Values in action: a review, a case and a research agenda

Stephen Gibb, Calvin Burns

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Organisation values are a well established feature of many organisations. The main theoretical focus for values work has been through Person-Organisation (P-O) fit theory. We believe that it is necessary to study Values in Action (VIA) more broadly, not solely to frame and enable an analysis of P-O fit. There are two key questions about VIA that are asked and explored in this paper. First, why is there apparently a greater and more prominent focus on values, and subsequently VIA, in work organisations? Second, what are the research agenda and challenges of mapping and measuring VIA in work organisations? The latter question is explored here both by presenting a case study of a practical investigation into VIA in a hospital, and by considering the literature on the methods available for studying organisation values. The evolution to prominence of VIA can be explained as part of the evolution of management control in changing work organisations, designed to sustain traditional relations in employment. Alternatively the evolution to prominence of VIA may be understood as embodying the opposite, a change and a shift to heterarchical rather than hierarchical relations, principles and modes of organisation. The methodological challenges of measuring VIA in work organisations are also split between those who advocate the adoption of standard factor analysis and on the other hand those who advocate an appreciative inquiry approach.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication15th International Conference on Human Resource Development Theory and Practice Across Europe
Subtitle of host publicationHRD: Reflecting Upon the Past, Shaping the Future
EditorsDavid McGuire, Thomas N. Garavan
Place of PublicationEdinburgh
PublisherEdinburgh Napier University
Pages75-75
Number of pages1
ISBN (Print)9781908225016
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Event15th International Conference on Human Resource Development Theory and Practice Across Europe: HRD: Reflecting Upon the Past, Shaping the Future - Napier University, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 4 Jun 20146 Jun 2014

Conference

Conference15th International Conference on Human Resource Development Theory and Practice Across Europe
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityEdinburgh
Period4/06/146/06/14

Fingerprint

Values
organization theory
human being
factor analysis
management

Cite this

Gibb, S., & Burns, C. (2014). Values in action: a review, a case and a research agenda. In D. McGuire, & T. N. Garavan (Eds.), 15th International Conference on Human Resource Development Theory and Practice Across Europe: HRD: Reflecting Upon the Past, Shaping the Future (pp. 75-75). Edinburgh: Edinburgh Napier University.
Gibb, Stephen ; Burns, Calvin. / Values in action : a review, a case and a research agenda. 15th International Conference on Human Resource Development Theory and Practice Across Europe: HRD: Reflecting Upon the Past, Shaping the Future. editor / David McGuire ; Thomas N. Garavan. Edinburgh : Edinburgh Napier University, 2014. pp. 75-75
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Gibb, S & Burns, C 2014, Values in action: a review, a case and a research agenda. in D McGuire & TN Garavan (eds), 15th International Conference on Human Resource Development Theory and Practice Across Europe: HRD: Reflecting Upon the Past, Shaping the Future. Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh, pp. 75-75, 15th International Conference on Human Resource Development Theory and Practice Across Europe, Edinburgh, United Kingdom, 4/06/14.

Values in action : a review, a case and a research agenda. / Gibb, Stephen; Burns, Calvin.

15th International Conference on Human Resource Development Theory and Practice Across Europe: HRD: Reflecting Upon the Past, Shaping the Future. ed. / David McGuire; Thomas N. Garavan. Edinburgh : Edinburgh Napier University, 2014. p. 75-75.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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AB - Organisation values are a well established feature of many organisations. The main theoretical focus for values work has been through Person-Organisation (P-O) fit theory. We believe that it is necessary to study Values in Action (VIA) more broadly, not solely to frame and enable an analysis of P-O fit. There are two key questions about VIA that are asked and explored in this paper. First, why is there apparently a greater and more prominent focus on values, and subsequently VIA, in work organisations? Second, what are the research agenda and challenges of mapping and measuring VIA in work organisations? The latter question is explored here both by presenting a case study of a practical investigation into VIA in a hospital, and by considering the literature on the methods available for studying organisation values. The evolution to prominence of VIA can be explained as part of the evolution of management control in changing work organisations, designed to sustain traditional relations in employment. Alternatively the evolution to prominence of VIA may be understood as embodying the opposite, a change and a shift to heterarchical rather than hierarchical relations, principles and modes of organisation. The methodological challenges of measuring VIA in work organisations are also split between those who advocate the adoption of standard factor analysis and on the other hand those who advocate an appreciative inquiry approach.

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Gibb S, Burns C. Values in action: a review, a case and a research agenda. In McGuire D, Garavan TN, editors, 15th International Conference on Human Resource Development Theory and Practice Across Europe: HRD: Reflecting Upon the Past, Shaping the Future. Edinburgh: Edinburgh Napier University. 2014. p. 75-75