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  • Book
  • Open Access
  • © 2020

Understanding Values Work

Institutional Perspectives in Organizations and Leadership

Palgrave Macmillan
  • Reflects the growing interest in values as an up and coming concept in organization and leadership studies

  • Offers a conceptual alternative to more rational governance and management approaches

  • Contributes to learning with the provision of case studies

  • Examines the trajectory of values within sociology in order to analyze its application as a key concept in institutional theory

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 23.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 31.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)

Table of contents (14 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xvii
  2. Understanding Values Work in Organisations and Leadership

    • Harald Askeland, Gry Espedal, Beate Jelstad Løvaas, Stephen Sirris
    Pages 1-12Open Access
  3. Understanding Values, Values Work and Complex Institutional Contexts

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 13-13
  4. Who Performs Values Work?

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 79-79
    2. Foxes and Lions: How Institutional Leaders Keep Organisational Integrity and Introduce Change

      • Marta Struminska-Kutra, Harald Askeland
      Pages 117-138Open Access
    3. Women’s Path to Leadership Through Values Work in a Context of Conflict and Violence

      • Ellen Vea Rosnes, Terese Bue Kessel, Jolly Namwesi Kanywenge
      Pages 159-177Open Access
  5. How Is Values Work Performed?

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 179-179
    2. The Art of Making Sense of Volunteering

      • Johan von Essen
      Pages 245-264Open Access
    3. The Value of Group Reflection

      • Beate Jelstad Løvaas, Gry Bruland Vråle
      Pages 265-283Open Access
  6. Back Matter

    Pages 285-296

About this book

At the core of institutional theories, ‘values’ is a central term and figures in most definitions; however it remains understudied and under-explored. The editors of this open access book identify a resurgence of interest in the values-construct which underpins discussions of identity, ‘ethos’ and the purpose/nature of public and civic welfare provision. Considering the importance of values and values work to social, material and symbolic work in organizations, individual chapters explore values work as performed in organizations and by leaders.

Focusing on practices of values work, the book applies and combines different theoretical lenses exemplified by the integration of institutional perspectives with micro-level perspectives and approaches.


  • Institutional Work
  • Institutional Logics
  • Hybrid Organization and Management
  • Institutional Leadership
  • Public Values
  • Open Access

Editors and Affiliations

  • VID Specialized University, Oslo, Norway

    Harald Askeland, Gry Espedal, Beate Jelstad Løvaas, Stephen Sirris

About the editors

Harald Askeland is Professor of Organization and Management at VID Specialized University, Norway. His research interests span issues such as reform implementation, change management, leadership roles, and managerial work. He has edited books on leadership and values-based leadership and published articles in both national and international journals. 

Gry Espedal is Associate Professor at VID Specialized University, and holds a Master of Management. She researches values work in institutions and processes of institutionalization in organizations pressured by changing macro-contexts. She has published articles and books within values-based leadership, authentic leadership, values work, coaching and solution-focused approach. 

Beate Jelstad Løvaas is Associate Professor at VID Specialized University. She has published in national and international journals. Her current research interests include relational leadership, meaningful work and motivation, and the role of values in nonprofit organizations, and in the public and private sector. 

Stephen Sirris is Associate Professor and Head of the Master’s programme in Values-based leadership and Centre of Values-based Leadership and innovation at VID Specialized University, Oslo. He has published on leadership and organization in the third sector with an emphasis on religious organizations, volunteers, professionals and the role of values.

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Understanding Values Work

  • Book Subtitle: Institutional Perspectives in Organizations and Leadership

  • Editors: Harald Askeland, Gry Espedal, Beate Jelstad Løvaas, Stephen Sirris

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Cham

  • eBook Packages: Business and Management, Business and Management (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2020

  • License: CC BY

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-030-37747-2Published: 15 February 2020

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-030-37750-2Published: 18 September 2020

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-030-37748-9Published: 14 February 2020

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XVII, 296

  • Number of Illustrations: 1 b/w illustrations, 5 illustrations in colour

  • Topics: Organization, Business Strategy and Leadership

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 23.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 31.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)