Values and Power

Brad C. Anderson

Learning Objectives

In this chapter, you will learn:

  • How values enable and constrain action
  • How individuals may overcome the constraining nature of social structures
  • How values and power interact


Previous chapters discussed the structures of values, rationality, and power separately. In reality, none of these elements act in isolation. They are deeply intertwined, and one structure seldom operates in the absence of the others.

This chapter explores the relationship between values and power in organizations. The next chapter discusses rationality and power, followed then by a chapter that combines all three.

This chapter first explores how values as a social structure enable and constrain action. It then explores the ways individuals may overcome constraining structures. That conversation leads to a discussion of power as it relates to values. With this road map before us, let us begin with a discussion of values as social structures.

NOTE This chapter ties together concepts from Chapter III (Critical Realism), Chapter IV (Values), and Chapter VI (Power) and then relates them to Appendix 1 (A case study). You may wish to bookmark these chapters for easy reference as you read through the following sections. 


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Values and Power Copyright © 2020 by Brad C. Anderson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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