Table of Contents
Author(s): Jan T. Frecè*; Deane Harder
Many corporations define values and publish them in their yearly reports or on their websites. Managers see the benefit of having corporate values. This article critically evaluates the idea of corporate values and presents a set of criteria that functional corporate values should meet. We will show how corporate values contribute to the identity of a company and signal its identity to society, thus providing a base for its “license to operate”. This concept of corporate values was assessed empirically with the self-stated values of 50 Swiss companies. We show that many companies have an insufficient concept of corporate values and, if stated at all, they are in many cases dysfunctional. It can be concluded that there is a knowing-doing gap but also a pronounced lack of knowledge regarding corporate values. More research is recommended to address the perception of the function of values from a managerial point of view.