The value of values for institutional analysis

Matthew S. Kraatz, Ricardo Flores, David Chandler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although values were once the central focus of institutional scholarship, they occupy a marginal position in the contemporary literature. Viewing this situation as both a significant problem and a latent opportunity, our paper seeks to stimulate change by pursuing three broad aims. The first is to present an integrative review of the institutional and sociological literatures on values. This review addresses basic questions about values’ nature, origins, and functions, and uncovers many latent connections between these currently separate bodies of research. Drawing on this literature review, our second aim is to elaborate the “value of values” for institutional analysis. Specifically, we will suggest that a renewed focus on values can (a) enhance our understanding of institutions and their human inhabitants and (b) increase the moral and practical relevance of institutional scholarship. Our third aim is to sketch out a preliminary agenda for future research. Although we stress that values can be incorporated into contemporary research in many different ways, our main focus is on promoting research that gives renewed attention to the enduring problems that were at the heart of early institutional scholarship.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)474-512
Number of pages39
JournalAcademy of Management Annals
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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