n Management Dynamics : Journal of the Southern African Institute for Management Scientists - Values infections and the epidemiology of values : implications for management




In a global context in which pandemics such as Ebola or the emergence of antibiotic resistance threaten human populations, management theory must offer timely, effective and innovative management of research responses if is to address these it challenges. Certain insights derived from management challenges associated with such extreme cases can be useful for the development of management theory in general. Given the continued presence of these extreme threats, it is clear that capacity to respond satisfactorily is currently lacking. Drawing from Kuhn's theory of paradigms and from epidemiological theory, and extending Schwartz's theory of values configurations, it is argued that values systems constrain research innovation and a theoretical framework is offered for how values transmit into, across and within individuals and groups. It is argued here that values infections can contribute to group conflicts with consequences on the same scale as disease pandemics. It is hoped that this study can contribute to novel understandings of how constraints to innovation (and to real-time research productivity) can be better managed by organisations. Recommendations for management and future research are offered.


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