Values Work Paper Cited by Phillips and Lawrence

In their recent Strategic Organization paper — The Turn to Work in Organization and Management Theory: Some Implications for Strategic Organization — co-authors Nelson Phillips of Imperial College and Tom Lawrence of Simon Fraser University identified 15 distinct forms of “work” being researched in organization and management theory.

In addition to well known topics such as institutional work, boundary work and identity work, Phillips and Lawrence singled out values work as well. Building on our forthcoming Academy of Management Journal paper, they define values work as “the activities that are carried out by actors whereby values come to be practiced in organizations.”

Later in the paper they write: “Values work, for instance, undoubtedly involves recognizable sets of practices, but what makes it values work is its focus on affecting organizational values by ‘dealing with pockets of concern, knotting local concerns into action networks, performing values practices, and circulating values discourse’ (Gehman et al., in press).”