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Bhutan National Values Assessment Evans, Steve between 2008-06 and 2008-08

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 Bhutan National Values Assessment
Steve Evans*
Introduction
His Majesty King Khesar, The 5th Druk Gyalpo of Bhutan,
recognised in his coronation address on November 7, 2008
that core values form a common thread that binds and guides
the nation, especiaUy in the wake of current democratic
processes. His deepest concern, he said, is that as the world
changes Bhutan may lose its fundamental values on which
rest its character as a nation and people.
His Majesty said:
"Our generation of Bhutanese have been gifted a strong,
dynamic nation by our forefathers. I am confident that as
long as we are willing to work with their commitment and
dedication and follow their example we can bring greater
peace, happiness and prosperity to our country. I am
confident because I know the worth and character of our
people. You are the true jewel of this nation. As citizens of
a spiritual land you treasure the qualities of a good human
being - honesty, kindness, charity, integrity, unity, respect
for our culture and traditions, love for our country and for
God. Throughout our history our parents have upheld
these values and placed the common good above the self.
My deepest concern is that as the world changes we may
lose these fundamental values on which rest our character
as a nation and people. It is critical that we are able to
recognise Bhutanese character irrespective of how far we
look back into the past or into the future. The Bhutan we
see is vastly different - unrecognisable even - when
compared to the Bhutan in the time of our first King. Yet,
the character of our people and the nature of our
fundamental values have remained unchanged.
Henceforth, as even more dramatic changes transform the
* Research Associate, International Center for Ethnographic
Research, Atlanta, USA; Graduate Student, East Tennessee State
University, USA.
 Journal for Bhutan Studies
world and our nation, as long as we continue to pursue the
simple and timeless goal of being good human beings, and
as long as we strive to build a nation that stands for
everything that is good, we can ensure that our future
generations for hundreds of years will live in happiness
and peace."i
The Bhutan National Values Assessment? confirms that the
nation and its people are, indeed, healthy when it comes to
personal and national values. The survey was conducted by
the International Center for Ethnographic Studies (ICES) in
partnership with the Barrett Values Centre, the Centre for
Bhutan Studies (CBS), East Tennessee State University
(ETSU), and the Brimstone Grant for Applied StoryteUing.
Results were released on January 9, 2009. The author of this
paper coordinated the study.
Research focused on three key areas - Bhutanese' personal
values, the values and issues perceived to drive the current
national culture, and the values that Bhutanese want their
society to embrace. Demographic information collected in the
survey includes gender, region, education, and age. 403
people from western and central Bhutan participated in the
survey during the year 2008. Volunteers affiliated with ICES
and CBS conducted the survey using a standard form
developed by The Values Centre, and then transferred the
information to an online database maintained by the Barrett
Values Centre. Consultants of The Values Centre ran and
interpreted the data, then produced the report.
The Bhutan National Values Assessment reveals those values
that unite the nation in shared understanding, direction and
purpose, while providing clarity to any challenges ahead. The
data is invaluable for informing government, public agencies,
i  Coronation Address of His Majesty King Khesar, The 5th Druk
Gyalpo of Bhutan, 7th  November, 2008. Retrieved January 29, 2009
from http: / /www.grossnationalhappiness. com/ /
2 For the full report go to
http: / /www. bhutanstudies. org. bt/ main/ index, php
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 Bhutan National Values Assessment
non-profit organisations and corporations about what is most
important to Bhutanese. Results are to be used to inform
public policy and strategic initiatives and to help bring
resulting efforts into alignment.
Seven Values Levels of Personal and National Consciousness
To fully understand the Bhutan National Values Assessment,
this report, and the implications of the data, it will be
necessary to first comprehend the concepts of The Seven
Levels of Personal Consciousness and The Seven Levels of
National Consciousness developed by Richard Barrett of the
Barrett Values Centre.3
The Seven Levels of Personal Consciousness
Individuals and nations do not operate from any one single
level of consciousness. They tend to be clustered around
three or four levels. Individuals are usuaUy focused at levels
1 through 5, with a particular emphasis at level 5.
Level 1: Survival
This level focuses on physical survival and safety. It includes
values such as financial stability, health, nutrition and self-
discipline. The potentially timiting aspects of this level are
generated from fears around not having enough and not being
able to survive. Limiting values include greed, control and
caution.
Level 2: Relationships
The second level focuses on the quality of interpersonal
relationships in an individual's life. It includes values such
as open communication, family, friendship, conflict resolution
and respect. The potentially limiting aspects of this level are
generated from fears around not belonging and not being
3    For    an    overview    of    the    Barrett    Values    Centre    go    to
http: / /www. valuescentre. com/ index, php
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 Journal for Bhutan Studies
acknowledged. Limiting values at this level include rivalry,
intolerance and being liked.
Level 3: Self-esteem
This level focuses on an individual's need to feel a sense of
personal self-worth. It includes such values as being the
best, ambition, career focus, and reward. The potentiaUy
timiting aspects of this level are generated from fears about
not being enough in the eyes of others, and a lack of positive
self-regard. Potentially limiting values include status,
arrogance and personal image.
Level 44: Transformation
This level focuses on self-actuatisation and personal growth.
It contains values such as courage, accountabtiity,
responsibtiity, knowledge, and independence. This is the level
at which individuals overcome the anxieties and fears they
are holding onto from the first three levels. It is also the level
where individuals begin to find balance in their lives and
source their decision-making from their values rather than
their beliefs.
Level 5: Internal cohesion
The fifth level focuses on the individual's search for meaning.
Individuals operating at this level no longer think in terms of
a job or career, but of aligning their work with their personal
sense of mission. This level contains values such as
commitment, creativity, enthusiasm, humour, fun,
exceUence, generosity, and honesty.
Level 6: Making a difference
This level focuses on actuatising the individual's sense of
mission by making a positive difference in the world.
Individuals operating at this level seek to cultivate their
intuition as their principal means of making decisions. They
4 There are no potentially limiting values in levels 4 through 7.
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 Bhutan National Values Assessment
also recognise the importance of working with others to
leverage their impact on the world. This level contains values
such as empathy, counseUing, community work, and
environmental awareness.
Level 7: Service
The seventh level is attained when making a difference
becomes a way of life. It reflects the highest order of internal
and external connectedness and shows up as selfless service
to others or to a cause. Individuals operating at this level
display wisdom, compassion, and forgiveness, and are at ease
with uncertainty. They have a global perspective. They are
concerned about issues such as social justice, human rights
and future generations.
The Seven Levels of National Consciousness
AU human group structures grow and develop in seven well-
defined stages. Each stage focuses on a particular existential
need that is common to the human condition. These seven
needs are the principal motivating forces in aU human affairs.
The level of growth and development depends on the abtiity of
the leaders to create conditions that enable the members of
the group to satisfy these seven existential needs. If these
needs are not met, then the consciousness of the people in
the group wiU stay focused on these needs until they are met.
Level 1: Survival
The three major areas of focus or concerns in nations that are
operating from this level are: defense and the protection of
borders; economic health and prosperity of the masses; and
the health and nutrition of aU citizens. Dysfunction at this
level leads to unemployment, corruption, environmental
degradation, and large income disparities between the rich
and poor. Crime and violence ensue as those who are closest
to survival attempt to meet their needs in any way they can.
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Level 2: Relationships
At this level there is a focus on: the peaceful resolution of
conflicts between individuals and groups; the creation of a
sense of belonging that embraces aU citizens; and the loyalty
of citizens to the government of the nation. Dysfunction in
this area leads to inter-ethnic or inter-religious violence, and
the victimization or unfair treatment of minorities or subgroups based on gender, sexual preference, race, etc.
Level 3: Self-esteem
The areas of focus or concerns in nations that are operating
from this level are: establishment and enforcement of law and
order; creation of institutions of governance based on efficient
systems and processes; and provision of public infrastructure
and services that enhance the productivity of the nation and
the weU-being and prosperity of the people. Dysfunction in
this area leads to a higher incidence of criminal activity and a
lack of public protection from unscrupulous businesses.
Level 4s: Transformation
The focus of the fourth level is on the consolidation of internal
stability by creating a multi-cultural, non-discriminatory,
egalitarian society that respects the rights of all citizens. This
is the level of democracy and freedom, where citizens act
responsibly for the good of the whole with a focus on
continuous improvement and renewal.
Level 5: Internal cohesion
At this level the focus is on the deepening of the internal
restiience of the nation by focusing on fairness, openness,
and transparency, thereby creating a climate of trust. At this
level there would be a sense of a shared vision and values
where citizens can play a part in building the nation.
5 There are no potentially limiting values in levels 4 through 7.
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Level 6: Making a difference
The sixth level concerns building mutuaUy beneficial strategic
aUiances with other nations that share similar values, as weU
as deepening the sense of internal cohesion in the nation that
began at level 4 with materialising the values of freedom and
equality, and continued at level 5 with the practice of
fairness, openness and transparency. There is an awareness
of the importance of nature and the environment.
Level 7: Service
The seventh level butids upon level 6 by expanding the depth
and breadth of international cooperation with regard to
solving the problems of humanity, and at the same time
deepening the sense of internal cohesion in the nation by
supporting the self-actualisation of the people and expanding
the focus on social and environmental sustainability to
include ecological sustarnabtiity.
An overview of Bhutan
Current strengths of Bhutan
The personal values of the people of Bhutan show that they
demonstrate:
• Support for and connections with others
• Focus      on      enriching      their      knowledge       and
understanding
• A positive outlook
• Inner drive and strength
Their top value is "friendship," and the Bhutanese have a
high number of relationship-type values, indicating that
people and their connections to them are notably important.
The study indicates these values are concentrated at level 2 of
the values scale, relationships, whtie their overaU values are
concentrated at level 5, internal cohesion. Level 5 shows that
the people of Bhutan seek meaning and purpose in their lives.
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The current culture of Bhutan is driven by values that
promote:
• Access    to     information    and    knowledge     and    a
commitment to the betterment of society
• InteUigent stewardship of resources
• Being guided and united by a common set of values
and a common direction
• Protection for the rights of the people to make political
choices
• Moral     structure     that     provides     guidance     and
encourages comfort
Bhutan's top national value perceived by its people is
"continuous improvement," and there is a strong
concentration of organisational-type values showing that the
people have a powerful focus on governance that is based on
efficient systems and processes, along with a provision of
public infrastructure and services that enhance the
productivity of the nation and the weU-being and prosperity of
the people. The nation's top values are grouped at levels 3, 4
and 5 (Self-esteem, transformation, and internal cohesion),
but the strongest concentration is at level 4 - transformation.
Level 4 focuses on democratic processes, institutional
accountabtiity, renewal and development. The people of
Bhutan see the nation as open to change.
Key issues for Bhutan
The entropy in Bhutan is notably low at 4% and could
possibly be one of the lowest in the world. As with any nation,
there are issues that could be addressed in order to create
greater stability and prosperity within the nation.
The way forward for Bhutan
The participants in this survey experience six values in the
current culture of the nation that they would tike to see
remain in the culture they desire. This shows that they have
confidence in the current direction of the country. These
values are education, continuous improvement, social justice,
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contentment, environmental protection, and strict
moral/religious codes. Education and social justice received
the most significant increase in the desired culture, showing
that these are of rising importance to the people. The desired
values show that the people want to be able to freely express
their views and seek a stronger focus on growing the economy
and on creating opportunities for them to thrive and support
themselves. They want their personal sense of compassion to
be a guiding value in their nation.
Personal values of the Bhutanese
What is important to the people of Bhutan?
Personal values in order of predominance are: friendship (180
votes, level 2), continuous learning (160 votes, level 4),
compassion (128 votes, level 7), caution (122 votes, level 1),
sincerity (121 votes, level 5), social justice (118 votes, level 7),
self-discipline (102 votes, level 1), optimism (95 votes, level 5),
helpfulness (94 votes, level 2), and caring (92 votes, level 2).
From an analysis of the personal values chosen by the people
of Bhutan it can be determined what are the principal values
that guide their decision making (top values), and how their
values are distributed across the seven values levels (aU
values). Every value chosen can be classified as an individual,
relationship or societal value (IRS). As stated in the overview
of Bhutan, key themes from the Bhutanese' top values
include: 1) support for and connections with others; 2)
seeking to enrich their knowledge and understanding; 3)
having a positive outlook; and 4) inner drive and strength.
In the people's top personal values, the values are located in
five of the seven levels with a concentration at level 2 -
relationships. This concentration shows that many in this
group have a focus on the quality of interpersonal
relationships. In considering all of the values chosen, the
greatest focus is at level 5 - internal cohesion (25%). Level 5
represents personal cohesion, maturity and/ or a search for
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 Journal for Bhutan Studies
meaning. The distribution of aU values shows where the most
energy is concentrated for this group, not just where there is
consensus on specific values.
A values gap occurs where one or more of the seven levels has
no top values. This can mean one of three things: that the
levels 1) are unconsciously taken care of, 2) are a blind spot,
or 3) represent the next area of growth. Here, there are no top
positive values in the following levels: level 3, self-esteem,
focusing on performing to a high standard, and level 6,
making a difference, focusing on creating positive change
through awareness and contribution from a personal and
community perspective. It is important to consider all values
at the levels where there are no top values to see if the
percentage of total votes at that level is significant. A high
percentage at a level with no top values indicates that there is
focus in this area but there is little agreement as to which
values are important. Here, while self-esteem and making a
difference are not top personal values of any respondents,
10% of respondents indicated that each of them is of some
value.
Of the top positive values chosen four are individual values,
four are relationship values and one is a societal value. It is
common in the personal values to see a concentration of
individual-type values. However, this group shows a high
number of relationship-type values, indicating that people
and their connections with them are notably important to the
citizens of Bhutan. There is one potentially limiting value in
the top ten Ust, and that is "caution."
Current culture values of Bhutan
What is shaping the Bhutanese' experience?
Current culture values reflect citizens' perceptions of the
nation's culture and the day-to-day living environment - both
the positive aspects of their experiences and the potential
problem areas. In addition to the values types for personal
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values (IRS), there are also organisational-type values (IROS).
These values in order of predominance are: continuous
improvement (195 votes, level 4), environmental protection
(104 votes, level 1), strict moral/religious codes (104 votes,
level 3), political rights (102 votes, level 3), education (100
votes, level 4), nature conservation (91 votes, level 6), shared
vision (90 votes, level 5), information availability (88 votes,
level 3), shared values (88 values, level 5), contentment (87
votes, level 5), and social justice (87 votes, level 4).
Key themes from these top values include: 1) access to
information and knowledge, as weU as a commitment to the
betterment of society; 2) intelligent stewardship of resources;
3) being guided and united by a common set of values and a
common direction; and 4) a moral structure that provides
guidance and encourages comfort.
In the current culture, top values are distributed in five of the
seven levels with concentration at level 5 (internal cohesion),
level 4 (transformation), and level 3 (self-esteem). This shows
that much of the people's energy goes toward building a sense
of openness, trust, transparency, shared values and vision,
democratic processes, institutional accountabtiity, renewal
and development, institutional efficiencies, system
performance, and/ or pride in the nation. Considering all
values, both positive and potentially timiting, the highest
focus is at level 4 - transformation (32%). Level 4 focuses on
democratic processes, institutional accountabtiity, renewal
and development.
There are no top positive values in the following levels: level 2
- relationship, which focuses on social stability and famtiy or
group relationships- and level 7 - service, which reflects a
focus on creating a sustainable future for humanity. This
indicates a values gap. Of the top positive values that were
chosen, one is an individual value, none are relationship
values, eight are organisational values and two are societal
values. This shows that the people see a powerful focus on
governance based on efficient systems and processes, as weU
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as provision of public infrastructure and services that
enhance the productivity of the nation and the well-being and
prosperity of the people.
When comparing personal and current culture values, those
that match indicate alignment. The greater the number of
matching personal and current culture values, the greater
degree to which citizens experience a sense of community. In
a highly aligned culture, one would expect to see two or three
matching personal and current culture values. The presence
of only one or two values matches indicate that the people are
not highly aligned with the values of the nation, which can
cause some level of social unrest. Here there is only one
matching value - social justice.
Current entropy of Bhutan
Potentially timiting values create cultural entropy. Entropy is
a measure of the degree of dysfunction in a system and
represents the proportion of votes for potentiaUy limiting
values. Potentially limiting values for Bhutan are found only
at levels 1, 2 and 3 of the seven values levels. Specific issues
contributing to the entropy at each level are:
• Level 1 - Survival (74 votes, 2% of total): drunkenness
(2 votes), crime/violence (6 votes), drug addiction (9
votes), corruption (9 votes), autocracy (9 votes),
poverty (10 votes), unemployment (14 votes), and
environmental pollution (15 votes).
• Level 2 - Relationships (36 votes, 1% of total):
racial/ethnic discrimination (3 votes), gender
discrimination (3 votes), inequality (9 votes),
conflict/aggression (10 votes), and loneliness/isolation
(11 votes).
• Level 3 - Self-Esteem (36 votes, 1% or total):
isolationist attitudes (3 votes), information hoarding (5
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votes),     conservative     attitudes     (14     votes),     and
bureaucracy (14 votes)
Only 4% of aU votes were for potentially limiting values. This
is a low and healthy level of entropy and shows that fear is
not predominant in the way Bhutan makes decisions and
protects its people. There are no potentially limiting values in
the top values of the current culture, and the entropy, while
low, is slightly concentrated at level 1. Bhutan's entropy is
one of the lowest in the world.
Desired culture values for Bhutan
What values do Bhutanese want for their future?
Desired culture values reflect what participants believe to be
important for the well-being of their nation. These values
provide insights into the direction participants' want the
nation to take, possible antidotes to current problems, and
values that need strengthening. The desired culture values
expressed by the people of Bhutan for their nation, in order of
predominance, are: education (115 votes, level 4), continuous
improvement (113 votes, level 4), freedom of speech (113
votes, level 4), economic growth (107 votes, level 1), social
justice (100 votes, level 4), contentment (93 votes, level 5),
environmental protection (89 votes, level 1), compassion (83
votes, level 7), fuU employment (82 votes, level 3), and strict
moral/religious values (82 votes, level 3).
Key themes from top desired cultural values include: 1)
providing more opportunity for people to learn, work and
strengthen the economy; 2) aUowing people to express their
views and have access to fair systems; and 3) demonstrating
care and empathy for people.
Matching values indicate alignment. The greater the number
of matching current and desired culture values, the greater
the degree to which citizens believe their nation is on the right
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track. In a highly aligned culture, one would expect to see six
or more matching current and desired culture values. The
Bhutan National Values Assessment indicates six matching
values: continuous improvement, environmental protection,
strict moral/religious codes, education, contentment, and
social justice. These are the attributes that Bhutanese
experience now and want to continue to support in the
future. Four to six values matches shows that people have a
strong level of confidence in the current direction of the
government. Bhutanese have six matches. They would,
however, like to see some changes in priorities.
In comparing personal values and desired culture values,
there are two matches: compassion and social justice. These
are the values that, if chosen to be guiding principles of the
nation, could eastiy be supported by the people, as they are
important in their daily lives. There is one across-the-board
matching value among the personal, current and desired
culture values, and that is social justice. In a highly aligned
culture, one would expect to see three or four personal values
that are also found in the current and desired culture.
New values in the desired culture are values among the
desired culture values that are not included the current
culture values. They are values that participants would like
to see implemented to improve the overaU weU-being of the
nation and create a sustainable future for everyone. There are
four new values in the values plot diagram: freedom of
speech, economic growth, compassion, and full employment.
In the desired culture, the top values are distributed in five of
the seven levels with concentration at level 4 (transformation),
showing that the participants want effort directed towards
democratic processes, institutional accountabtiity, renewal
and development. In looking at aU of the values chosen, the
focus continues to be at level 4 (31%). In this case, level 4
indicates that participants want to focus on continuous
improvement - learning, researching and modernising. There
are no top positive values in the level 2 (relationship), which
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focuses on social stabtiity and famtiy or group relationships,
and level 6 (external cohesion), which focuses on quality of
life issues and/ or creating mutually beneficial strategic
aUiances. Of the top positive values chosen, one is an
individual value, one is a relationship value, seven are
organisational values and one is a societal value. This shows
that the main focus remains on efficient systems and
processes, along with provision of public infrastructure and
services that enhance the productivity of the nation and the
weU-being and prosperity ofthe people.
Distribution of all values
The distribution of aU values indicate the percentage of votes
for values in three major areas - self interest, transformation
and common good. Self Interest is represented by levels 1, 2
and 3, and encompasses basic needs, such as financial and
physical health, interpersonal relationships, and systems and
processes that support individual and national needs.
"Transformation" is represented by level 4. This level is about
giving people a voice, beginning to challenge and question
ideas, and embracing opportunities for growth and learning.
Common good encompasses levels 5, 6 and 7. In these levels,
individuals and nations are focused on the well-being of the
coUective, finding meaning in their lives and work, and how
they can support others in butiding a long-term sustainable
future.
Three comparisons are made: 1) between personal values and
current culture values; 2) between current culture values and
desired culture values; and 3) between personal values and
desird culture values. Also, the comparisons are made across
four general categories: entropy, self-interest, transformation,
and common good.
The first comparison - between personal values and current
culture values - reflects 6% cultural entropy in personal
values and 4% cultural entropy in current culture values;
27% self interest in personal values and 29% self interest in
current   culture   values;    19%   transformation   in   personal
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values and 32% transformation in current culture values; and
49% common good in personal values and 37% common good
in current culture values. There is misalignment here
between the make-up of the values people hold personaUy
and those they currently experience in Bhutan.
The second comparison - between current culture values and
desired culture values - reflects 4% cultural entropy in
current culture values and 4% cultural entropy in desired
culture calues; 29% self interest in current culture values
and 28% self interest in desired culture calues; 32%
transformation in current culture values and 31%
transformation in desired culture values; and 37% common
good in current culture values and 38% common good in
desired culture values. There is near exact alignment between
the distribution of values people are currently experiencing
and those they would like to see in the desired culture. This
alignment shows that they support the amount of focus the
nation currently has in each area.
The third comparison - between personal values and desired
culture values - reflects 6% cultural entropy in personal
values and 4% cultural entropy in desired culture values;
27% self interest in personal values and 28% self interest in
desired culture values; 19% transformation in personal
values and 31% transformation in desired culture values; and
49% common good in personal values and 38% common good
in desired culture values. There is misalignment between the
group's personal values and the direction they are asking for
in their desired culture.
Positive values by level
Once again, the seven values levels are: 1) survival; 2)
relationships; 3) self-esteem; 4) transformation; 5) internal
cohesion; 6) making a difference; and 7) service. It is
important to see the percentage of personal, current and
desired culture votes for positive values by level. These
indicate values chosen by participants at the levels where
they are  requesting more  new focus.  They are  significant
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 Bhutan National Values Assessment
since they provide clarity around the desired direction of the
nation.
Positive values at level 1 (survival) are 5% personal, 8%
current culture, and 8% desired culture. At level 2
(relationships) positive values are 12% personal, 8% current
culture, and 8% desired culture. Positive values at level 3
(self-esteem) are 10% personal, 13% current culture, and 12%
desired culture. At level 4 (transformation) positive values are
19% personal, 32% current culture, and 31% desired culture.
Positive values at level 5 (internal cohesion) are 25% personal,
18% current culture, and 17% desired culture. At level 6
(making a difference) positive values are 10% personal, 10%
current culture, and 10% desired culture. Positive values at
level 7 (service) are 14% personal, 9% current culture, and
11% desired culture. Clearly, the greatest numbers of votes
by participants of the survey are at levels 4 and 5:
transformation and making a difference.
On the personal side, level 4 (transformation) focuses on self-
actuatisation and personal growth. It contains values such
as courage, accountabtiity, responsibtiity, knowledge, and
independence. This is the level at which individuals overcome
the anxieties and fears they are holding onto from the first
three levels. It is also the level where individuals begin to find
balance in their lives and source their decision-making from
their values rather than their beliefs. The focus of level 4 on
the national side focuses the consolidation of internal
stability by creating a multi-cultural, non-discriminatory,
egalitarian society that respects the rights of all citizens. This
is the level of democracy and freedom where citizens act
responsibly for the good of the whole, with a focus on
continuous improvement and renewal.
On the personal side, level 5 (internal cohesion) focuses on
the individual's search for meaning. Individuals operating at
this level no longer think in terms of a job or career, but of
aligning their work with their personal sense of mission. This
level    contains    values    such    as    commitment,    creativity,
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enthusiasm, humour/fun, excellence, generosity and
honesty. The focus of level 5 at the national side focuses on
the deepening of the internal restiience of the nation by
focusing on fairness, openness and transparency and thereby
creating a climate of trust. At this level there would be a
sense of a shared vision and values where citizens can play a
part in butiding the nation.
Values jumps or increases
Here are the values that received the greatest increase in
votes from the current culture to the desired culture. Three
are top values in the desired culture. These are values the
participants consider need to be enhanced for the future well-
being of the nation: fuU employment (a top value) - from 37 to
82, with a jump of 45; human rights - from 14 to 52, with a
jump of 38; military strength - from 11 to 49, with a jump of
38; freedom of speech (a top value) - from 80 to 113, with a
jump of 33; economic growth (a top value) - from 74 to 107,
with a jump of 33; equal opportunities - from 26 to 58, with a
jump of 32; peace - from 49 to 73, with a jump of 24; liberal
attitudes - from 34 to 55, with a jump of 21;
entrepreneurship - from 27 to 46, with a jump of 19; and
wisdom - from 34 to 51, with ajump of 17.
Three key requests are reflected in these values jumps: 1)
create a strong economy in which all people can support
themselves and are given equal opportunities to thrive; 2)
protect people's rights and developing strong a strong defence
system; and 3) more openness and acceptance - drawing on
experience for guidance.
Demographic breakdown
A majority of the 403 participants of the Bhutan National
Values Assessment survey were urban educated males under
the age of 35. It is interesting to note that in aU categories
(female, male, rural, urban, under 35, age 35 and over, no
education to completion of primary school, education beyond
primary school) the values level with the highest number of
112
 Bhutan National Values Assessment
votes was level 4 (transformation), foUowed by level 5 (internal
cohesion). Entropy    was    consistently    low    across    aU
demographics.
The number one personal value for females was friendship,
whtie continuous learning was the number one personal
value for males. For those participants under the age of 35 it
was friendship, while it was continuous learning for those 35
and over. The highest personal value for those with an
education beyond primary school was friendship, while it was
continuous learning for those with no education to
completion of primary school. Both rural and urban
participants rated friendship as their top personal value.
The number one current culture value was continuous
improvement for aU demographic categories.
The number one desired culture value for females was
education, whtie continuous improvement was the number
one desired culture value for males. For those participants
under the age of 35 it was education, whtie it was freedom of
speech for those 35 and over. The highest desired culture
value for those with an education beyond primary school was
education, whtie it was friendship for those with no education
to completion of primary school. For those from the rural
areas the highest desired culture value was environmental
protection, whtie it was freedom of speech for urbanites.
A full demographic breakdown of the Bhutan National Values
Assessment can be seen online, posted by the Centre for
Bhutan Studies.6
6 Go to http://www.bhutanstudies.org.bt/main/index.php
113
 Journal for Bhutan Studies
Recommendations7
1. Develop a plan to disseminate the results of the survey
among the population. Set up focus groups to gain
greater understanding around specific areas of
improvement or policy issues, and determine what
needs to be done to implement these changes.
2. WhUe the entropy is low, there are themes present in
the potentiaUy timiting values that should be
examined with a focus on reducing the cultural
entropy in the nation. Ask the focus groups what they
see as the causes, timiting behaviours, and negative
results of each of these values and the corrective
actions that need to be taken.
3. Define the key areas the nation will focus on. Develop
specific actions and programs that wiU foster these
changes. Consider repeating the survey process every
two to five years to gauge the progress made in these
areas.
4. Pay particular attention to any personal values that
are being asked for in the desired culture. Talk to the
focus groups about what these values mean to them
and what they can do in order to better support these
values.
5. Look at the values gaps in the current culture. What
does this signify? Is there a strong caU for values at
this level within the desired culture?
6. Examine the new values requested in the desired
culture: freedom of speech, economic growth,
compassion and fuU employment.     Determine their
7 It may be necessary to go to the full report and supplements,
posted online by the Centre for Bhutan Studies, to get adequate
information to complete these recommendations.
114
 Bhutan National Values Assessment
meanings    and    what    changes    in    behaviour    are
necessary to implement these values.
7. Discuss how Bhutan can continue to live the values of
continuous improvement, environmental protection,
strict moral/religious codes, education, contentment
and social justice.
8. Consider the values jumps from the current culture to
desired culture. Are there values jumps that do not
show up in the top ten desired culture values that are
significant?
9. Investigate why the various demographic groups differ
from each other. Determine if there are groups with
higher entropy than others, it is important to uncover
the root causes that are creating this situation.
115

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