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Organisational Values In The Framework Of Critical Incidents: What Accounts For Values-Based Solutions?


Author Info

  • Krista Jaakson
  • Anne Reino
  • Maaja Vadi


According to different estimations, nearly 50% of organisations have defined their core values in the wake of their leaders’ declaration that they would treat values as their primary guide in daily activities. In this article we argue that managing values might in reality be far more complex. Based on 98 cases, this paper brings forth the most common practices that account for either alignment or discrepancies between the outcomes of everyday work situations and the sets of organisational values. Our study reveals a host of reasons explaining consistent behaviour as well as misalignment. The results suggest that, regardless of the type of critical incidents, the cases where solutions to particular incidents did not call for violation of organisational values were typically associated with the managerial level of judgement and, accordingly, commitment from the top. Employees’ commitment to values also plays a significant role, but contradictory organisational values or ill-defined allocation of resources may severely distort it.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, University of Tartu (Estonia) in its series University of Tartu - Faculty of Economics and Business Administration Working Paper Series with number 29.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mtk:febawb:29

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Keywords: organisational values; managing values;

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  1. Pater, Alberic & Van Gils, Anita, 2003. "Stimulating Ethical Decision-making in a Business Context:: Effects of Ethical and Professional Codes," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 762-772, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Krista Jaakson, 2006. "Exploring university core values with the critical incident technique: an example of students’ perceptions at the University of Tartu," University of Tartu - Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, in: National and international aspects of organizational culture, volume 24, chapter 2, pages 49-85 Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, University of Tartu (Estonia).
  2. Anne Reino & Elina Tolmats & Pille Mõtsmees, 2006. "Critical issues in organizational culture formation: a case study of Estonian companies in the energy sector," University of Tartu - Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, University of Tartu (Estonia).


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