.d.) is best known for his stages of moral development and his work with moral dilemmas. He posited that post conventional moral reasoning (as a mature adult would reason) is driven by empathy and universal moral principles. He noted that courage needs to be a factor in ensuring these principles are acted upon in the face of opposition.

Are you open to identifying your values with an awareness that some values you hold may not necessarily show in your actions? Do you want to consider adding courage as an added espoused value?

For your initial post:

  • Write a 2- to 3-paragraph reflection on your top five values.
  • In your reflection, discuss whether you believe your espoused values are the same as your values in use.
  • Support your thinking with at least one example in your daily life or work that illustrates a value in use.

Support your statements with evidence from the required studies and your research. Cite and reference your sources in APA style.


Argyris, C., & Schon, D. (1974). Theory in practice: Increasing professional effectiveness. San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass.

Collaborative Leadership Network. (n.d.-a). Lawrence Kohlberg’s stages of moral reasoning. Retrieved from http://www.leadershipskillsandvalues.com/lessons-a…

Concordia University – Portland. (n.d.). Core leadership values identification [Course survey]. Retrieved from http://resources.cu-portland.edu/corevalues/

Dweck, C. (2006). Mindset: The new psychology of success. New York, NY: Ballantine Books.

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