More Different Than Similar: Values in Political Speeches of Leaders from Developed and Developing Countries

Moniza Waheed, Andreas Schuck, Claes deVreese, Peter Neijens

Amsterdam School of Communication Research – The Netherlands

Abstract

With globalization, the understanding of different values and cultures has become vital. This study investigates differences and similarities in the use of values of political speeches from developed and developing countries. A content analysis was conducted on 48 political speeches of six leaders. Applying the list of Basic Human Values, we found that "benevolence," "universalism," "stimulation," "self-direction," and "achievement" were most present in all speeches. However, "universalism" and "benevolence" were most present in speeches from developed countries while "stimulation" and "self-direction" in speeches from developing countries. Speeches also differed in terms of tones attached to words expressing the values. This study finds that there are more differences than similarities in the use of values in speeches from developed and developing countries.

Keywords: values, political speeches, developed and developing countries


1.0 Introduction

Globalization increases the need for countries to cooperate with one another. Therefore, countries must understand the similarities and differences between cultures. Values and culture are important topics in communication studies. In fact, they are almost inseparable. Values are desirable goals people strive to attain (Schwartz 1992) because they guide the evaluation of actions, policies, people, and events. They are at the core of every culture which can be observed by people through their practices (Hofstede, Neuijen, Ohayy, & Sanders 1990). People of the same culture tend to have similar values (Hofstede 1983), while people of different cultures have different values (Barna 1994).

Developed and developing countries are considered to have different cultures. Developed countries are economically richer and are associated with individualistic cultures (Hofstede 1983; Matsumoto 1990), while developing countries are economically poorer and are associated with collectivist cultures (Hofstede 1983). This study aims to discover differences or similarities in the use of values between political speeches from developed and developing countries. To achieve this, comparisons will be made using the list of Basic Human Values (BHV) from Schwartz (1992). The BHV inventory focuses on ten values which are recognized by all cultures around the world (Schwartz 1992; Schwartz, Melech, Lehmann, Burgess, Harris, & Owens 2001). They are: power, achievement, hedonism, stimulation, self-direction, universalism, benevolence, tradition, conformity, and security (see Table 1). Previous research implies that some of these values are more typical for developed countries while others for developing ones (Schwartz & Bardi 1997; Schwartz & Saggie 2000).

Previous studies on BHV were conducted in the context of organizations (Schwartz & Bardi 1997; Schwartz & Saggie 2000; Schwartz & Bardi 2001). This study contributes to BHV by conducting it in a different context (i.e., political speeches). Political speeches have been chosen for this study because most of the time political leaders speak as representatives of governments, or nations (Schäffner 1996). Hence, we expect that the values in their speeches reflect the values of their countries (Kluckhohn 1951; Rokeach 1973; Schwartz 1992).

This study also contributes to the realm of international relations. Discovering differences or similarities in the use of values in political speeches from different cultures could aid in understanding why countries take certain stances on certain issues. In the long run, this could guide countries in fostering cooperative relationships or partnerships, which can be politically, socially, and economically beneficial.

2.0 Theoretical Framework

2.1 Basic Human Values

The BHV inventory is relevant for the aim of this study because it provides ten values which are applicable in all countries across the world (see Table 1) (Schwartz 1992). Having values which are broadly applicable is important for comparing similarities and differences between countries. Schwartz (1992) organizes the values into a circular arrangement (see Figure 1).

Table 1: Definitions of the 10 Motivational Values

Type of Value

Definition

Power

Social status and prestige, control or dominance over people and resources (authority, social power, wealth, preserving my public image).

Achievement

Personal success through demonstrating competence according to social standards (ambitious, successful, capable, influential).

Hedonism

Pleasure or sensuous gratification for oneself (pleasure, enjoying life, self indulgent).

Stimulation

Excitement, novelty and challenge, in life (daring, a varied life, an exciting life).

Self-Direction

Independent thought and action – choosing, creating, exploring (creativity, freedom, independent, choosing own goals, curious).

Universalism

Understanding, appreciation, tolerance, and protection for the welfare of all people and for nature (equality, social justice, wisdom, broadminded, protecting the environment, unity with nature, a world of beauty).

Benevolence

Preservation and enhancement of the welfare of people with whom one is in frequent personal contact (helpful, honest, forgiving, loyal, responsible).

Tradition

Respect, commitment, and acceptance of the customs and ideas that traditional culture or religion provide (devout, respect for tradition, humble, moderate).

Conformity

Restraint of actions, inclinations and impulses likely to upset or harm others and violate social expectations or norms (self discipline, politeness, honoring parents and elders, obedience).

Security

Safety, harmony, and stability of society, of relationships, and of self (family security, national security, social order, clean, reciprocation of favors).

Note: Adapted from "Evaluating the Structure of Human Values with Confirmatory Factor Analysis," by S.H. Schwartz, and K. Boehnke, 2004, Journal of Research in Personality, 38, p.239. Copyright 2003 Elsevier Inc.

According to Schwartz and Boehnke (2004), the closer any values are to each other in the circle, the more similar their underlying motivation and vice versa. Therefore, underlying motivations which are adjacent to one another overlap, but those opposite to one another are antagonistic. Schwartz (1992, 1994) posits that the ten value types are organized in two orthogonal bipolar dimensions. Thus, the underlying motivation of values in openness to change is opposite to conservation and the underlying motivation of values in self-transcendence is opposite to self-enhancement.

Figure 1: Theoretical model of relations among 10 motivational types of values.

Note: Adapted from "Evaluating the Structure of Human Values with Confirmatory Factor Analysis," by S. H. Schwartz, and K. Boehnke, 2004, Journal of Research in Personality, 38, p.233. Copyright 2003 Elsevier Inc.

2.2 Cultural Differences in Values between Developed and Developing Countries

The BHV covers similarities in values between cultures (Schwartz & Bardi 2001) as well as differences (Schwartz & Bardi 1997; Schwartz & Saggie 2000). Similarities exist because there are basic value requirements across cultures which explain, coordinate, and rationalize people’s behavior. Schwartz and Bardi (2001) found a general consensus regarding the hierarchical order of values between nations. They assert that similarities in values exist between different cultures because it is human nature to adapt to these values as a way to maintain functional societies. Schwartz et al. (2001) add that similarities exist because of universal requirements which all individuals and societies must cope. This means that consensus between countries can be achieved when people adapt to the same values.

Previous research has stressed that there are differences in cultures between developed and developing countries (Cox, Lobel, & McLeod 1991; Hofstede 1983; Matsumoto 1990; Shane 1993). Schwartz and Bardi (1997) conducted a study between nine Eastern European and twelve Western European countries. They discovered that there were differences in priorities of values between the two regions which have different political systems and level of development (some of these countries had experienced communist rule, while others had not). Certainly, this does not mean that the cultures of all developed countries are the same, or that the cultures of all developing countries are the same. Jaeger (1991) states that although developing countries have certain characteristics (e.g., high on uncertainty avoidance, collectivists), these are just overall trends which might not be applicable for every developing country in every dimension. One could imagine that although both Belgium and Brunei are high income countries (World Bank 2008), there are definitely cultural differences between the two. Similarly, Swaziland and Iraq too would have cultural differences although they are both low income countries.

Our predictions can be solidified by the findings of Schwartz and Saggie (2000) who conducted a study concerning value structures and societal consensus across 42 nations. They discovered that development and democratization correlated positively with the importance of the underlying motivational values of openness and self-transcendence but negatively with the importance of conservation and self-enhancement. Based on these findings, we predict:

H1 (a): Values from the dimensions of openness to change and self-transcendence are more present in the speeches of political leaders from developed countries compared to values from other dimensions.

H1 (b): Values from the dimensions of self-enhancement and conservation are more present in the speeches of political leaders from developing countries compared to values from other dimensions.

Since previous research has indicated that developed countries are economically richer than developing countries (Hofstede 1983; Matsumoto 1990), we assume that challenges faced by the two cultures are different. Due to this, there is a possibility that tones attached to words expressing the values also differ. Tone refers to attractiveness or aversion of a subject in a specific context (Feather 1995). In this study, we equate tone to valence; A dimension of emotional response that represents positive or negative feelings (Bolls, Lang, & Potter 2001; Lang 1995).

This study tests the differences in tone attached to words expressing values in speeches between political leaders from developed and developing countries. Shane (1993) posits that developed nations are more innovative than developing ones. Innovation can be associated with the dimension of openness to change (see Table 1). In addition, Mahler (2004) posits that high group incomes benefit from globalization while low group incomes suffer from it. Globalization can also be linked to the dimension of openness to change. Bringing these two arguments together, and in line with the predictions made in H1 (a), it can be assumed that political leaders from developed countries favor the values in the openness to change dimension. Hence, we expect that these leaders speak positively about these values.

H2 (a): Speeches of political leaders from developed countries incorporate values from the dimension of openness to change in a more positive tone compared to speeches of political leaders from developing countries.

On the other hand, Hofstede (1983) found that there is a disparity of power between superiors and subordinates in collectivist cultures. We assume that collectivism is a trait of developing countries where people tend to generally respect any entity with power. Also, since developing countries are those with low levels of income, it can be assumed that the people have a hard time fulfilling their needs. Hence, we assume that they place a lot of importance on achievement. "Power" and "achievement" are from the dimension of self-enhancement. Based on this reasoning and in line with the predictions of H1 (b), we expect that leaders from developing countries speak positively about values from the dimension of self-enhancement.

H2 (b): Speeches of political leaders from developing countries incorporate values from the dimension of self-enhancement in a more positive tone compared to speeches of political leaders from developed countries.

3.0 Method

3.1 Operationalization

To investigate the hypotheses, political speeches concerning international relations of six leaders were chosen. Three of the political speeches were of leaders from developed countries and the other three from developing countries. It is beneficial to use political speeches as a material to study values because they play an important role in communicating a country’s effort to bring about understanding for its nation’s ideas, ideals, culture, national goals and current policies (Tuch 1990). Based on the assumption that speeches are like narratives and discourse, political speeches contain the culture and values of a politician’s country. This is supported by Van Dijk (1994) who asserts that analyzing discourse is a way of analyzing culture. Schäffner (1996) adds to this by stating that political speeches are historically and culturally determined because politicians deliver speeches representative of governments, or nations.

In order to keep the variables as constant as possible, only speeches of female political leaders were chosen for this study. There did not seem to be a particular geographic region which had more female political leaders compared to others (Adler 1996). Asia, the Middle East, the Americas, Africa, and Europe all have had female political leaders in the highest position of their governments. The speeches of the six leaders were of Angela Merkel (current Chancellor of Germany), Chandrika Kumaratunga (former President of Sri Lanka), Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (current President of Liberia), Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (former President of the Philippines), Marry McAleese (current President of Ireland), and Tarja Halonen (current President of Finland). These leaders were chosen based on two reasons. First, they held or are holding the most powerful position in their country, which allows their speeches to be publicly accessible. Second, the thematic scopes of their speeches were comparable considering their position as heads of the respective countries.

Among the six leaders, three represented developed countries (Germany, Ireland, and Finland), while the other three represented developing countries (Sri Lanka, Liberia, and the Philippines). Different international development agencies have different groupings of countries (Sumner & Tribe 2008). This study uses the World Bank’s grouping to decide whether a country is either developed or developing. The World Bank (2008), grouped countries based on GNI per capita. Germany, Ireland, and Finland are classified as high income economies and therefore considered developed countries. Sri Lanka and the Philippines are classified as lower middle income economies, while Liberia as a low income economy. Due to this, they are classified as developing countries.

3.2 Sample

A content analysis was conducted on 48 speeches. The speeches were delivered at various different occasions: symposiums, conferences, summits, forums, assembly for an association, bilateral agreement meetings, invitational events, and parliamentary speeches. Also, these speeches were delivered in very diverse locations: France, Germany, Belgium, Japan, Ethiopia, England, Israel, Nepal, Malaysia, Pakistan, the United States of America, Bangladesh, China, Spain, Sweden, Egypt, the Philippines, Greece, Laos, Chile, Liberia, Tanzania, Latvia, Ireland, India, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Luxembourg.

The first criterion set was for the speeches to be in either in English or readily translated into English. The second criterion was that the speeches must be delivered after September 11, 2001. This date was chosen as a cut off point because there is a possibility that due to the terrorist attacks in the United States of America, the usage of language and thematic scope or emphasis would be different when comparing speeches delivered before, and after this date. The third criterion was that the speeches had to be concerning international relations and involved at least one other country. Of all the political leaders chosen, the former President of the Philippines, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo had eight speeches which fulfilled this criterion. This was less than the other leaders. Therefore, eight speeches were chosen for each leader to assure comparability. The speeches of the others were chosen according to length. An average speech contains a rough estimate of 2500 words. Speeches which were closest to the average length were chosen. Most of the speeches were found on the leaders’ presidential, prime ministerial, or chancellor website. Some were also retrieved through Google search.

3.3 Procedure

A codebook was developed containing specific guidelines of how to extract specific information from the speeches. The first part of the codebook described how to extract general information: name of the female political leader, date and day of when the speech was delivered, representation of the speech (i.e. who is the female political leader speaking on behalf of), occasion of the speech (e.g. parliamentary speech, symposium, invitational, etc), location of where the speech took place, and country most affected by the speech (i.e. which entity was the speech directed toward). All these information were found either from the heading, title, or first few paragraphs of the speech. The general information was written on a coding sheet.

After filling in the codes regarding the general information, the actual speech was coded on a number of variables. A speech was first separated into individual sentences. Then, the number of words was counted for each sentence. All words in each sentence were counted. Some words were separated by a hyphen (-), e.g. twenty-five, secretary-general, etc. These were counted as two words. Abbreviations were counted as one word, e.g. UN, NATO, ASEAN, etc. However, when they were mentioned in full, they were counted according to the exact number of words. E.g. North Atlantic Treaty Organization was counted as four words.

A key variable in the coding of speeches was the presence of values. This was based on the definition of value in the codebook. Value was defined as
1) something which guides principles in people’s lives, and 2) aids people to decide what can be considered to be appropriate behavior. The coding of values was based on individual sentences as an individual unit of analysis.

A second key variable in the coding of speeches was Schwartz’s (1992) list of ten values. The coder had to decide which of the values were present in each sentence. This coding decision was independent of prior knowledge concerning the political leader or the incidence discussed in the sentence. Each sentence was read twice by the coder. During this process, the coder refers to the definitions of each value. The definition of each value also provides a list of single values which are associated with the main value. These single values were typed into an online thesaurus (www.thesaurus.com) to obtain a wider range of words which can be associated with the value. All these words were combined into a small booklet or mini dictionary. If a certain word was listed twice with two or more assigned values, the coder had to refer to the definition provided in the codebook. If the coder was unable to make a differentiation, then all the assigned values were coded. If a certain related word was not listed in the mini dictionary, then a word association was done in order to make a connection of that particular word with another word in the list.

Tone was also a variable coded in the speeches. In this study, tone referred to the positivity or negativity of a sentence. This was measured on a scale of 1 to 5 with 1 being very positive, and 5 being very negative. The tone of the sentence was decided from the target object’s point of view. For example: "The government of Ghana has a lot to improve on based on last years’ progress report". The reference point in this case is Ghana. In the case of this sentence, the tone of the sentence is negative because the government of Ghana has underperformed.

3.4 Inter Coder Reliability

In order to assess the reliability of the coding, an inter coder reliability test was conducted between the two coders involved in the study. The coders trained extensively before coding the material for the reliability test. According to Neuendorf (2002), at least ten percent of the sample must be coded by two or more coders to ensure reliability. For this study, 6 speeches (12.5% of the overall sample) were coded by both coders. One speech was selected randomly from each political leader. Inter coder reliability was conducted on tone, presence of value(s) in a sentence, and on the type of values present. According to Landis and Koch (1977), inter coder reliability should be above .60 (Cohen’s Kappa) to indicate a substantial agreement. Overall, this study achieved reasonable inter coder reliability scores. Cohen’s kappa for tone was k = .72 and for presence of value(s) in a sentence was k = .72. The reliability for each of the ten motivational values ranged from k = .75 for the values of hedonism and security to k = .61 for the values of self-direction, universalism, benevolence, and tradition.

4.0 Results

4.1 Presence of Values

Hypotheses 1 (a) and (b) tests value presence between speeches of leaders from developed and developing countries. More specifically, H1(a) predicted that values from the dimensions of openness to change and self-transcendence are more present in speeches of political leaders from developed countries compared to values from other dimensions, while H1(b) predicted that values from the dimension of self-enhancement and conservation are more present in the speeches of political leaders from developing countries compared to values from other dimensions. The results show that the top four values in the speeches from developed countries consisting of N = 2,935 values were: benevolence (30.2%), universalism (28.9%), stimulation (24.2%), and self-direction (22.8%) (see Table 2). Referring to the BHV inventory (see Figure 1), "benevolence" and "universalism" are both within the dimension of self-transcendence, while "stimulation" and "self-direction" are both within the dimension of openness to change.

The top four values in the speeches from developing countries consisting of N = 2,481 values were: stimulation (29.5%), self-direction (28.4%), benevolence (24.5%), and universalism (24.1%) (see Table 2). Referring to the BHV inventory (see Figure 1), "stimulation" and "self- direction" are both within the dimension of openness to change while "benevolence" and "universalism" are both within the dimension of self-transcendence.

Table 2: Presence of Values in the Speeches of Female Political Leaders from Developed and Developing Countries.

Values

Developed (%)

Developing (%)

Pearson χ2

Benevolence

30.20

24.50

22.26***

Universalism

28.90

24.10

15.49***

Self-Direction

22.80

28.40

21.86***

Stimulation

24.20

29.50

19.43***

Hedonism

.20

.30

.34

Achievement

18.70

18.20

.24

Power

.60

1.00

2.17

Security

1.80

5.20

46.81***

Conformity

1.70

2.50

5.02*

Tradition

2.90

2.90

.01

 

N = 2935

N = 2481

 

Note: The percentages are representative of the frequency that each value is present in the speeches. For example: "Power" is 0.60% present among all the other values present in the sentences of developed countries. This means 99.40% of the time, "power" is not present among all the other values in the sentences of developed countries. * p<.05, *** p < .001.

Although the top four values were the same for both developed and developing countries, Pearson Chi Square tests showed significant differences. Leaders from developed countries more frequently used the values of benevolence (30.2% versus 24.50%), χ2(1, N = 5416) = 22.26, p < .001, and universalism (28.9% versus 24.1%), χ2 (1, N = 5,416) = 15.49, p < .001. Meanwhile, leaders from developing countries more frequently used the values of stimulation (29.5% versus 24.2%), χ2 (1, N = 5,416) = 19.43, p < .001, and self-direction (28.4% versus 22.8%), χ2 (1, N = 5,416) = 21.86, p < .001 (see table 2).

Some values were generally less present in the speeches. However, Pearson Chi Square tests showed significant differences. Leaders from developing countries more frequently used the values of conformity (2.5% versus 1.7%), χ2 (1, N = 5,416) = 5.02, p<.05, and security (5.2% versus 1.8%), χ2 (1, N = 5,416) = 46.81, p<.001. Referring to the BHV inventory (see Figure 1) "conformity" and "security" are within the dimension of conservation.

Overall, results from the analysis show a significant difference in the presence of values used in speeches of leaders from developed and developing countries. Values from the dimensions of openness to change and self-transcendence are more present in speeches of political leaders from developed countries compared to values from other dimensions. Therefore, H1(a) was supported. Meanwhile, values from the dimensions of self-enhancement and conservation were not more present in speeches of political leaders from developing countries compared to values from other dimensions. Hence, H1(b) was not supported.

4.2 Tones of Values

Hypothesis 2 (a) and (b) tests the tones attached to words expressing the values between speeches of leaders from developed and developing countries. More specifically, H2(a) predicted that speeches of political leaders from developed countries incorporate values from the dimension of openness to change in a more positive tone compared to speeches of political leaders from developing countries while H2(b) predicted that speeches of political leaders from developing countries incorporate values from the dimension of self-enhancement in a more positive tone compared to speeches of political leaders from developed countries.

An independent sample t test showed that the tone attached to words expressing "self- direction" was more positive in speeches from developed countries (M = 1.70, SD = .80) compared to developing countries (M = 1.58, SD = .96), t(706) = 1.80, p < .10. The result yielded tentative support for the prediction of H2 (a). Also, the tone attached to words expressing "stimulation" was neutral (both positive and negative tones are present in the sentence at equal amount) in speeches from developed countries (M = .00, SD = 1.67), and more negative for speeches from developing countries (M = -.53, SD = 1.63), t(983) = 5.05,p < .001 (see table 3). Overall, H2 (a) was supported.

The independent t test also showed that the tone attached to words expressing "power" was more positive in speeches from developed countries (M = 2.00, SD = 1.43) compared to developing countries (M = 1.43, SD = .98). However, this difference was not significant, t(6) = 1.55, p>.05. Therefore, the result was not consistent with the prediction of H2 (b). The tone attached to words expressing "achievement" was more positive in speeches from developing countries (M = 1.95, SD = .29) compared to developed countries (M = 1.89, SD = .46), t(592) =
-2.02, p < .05) (see Table 3). This result yielded support for the prediction of H2 (b). Overall, H2 (b) was partially supported.

Table 3: Tone for Values in Speeches of Female Political Leaders from Developed and Developing Countries.

Values

Developed

M

Developing

M

t

df

Benevolence

1.72

(.81)

1.57

(1.13)

.88

82

Universalism

1.83

(.78)

1.74

(.71)

.62

122

Self-Direction

1.70

(.80)

1.58

(.96)

1.82

706

Stimulation

.00

(1.67)

-.53

(1.63)

5.05***

983

Hedonism

1.33

(1.15)

2.00

(.00)

-1.00

2

Achievement

1.89

(.46)

1.95

(.29)

-2.02*

592

Power

2.00

(.00)

1.43

(.98)

1.55

6

Security

-.36

(1.75)

.15

(1.64)

-.86

35

Conformity

2.00

(.00)

1.77

(.81)

1.68

34

Tradition

1.42

(1.27)

1.65

(.92

-.88

84

Note. N = 2813. Standard deviations appear in parentheses below means. These results are based on the condition that only one value is present per sentence.

p<.10, * p<.05, *** p < .001.

5.0 Discussion

This study aimed to discover differences or similarities in the use of values between speeches of political leaders from developed and developing countries. We discovered that there are similarities in the value presence of benevolence, universalism, stimulation, self-direction, and achievement. This supports the study of Schwartz and Bardi (2001), which found that certain values are consistently more important than others across societies. Therefore, similarities exist between cultures for certain values because values represent universal requirements of human existence (Schwartz 1992; Schwartz & Bilsky 1987).

Our finding does not support those of Schwartz and Saggie (2000) which states that development correlates negatively with values in the dimensions of conservation and self- enhancement. In other words, values in these dimensions are typically associated with developing countries. Instead, we found that values from the dimensions of openness to change and self-transcendence (values typically for developed countries) were more present in speeches from developing countries. This could be explained with modernization theory which claims that as societies industrialize and develop economically, similar institutional features emerge (Inkeles 1975; Levy 1966; Meyer, Boli-Bennet, & Chase Dunn 1975; Yang 1988). Societies become modern by incorporating values from institutions of industrialized societies into their value systems.

Although there were similarities in the presence of values, their rank order differed. Values in the dimension of self-transcendence were found to be most present in speeches from developed countries while values from the dimension of openness to change were most present in speeches from developing countries. "Security" and "conformity", both of which are from the dimension of conservation, were significantly more present in speeches from developing countries. This implies that although values from the dimension of conservation were not used very often in neither developed nor developing countries, they were more present in speeches from the latter.

As predicted, there were differences in tones attached to words expressing the values. "Stimulation" was used in a less negative tone in speeches from developed countries. On the other hand, "achievement" was used in a more positive tone in speeches from developing countries. A likely explanation for this is, although developed and developing countries are concerned about cooperation to make their respective regions better places to live in, the challenges are probably more severe for people in developing countries due to lack of funding, expertise, etc (Lustig & Mc Leod 1997).

The definition of "achievement" implies that the greater the challenge, the greater the sense of achievement (see Table 1). This explains why leaders from developing countries use "stimulation" in a more negative tone compared to leaders from developed countries. Developing countries encounter so much hardship (Lustig & Mc Leod 1997), that many setbacks are encountered while trying to make improvements, thus, causing them to express the value of stimulation in a more negative tone.

This study has extended and contributed to the theory of BHV in several ways. First, this study differs from previous studies because it is based on a content analysis of political speeches, whereas previous studies used surveys in organizational settings. Thus, Schwartz’s (1992) BHV can also be applied to a different research method and in a different context. Second, the presence of values in speeches from developing countries seems to have deviated from the predictions of previous research. Contrary to expectation, the values in speeches from developing countries are similar to those from developed countries. This could provide some interesting insights for BHV. Overall when combining the results (presence of values and tones of values), this study suggests that while there are both similarities and differences in values between speeches from developed and developing countries, there are more differences than similarities.

5.1 Limitations

There were several technical challenges faced during the coding process of this study. First, due to separating each speech into single sentences in the coding procedure, the contexts of the sentences were lost. However, this could not be avoided because it would be difficult or too subjective to come up with a definition of a sentence according to the context of the sentences. Second, some presidential websites provide speeches which have been translated from the original language into English. There is a possibility that the meaning of the sentences were lost in translation. Third, there are certain contexts which were difficult to code. This includes sentences with humor, sarcasm, criticism, advice, stories from the past, and rhetorical questions. Fourth, there is an unavoidable subjectivity when coding values in speeches because there are bound to be differences in coders’ perceptions towards the values and tones in the sentences. This make values in speeches difficult to code. Furthermore, guidelines and examples concerning the coding of values in speeches are scarce since most studies concerning BHV were conducted by using surveys in organizations. Fifth, the theme of the speeches and the number of speeches found for each political leader were also limitations to this study. It proved to be a challenge to find speech banks with English speeches concerning international relations. Finally, the choices of countries might give an impression that this paper compares values from "western" and "non western" countries instead of values from developed and developing countries. However, in the grand scheme of things, the choice of countries is very close replication of the real world. Most (but not all) developed countries are "western" countries while most (but not all) developing countries are "non western" (see World Bank List of Economies 2010).

Besides technical challenges, it is also important to note that the N for the values of power and hedonism were much smaller compared to the N of other values. One possible explanation to this is that these two values typically have negative connotations to them. Seeing how the chosen speeches were on international relations, the politicians might have minimized talking about anything hedonistic or power related. In addition, it is also difficult to decide whether these values are generally scarce in speeches or just in these 48 speeches. Their low presence causes inaccuracies when drawing conclusions of whether there are significant differences in these values between the two cultures.

Despite the limitations, this present study yields support for BHV. It was found that there were baseline similarities between speeches from developed and developing countries. Although there were similarities, cultural differences were also evident. While the notion of difference supports previous studies on the theory of BHV (Schwartz & Bardi 1997; Schwartz & Saggie 2000), it is not typical for the values in the dimensions of openness to change and self- transcendence to be most present in speeches from developing countries. There were also differences in the tone of how certain values were expressed.

There are several ways of expanding this research in the future. First, since it was difficult to find speech banks in English, in the future a content analysis on political speeches in other languages should be conducted. Second, it would be better to have more leaders from different countries for comparison. Third, different themes of speeches such as election campaign and inauguration speeches would also be interesting to study. Also, it would be interesting to investigate values that are highlighted in the news coverage of political speeches. By this, a comparison can be made between the values in speeches and the values in news coverage of speeches. This can show how journalists select information from political speeches for news reporting.

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About the Authors

Moniza Waheed is a Ph.D. candidate at the Amsterdam School of Communication research. Teaching Public Speaking to undergraduate students from different cultural backgrounds at Western Illinois University during her M.A. program sparked her interest in studying speeches. Her Ph.D. research focuses on comparing developed and developing countries in terms of values in speeches and news coverage.

Andreas Schuck is an Assistant Professor in Political Communication at the Department of Communication Science at the University of Amsterdam.  He obtained his Ph.D. degree in Political Communication from the University of Amsterdam. His research focuses on public opinion dynamics during election campaigns, electoral mobilization, public support for EU integration, and the news media

Claes H. de Vreese is Professor and Chair of Political Communication and Scientific Director of The Amsterdam School of Communication Research at the Department of Communication Science at the University of Amsterdam. His research interests include comparative journalism research, the effects of news, public opinion and European integration, effects of information and campaigning on elections, referendums and direct democracy

Peter Neijens is Dean of the Graduate School of Communication and Full Professor of Persuasive Communication at The Amsterdam School of Communication Research at the Communication Science Department of the University of Amsterdam. His research interests include media and advertising, public information campaigns, public opinion, political communication and research methods

Authors’ Address

Moniza Waheed, Andreas Schuck, Claes deVreese, Peter Neijens
Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR)
Kloveniersburgwal 48
1012 CX Amsterdam
The Netherlands
e-mails:
M.Waheed@uva.nl
A.R.T.Schuck@uva.nl
C.H.devreese@uva.nl
P.C.Neijens@uva.nl


Journal of Intercultural Communication, ISSN 1404-1634, issue 26, July 2011.
URL: http://www.immi.se/intercultural/.