Enduring belief that a specific mode of conduct or end-state of existence is personally or socially preferable to an opposite or converse mode of conduct or end-state of existence. A value system is an enduring organization of beliefs concerning preferable modes of conduct or end-states of existence along a continuum of relative importance.
Rokeach, M. The Nature of Human Values. New York, NY: Free Press. 1973:5
Desirable transsituational goals, varying in importance, that serve as guiding principles in the life of a person or other social entity.
Schwartz, Shalom H. "Are there universal aspects in the structure and contents of human values?." Journal of social issues 50.4 (1994): 19-45. p.21
Value emerges in action; it is the process by which a person’s invisible potency – their capacity to act – is transformed into concrete, perceptible form . . . Rather than having to choose between the desirability of objects and the importance of human relations, one can now see both as refractions of the same thing. Commodities have to be produced . . . social relations have to be created and maintained; all of this requires an investment of human time and energy, intelligence, concern. If one sees value as a matter of the relative distribution of that, then one has a common denominator. One invests one’s energies in those things one considers most important, or most meaningful.
Graeber, David ‘The New Anarchists’, New Left Review 13 (January/February):61–73. 2002:45 Schwartz, Shalom H. "Are there universal aspects in the structure and contents of human values?." Journal of social issues 50.4 1994:21.