A survey study conducted in 2012 investigated whether employee perceptions of the extent to which their organisation espoused 5 core Māori values identified in the literature (manaakitanga, wairuatanga, auahatanga, whakawhanaungatanga, and kaitiakitanga), influenced their disposition to engage in helping behaviours at work and feel more committed to the organisation. These relationships were moderated by extent of identification with Māori culture (being Māori vs. identifying as Māori). The study revealed that, though wairuatanga emerged as a stand-alone value, the remaining four values were conceptually and operationally assumed under the broader construct whakamana tangata. On reflection, the results seem to suggest that whilst each value has its distinctive ethos, they are usually perceived/experienced holistically rather than in isolation, as they vary together in patterned ways, and it may just be challenging to capture their distinctiveness with conventional measurement approaches (i.e. the Western paradigm that guides values research may not be suitable to discovering and making sense of Māori values in relation to Te Ao Māori). The purpose of the project is to expand on the 2012 study and to work with experienced researchers in the field of Organisational Psychology to (1) search the literature for aligned international studies and (2) design a survey instrument that would serve the data collection process of a larger study using quantitative traditions underpinned by kaupapa Māori principles.

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