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Searching for Values in Practice-Driven Institutionalism: Practice Theory, Institutional Logics, and Values Work

On Practice and Institution: Theorizing the Interface

ISBN: 978-1-80043-413-4, eISBN: 978-1-80043-412-7

ISSN: 0733-558X

Publication date: 12 January 2021


Drawing on close readings of Schatzki and Friedland, this paper explores the nexus of practice, logics, and values, and especially the implications of practice-driven institutionalism for the concept of values and vice versa. In essence, the article searches for values in practice-driven institutionalism and articulates how they might be found, deploying practice theory, institutional logics, and values work as guides. The article’s core argument is that both practice theory and institutional logics ascribe an important conceptual role to values, but neither has developed a theory of values that is wholly compatible with the onto-epistemological commitments of practice-driven institutionalism. The article introduces burgeoning scholarship on values work and argues that this approach offers a bridge between practice theory and institutional theory and, by extension, provides conceptual resources and an important research lacuna for those interested in practice-driven institutionalism.




A preliminary version of this paper was presented at the “Towards a Practice-Driven Institutionalism: Exploring the Interface of Practice Theory and the Institutional Logics Perspective” workshop, hosted at the University of Alberta School of Business, December 10, 2018. I thank Michael Lounsbury, both for provoking me to commit my thoughts to paper and for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the discussion. I thank Ted Schatzki and Roger Friedland for their comments and encouragement and an anonymous reviewer for providing me with a number of critical comments that helped me to sharpen the paper.


Gehman, J. (2021), "Searching for Values in Practice-Driven Institutionalism: Practice Theory, Institutional Logics, and Values Work", Lounsbury, M., Anderson, D.A. and Spee, P. (Ed.) On Practice and Institution: Theorizing the Interface (Research in the Sociology of Organizations, Vol. 70), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 139-159.



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