From the Historical Collection of the work of Dr. Clare W. Graves
- presentations, papers, recorded transcripts, notes -
William R. Lee                                                                                         April 2001


Levels of Human Existence
and Their Relation to 
Value Analysis and Engineering

Dr. Clare W. Graves 
Professor of Psychology
Union College
Schenectady, N. Y.

(transcript of Q&A session follows the paper)

At this, the Fifth Annual Value Analysis Conference, I am certain that you are aware that the problems confronting the Value Analyst have changed from what they were in the early years of your professional history. According to my research into the nature and history of your profession, I would say you are well into your fourth generation problems and on the threshold of those of the fifth generation.

As I see it, your first generation problems had to do with developing your philosophy and the basic value analytic techniques. In the second generation, they revolved around finding a place for the Value Analyst in the organization beginning to recognize his competency. The third generation problems concerned you when I spoke to you two years ago. Then you were troubled with getting Value Analysis accepted by management. But last year, as the proceedings of the Fourth Annual Conference indicated, the problems of acceptance by policy-making management had receded into the background, ready to bring to the fore the fourth generation problems. Today, it appears to me, I can be of most service to you by relating my knowledge to your fourth generation problems, which are amidst you today, and to the fifth generation problems appearing on the horizon. From what I see, your fourth generation problems are:

  1. How can Value Engineers avoid succumbing to the very disease they are trying to correct-narrow vision, resistance to change, rigidifying thinking, etc. a question brought to your attention several times last year.
  2. Now that management has accepted Value Analysis, how can it be implemented into action? How does management take this tool and put it to work? This is a problem which has brought up repeatedly in what I have read and which has been asked of me over and over again in my conversations with Value Engineers.
  3. The third problem is beginning to take care of itself, but since I intend to point out some things about it today, I include it at this point. It is: How can the Value Analysis increase his value and his usefulness to industry?
  4. The fourth problem I would parcel out, though it is not mutually exclusive of the others, is: In what regions of organizational activity can Value Analysis be applied beyond those regions in which it has been applied to date?

The fifth generation problems, which seem very intriguing to me will, it appears, take you back full circle to your problems of the first generation: development of the philosophy and techniques of your profession. I will not take time to detail them now, but in general, it seems to me that you must soon face reworking your philosophy and your techniques in order that they come to fit the new areas into which the concepts of your profession can be and should be extended.

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