In its positive sense, recommendation to make a value judgment is an admonition to consider carefully, to avoid whim and impetuousness, and search for consonance with one's deeper convictions.
In its disparaging sense the term value judgment implies a conclusion is insular, one-sided, and not objective — contrasting with judgments based upon deliberation, balance and rationality.
Value judgment also can refer to a tentative judgment based on a considered appraisal of the information at hand, taken to be incomplete and evolving, for example, a value judgment on whether to launch a military attack, or as to procedure in a medical emergency. In this case the quality of judgment suffers because the information available is incomplete as a result of exigency, rather than as a result of cultural or personal limitations.
Most commonly the term value judgment refers to an individual's opinion. Of course, the individual's opinion is formed to a degree by their belief system, and the culture to which they belong. So a natural extension of the term value judgment is to include declarations seen one way from one value system, but which may be seen differently from another. Conceptually this extension of definition is related both to the anthropological axiom "cultural relativism" (that is, that cultural meaning derives from a context) and to the term "moral relativism" (that is, that moral and ethical propositions are not universal truths, but stem from cultural context). In the pejorative sense, a value judgment formed within a specific value system may be parochial, and may be subject to dispute in a wider audience.
Some argue that true objectivity is impossible, that even the most rigorous rational analysis is founded on the set of values accepted in the course of analysis. See Free On-Line Dictionary of Philosophy Consequently, all conclusions are necessarily value judgments (and therefore maybe suspect). Of course, putting all conclusions in one category does nothing to distinguish between them, and is therefore a useless descriptor except as a rhetorical device intended to discredit a position claiming higher authority.
As an example of a more nuanced view, scientific "truths" are considered objective, but are held tentatively, with the understanding that more careful evidence and/or wider experience might change matters. Further, a scientific view (in the sense of a conclusion based upon a value system) is a value judgment based upon rigorous evaluation and wide consensus. With this example in mind, characterizing a view as a value judgment is vague without description of the context surrounding it.
However, as noted in the first segment of this article, in common usage the term value judgment has a much simpler meaning with context simply implied, not specified.