Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 104, Issue 2, pp 185–195 | Cite as

Two Independent Value Orientations: Ideal and Counter-Ideal Leader Values and Their Impact on Followers’ Respect for and Identification with Their Leaders

  • Matthias M. Graf
  • Niels Van Quaquebeke
  • Rolf Van Dick
Open Access


Traditionally, conceptualizations of human values are based on the assumption that individuals possess a single integrated value system comprising those values that people are attracted by and strive for. Recently, however, van Quaquebeke et al. (in J Bus Ethics 93:293–305, 2010) proposed that a value system might consist of two largely independent value orientations—an orientation of ideal values and an orientation of counter-ideal values (values that individuals are repelled by), and that both orientations exhibit antithetic effects on people’s responses to the social world. Following a call for further research on this distinction, we conducted two studies to assess the independent effects of ideal and counter-ideal values in leadership settings. Study 1 (N = 131) finds both value orientations to explain unique variance in followers’ vertical respect for their leaders. Study 2 (N = 136) confirms these results and additionally shows an analogous effect for followers’ identification with their leaders. Most importantly, we find that both value orientations exhibit their effects only independently when the content of the two orientations pertain to different value types in Schwartz’s (in J Soc Issues 50:19–46, 1994) circumplex model. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.


Ideal values Counter-ideal values Leadership Respect for leaders Identification with leaders 


Open Access

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthias M. Graf
    • 1
    • 2
  • Niels Van Quaquebeke
    • 3
  • Rolf Van Dick
    • 2
  1. 1.Kienbaum Management Consultants GmbHBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Psychology DepartmentGoethe University FrankfurtFrankfurtGermany
  3. 3.Management DepartmentKuehne Logistics University – The KLUHamburg Germany

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