Values are the basis of decision-making. They direct the beliefs that determine what is most important and so underpin desirable goals that motivate action (Schwartz, 2012, p4).
Understanding similar and differing values is increasingly being used by organisations as a way to understand gaps between their organization, clients and communities they serve. For emergency management services to better represent the diversity of the communities they service, they need to not just understand the demographics of those communities, but also the values across their communities, particularly in relation to diversity.
This study undertook a community survey across 539 community members to ascertain values and attitudes in relation to Emergency Management Organisations (EMO). The survey used Schwartz’s measurement of values, comprised of ten different values, based around four key areas: openness to change, self-transcendence, conservation and self-enhancement, as a basis. Questions from the Schwartz values study were amalgamated with the World Values Survey to develop the survey. The demographic varied across age, gender and cultural spectrums.
The data from this survey provide a baseline for understanding existing community values relating to diversity and inclusion. These results will be compared to those held by EMOs and their staff in later work. This has potential to help discern where there may be significant similarities and differences between EMS organisations and the community that influence current and future strength and capability of diversity and inclusion in the emergency management sector.