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Values in organizations: difficult to understand, impossible to internalize?

Merita Mattila (Senior Lecturer at the Lappeenranta School of Business (Management and Organizations), Lappeenranta University of Technology, Lappeenranta, Finland.)

Social Responsibility Journal

ISSN: 1747-1117

Article publication date: 7 March 2008




This paper aims to study personnel perceptions about value processing in three case organizations in the Finnish context, especially management's role in organizational change where values are considered.


The research follows the methodology of the case study approach to tackle the research theme. The data include interviews from multiple (managerial) hierarchical levels, from top management to local levels (in top management and at the local level) in the case companies. The interviews are analyzed by content analysis.


The paper provides information about personnel perceptions in organizational value processes, especially the management's and organizational culture's role, in this kind of change process, as well as the individual's own role and responsibilities as an employee.

Research limitations/implications

The research reported is not exhaustive and was done in the Finnish context, which may reduce its applicability to other, especially non‐European, countries.

Practical implications

The paper represents a very useful source of information and practical advice for companies encountering changes where organizational values are processed.


This paper fulfils the growing need for information about value management and value processing in organizations, and offers practical help to individuals working among these themes in their organizations.



Mattila, M. (2008), "Values in organizations: difficult to understand, impossible to internalize?", Social Responsibility Journal, Vol. 4 No. 1/2, pp. 24-33.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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