Objective – This paper attempts to understand how the stakeholders
in an organization - which strives to achieve goals that are sometimes
in conflict - construct and reconstruct (through their interactions)
their beliefs (values related to organizational competition) and habits
of action (practices).
Design/methodology/approach – A qualitative single case study
was conducted at a tax consulting firm in the service sector in Brazil,
with ongoing organizational change. The firm seeks to find an even
balance between fostering human and social development and financial
earnings. Semi-structured and in-depth interviews were conducted with
the founder, employees, customers and suppliers, in addition to nonparticipant
observation, naturally occurring discussions, and documents.
Findings – The analysis of the discursive materials showed that
organizational practices reflect values formed over several years through
the paradoxical tension between the world views of the founder on
how the business world actually is and how it should be. The value
of “coherence between what is said and what is done” permeated
several reflexivity practices, when decisions were taken and the reasons
underpinning them were discussed by management and employees, in
pursuit of the goals initially proposed.
Practical implications – This research contributes to wider-ranging
reflections on the competitive world of organizations dealing with the
challenges that face them, extending beyond social responsibility. It
also illustrates that reflexivity may be particularly helpful in other forprofit
organizations, particularly those focused on social innovation.
Originality/value – This study promotes a discussion of change
as a continuous process, grounded on a differentiated approach to
organizational values, highlighting the emerging characteristics of
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