Values Work Paper Update

My paper with Linda Treviño and Raghu Garud on “Values Work: A Process Study of the Emergence and Performance of Organizational Values Practices” is due to be published any day now. In what we hope were the penultimate page proofs, the full citation was listed as:

Gehman, Joel, Linda K. Treviño, and Raghu Garud. 2013. Values Work: A Process Study of the Emergence and Performance of Organizational Values Practices. Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 56, No. 1, 84–112. doi: 10.5465/amj.2010.0628.

In the paper we combine actor network theory with practice theory to study the emergence and performance of organizational values practices. Specifically, we study the development of an honor code within a large business school over a 10-year period. As with codes of conduct more generally, honor codes are designed to deter dishonesty and to promote integrity and honor. A brief summary is available here.

The paper has been a “Top 10 Recent Download” at SSRN multiple times and in multiple categories (here, here, here, here and here). This week, I received notice that it was now also among the Top 10 Downloads of all time (January 2, 1997 to March 4, 2013) in the Journal of Psychology of Innovation eJournal.

Values Work Paper a Top 10 Download Again

A couple weeks ago I mentioned that my paper with Linda Treviño and Raghu Garud on “Values Work: A Process Study of the Emergence and Performance of Organizational Values Practices” was accepted for publication in the Academy of Management Journal.

This week I learned that the paper was listed as an SSRN Top Ten download for the second time. This time the paper was ranked as a Top Ten download in 23 different categories:

  1. Change Management & Organizational Behavior eJournal Top Ten
  2. Change Management Strategy eJournal Top Ten
  3. CSR & Management Practice eJournal Top Ten
  4. Cultural Dimensions & Organizational Behavior eJournal Top Ten
  5. Individual Issues & Organizational Behavior eJournal Top Ten
  6. Internal Communications & Organizational Behavior eJournal Top Ten
  7. Leadership & Organizational Behavior eJournal Top Ten
  8. MRN Professional & Practitioner Paper Series Top Ten
  9. ORG: Cultural Change Management (Topic) Top Ten
  10. ORG: Culture & Communications (Topic) Top Ten
  11. ORG: Ethics & Culture (Topic) Top Ten
  12. ORG: Ethics & Power (Topic) Top Ten
  13. ORG: Ethics in Communications (Topic) Top Ten
  14. ORG: External Communities & Organizational Behavior (Topic) Top Ten
  15. ORG: Other Organizational Behavior & Key Stakeholders (Topic) Top Ten
  16. ORG: Strategy & Corporate Culture (Topic) Top Ten
  17. ORG: Values-Based Leadership (Topic) Top Ten
  18. ORG: Values, Attitude, & Perception (Topic) Top Ten
  19. POL: Cultural-Cognitive Change Management Strategies (Topic) Top Ten
  20. POL: Moral & Ethical Practices (Topic) Top Ten
  21. POL: Other Strategy & Microeconomic Policy (Topic) Top Ten
  22. SRPN: Codes of Conduct (Topic) Top Ten
  23. Strategy & Organizational Behavior eJournal Top Ten

The paper was also the subject of a post on Wayne Eastman’s Value Competition blog.

Values Work Paper a Top 10 Download

Last week I mentioned that my paper with Linda Treviño and Raghu Garud on “Values Work: A Process Study of the Emergence and Performance of Organizational Values Practices” has been accepted for publication at the Academy of Management Journal.

Today I learned that the paper was listed on SSRN’s Top Ten download list in the Sustainability Research & Policy Network within the Codes of Conduct topic area.

In the paper we combine actor network theory with practice theory to study the emergence and performance of organizational values practices. Specifically, we study the development of an honor code within a large business school over a 10-year period. As with codes of conduct more generally, honor codes are designed to deter dishonesty and to promote integrity and honor (McCabe, Treviño, & Butterfield, 1999).

Traditionally, honor codes have encompassed a bundle of values practices, such as: (a) a signed pledge affirming that students have done their assignments honestly; (b) sanctions that are determined by a student judiciary panel; (c) examinations that are administered without proctors; and (d) expectations that students will report on their peers if they observe them cheating (Melendez, 1985).

Values Work Paper Accepted

I’m pleased to report that my paper with Linda Treviño and Raghu Garud on Values Work: A Process Study of the Emergence and Performance of Organizational Values Practices has been formally accepted for publication at the Academy of Management Journal. The paper has been a long time in the making and I couldn’t be more pleased with the final outcome.

In the paper we argue that existing cognitive and cultural perspectives on values have under-theorized the processes whereby values come to be practiced in organizations. We then address this gap by studying the emergence and performance of what we call values practices, defined as sayings and doings in organizations to articulate and accomplish what is normatively right or wrong, good or bad, for its own sake.

In other words, we conceive of values practices as ends in themselves, and thus, analytically distinct from organizational practices driven by technical or efficiency considerations. Examples of values practices include efforts to address normative concerns in areas such as ethics, diversity and sustainability, among others.

To understand values practices, we draw inspiration from scholars who have combined a practice perspective with insights from actor-network theory as a way of generating new theoretical insights. This approach enables us to move from cognitive understandings of values as abstract principles and cultural understandings of values as symbolic artifacts to a performative understanding of values as situated in networks of practices.

We apply this perspective to study the development of an honor code within a large business school over a 10-year period. Based on our analysis, we offer the concept of values work comprising four key interrelated processes – dealing with pockets of concern, knotting local concerns into action networks, performing values practices, and circulating values discourse. These processes are depicted in the figure below.

Taken together, these insights contribute to an understanding of the work involved in the emergence and performance of organizational values practices as well as the work that values practices perform and provoke in organizations. We conclude the paper by discussing some of the opportunities and challenges that values work implies for future organizational scholarship.