The values of strategy: Valuation practices, rivalry and strategic agency

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The concept of value is held dear by strategy theorists and practitioners alike as they share a concern about value creation, value propositions, value add, value chains, shareholder value and a plethora of other value constructs. Yet, despite its centrality, the concept of value has attracted limited attention in strategy scholarship. Most commonly, notions of value as profit or utility, inherited from economic theory, are assumed rather than analyzed. This paper advances the discussion of value in the strategy discourse by conceptualizing value as a correlate of valuation practices. Following this view, value is neither understood as the property of an object nor as a subjective preference; rather, values are constituted through valuation practices including rankings, ratings, awards, reviews and other valuation mechanisms that bestow values upon things in the first place. The paper explores this idea through analyzing valuation practices and their
constitutive mechanisms; and it exploits this idea for the conceptualization of rivalry and strategic agency. The learnings are twofold: Because goods are ordered, hierarchized and “appreciated” by consumers, critics, competitors and others through mediating valuation practices, it follows that (1) rivalry takes place at the level of valuation practices as they constitute the spaces in which accounts of worth are constructed and contested; and that (2) strategic agency may be understood in relation to an actor’s capacity to cope with and influence these valuation practices.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1753-1773
JournalOrganization Studies
Volume38
Issue number12
Early online date1 Feb 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017

Keywords

  • strategy
  • value
  • valuation
  • practice
  • agency
  • rivalry
  • power

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