@ yohannbiimu The first half of your comment makes a good point. But then, there are other kinds of values, not just "economic value". What a person holds to be (thinks is) valuable, defines his "values". This is a real concept and can apply to many different kinds of things and ideas. What Dilbert wants to be going on about is the use of the idea of "corporate values" in employee motivation. It was used honestly and successfully with things like, "Employee empowerment is one of our corporate values", but only where management actually practiced what they were saying...not where Dilbert works.
I sort of disagree with Adams here, because children do not operate or "believe" in values, as I understand "values." I follow iangpacker's differentiating "values" with virtues, and as such children don't even know what a value is--they simply follow what is "right" (proper familiar and community standards) and what is "wrong" (what is not tolerated by familiar and community standards).
Indeed, the value of something is an economic concept, and children rarely understand such abstract concepts. Therefore, Dilbert's reply to PHB should have been "Values are a type of emotional illusion common to idiots, public servants, and non-engineers."
Values like "honesty" "comradeship"...
These are virtues, not 'values'. 'Values' has become the vague and rather insipid way we refer to . Because 'these are my values' and 'those are your values', they become unassailable. to criticise 'my values' becomes a criticism of my choices. They become 'lifestyle preferences'.
The idea of 'values' came from the attempt to merge ethics and economics into a single theory. Take away the (unexamined) word and some folk would barely know how to talk about ethical realities.
Dilbert is right on the money.
To be sceptical about the idea of 'values' is not (necessarily) to be sceptical about ethics or moral life.