Integrating social values with other value dimensions: parallel use vs. combination vs. full integration

Author(s): Kronenberg, J., Andersson, E.
In: Sustain Sci.
Year: 2019
Type: Journal / article
Theme affiliation: Landscapes, Stewardship, Transformations
Link to centre authors: Andersson, Erik
Full reference: Kronenberg, J., Andersson, E. 2019. Integrating social values with other value dimensions: parallel use vs. combination vs. full integration. Sustain Sci.


The need to link different valuation methods, especially beyond disciplinary realms, has been discussed at least since the 1990s, and recently it has gained special attention. In the present contribution to this debate, we analyse the prospects for integrating different valuation methods representing three areas of disciplinary knowledge or value dimensions: social, monetary and ecological. We present a framework building on two key factors deciding the integration potential: logical commensurability of values, and technical compatibility of valuation methods. Using this framework, we analyse the integration potential in the case of social and monetary, and social and ecological valuation methods, along with the relevant empirical examples. Our conceptualization of social values refers principally to contextual values and value indicators. Our analysis shows that there is untapped potential for co-developing methods specifically to obtain more specific, integrated results. If full integration is not meaningful, the combination of different valuation methods can still support the analysis and interpretation of those methods’ results. At the very least, parallel use of the different valuation methods produces a more comprehensive picture than using any of those methods alone. In conclusion, integrated valuation gives a nuanced picture of what is valued, but even parallel use of valuation methods is useful in highlighting the different perspectives on what is valuable and why.


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