Conflicting Values

“Don’t start statements with I don’t know”, Bill Mangrum.

  • But what if you really don’t know the correct solution/ answer to a problem?


In a situation like the one we were presented in class, administration wanting weekly updates on students to provide quantitative data, it is very difficult to determine the best solution or answer. This is because the parties involved have different sets of values, and the values of one audience will frequently conflict with the values of another audience.

Audiences and their values:

  • Administrators- Value quantitative data. They also value the format of this data and therefore want Professors to use Canvas and to post weekly progress updates for all students.
  • Students/ Scholars- Value free time, family, friends, work, sleep, food, parties, school, pets, and relationships.
  • Program Area- Values  engagement, ability to argue, listen/ respond to counter-arguments, qualified, and that students are making connection from own program area to different program areas.
  • Bill Mangrum- Values self initiative, responsibility, and self assessment.

In class we also used Patrik’s  background knowledge of his program area to state that there are two types of goods:

  1. Normal good- A good that you sell to higher class
  2. Inferior good- A good that you sell when wage goes down

Since higher education is effectively a business, and these goods also relate to business, I will use a business perspective while evaluating this problem.


In business you want to try your best to value each audience the

Business man considering his options
Business man considering his options

same, however it is typical that one audience, or multiple audiences, will be valued higher than the other(s).  In this case the business owners are basically the administration, and therefore they typically value their own set of values higher than the set of values from the other audiences. So I would then argue that they want their weekly progress updates, in the format that they want, and their is almost no way around that. However, for the business to still run effectively, they need to other audiences and therefore cannot completely throw their set of values out the window. This leads me to believe that a compromise will have to be made by all audiences in order for this process to work. In my own opinion I believe that an effective solution would be to have students work on a platform/ format that is easily turned into quantitative data, that way the professor can then take this data, put it in the format that the administration requires, and then post it. This is mostly a compromise between the professors and students, to meet the administrations values. This solution prevents the work load from being dumped all on one audience, and instead divides it up between two. This solution also allows all the audiences to keep their own set of values. This is a very basic solution, and to construct a solution that is more effective, addition research would be required. Since I have not completed this research, I don’t know what the appropriate solution/answer is.

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