‘Making a Difference’: The Performative Role of Values in the Constitution of Organizations

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


This study provides an overview of the current literature of organizational values and offers a research agenda for the future investigation of values from a performative perspective. The article encourages methodological pluralism by indicating ways of studying how organizational values exhibit both ordering and disordering agency, and how the same value can have different modes of manifestation (espoused, attributed, shared, and/or aspirational, negotiated, and/or embodied/embodying). By drawing on ethnographic methods and a study of a cooperative organization, the paper makes a twofold contribution to management and organization studies. Namely, the findings show that: a) values have ordering properties, since they foster identification and collective action when invoked by managers in day-to-day work; and b) values have disordering properties (generating tensions, resistance and discursive struggles) when these position people to speak on their behalf.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)856-881
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes

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