Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the importance of work values in Jordan; as well as to demonstrate empirically, the nature of work values. Design/methodology/approach – The study reported in this paper tested the factor structure of work values among a group of 493 employees in Jordanian organizations using exploratory factor analysis and confirmatory factor analysis. Findings – The results established a three-factor solution (job accomplishment, work nature, and job advancement) which was found to be appropriate to test employees’ work values. The results from this study revealed interesting relationships between organizational variables (sector and type of business) and work values. The findings also demonstrated a significant relationship between demographic variables (educational background and work experience) and work values. Research limitations/implications – The research surveyed frontline employees in the Jordanian organizations. Further research is required to confirm the generalizability of the findings in other Middle Eastern countries. Importantly, results suggest that caution should be exercised in different contexts, job levels, and sub-cultural settings. Originality/value – The work-values construct represents a little-researched area of recent times and even less so in Islamic countries. The findings of the study offer new perspectives on the work values in the Middle Eastern settings and support the overall validity of the nomological network of work value factors.