Values in business schools: The role of self-selection and socialization

Sharon Arieli, Lilach Sagiv, Efrat Cohen-Shalem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


Contemporary business schools are expected to educate their students to embrace ethical and prosocial values. But can business schools rise to this challenge? Comparing a business school to another professional school, social work, that encourages prosocial values, we investigated value profiles as reflected in school websites and among their students. The findings show that the business school expresses self-enhancement values (power and achievement) more, and prosocial values (benevolence and universalism) less than the social work school. We further investigated self-selection and socialization as complementary organizational processes that may lead to and sustain the value profile of each school. Our findings show that as early as the first week of studies, freshmen's values are congruent with the value profile of their departments, indicating a value-based self-selection process. To investigate socialization, we compared freshmen and seniors and conducted a yearlong study among freshmen. The findings revealed a small change in students' values throughout their training, providing only some support for value socialization. Altogether, our findings suggest that business schools that are interested in prosocial students should attract and select students that emphasize these values, rather than rely on socialization attempts.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)493-507
Number of pages15
JournalAcademy of Management Learning and Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Academy of Management Learning & Education, 2016.


Dive into the research topics of 'Values in business schools: The role of self-selection and socialization'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this