The Value of Corporate Values

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Citation: Reggie Van Lee, Lisa Fabish, Nancy McGaw (2005) The Value of Corporate Values.

Wikidata: Q79519323

Tagged: corporate values (RSS)


Authors surveyed 9500 senior executives around the world about corporate values, with values defined as "a corporation’s institutional standards of behavior."

Companies follow a "values cycle" of articulating a set of corporate values and attempt to embed them in management practices with the hope of reinforcing behaviors that benefit various stakeholders.

Main findings:

  • Ethical behavior is a core component. Of the 89 percent of companies that have a written corporate values statement, 90 percent specify ethical conduct as a principle.
  • Most companies believe values influence relationships and reputation but do not see the direct link to growth.

• Most companies are not measuring their return on values (ROV).

  • Top performers consciously connect values and operations.
  • Values practices vary significantly by region. Asian and European companies are more likely than North American firms to emphasize values related to the

corporation’s broader role in society, such as social and environmental responsibility.

  • Explicit support from the CEO is the most effective means of reinforcing values.

Ethics-related language is "effectively, part of a company’s license to operate in a more complex regulatory and legal environment" in addition to influencing employee behavior.

Theoretical and practical relevance:

As of the writing "Return On Values" seems underdeveloped, with most firms not attempting to characterize at all, even by directly addressing values in employee and customer feedback surveys.