Corporate Values - A Socio-Functionalist Approach Exemplified along Corporate Sustainability Values

Frecè, Jan Thomas (2019). Corporate Values - A Socio-Functionalist Approach Exemplified along Corporate Sustainability Values (Dissertation, University of Basel, Sustainability Research Group)

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This dissertation strives to create a systematic, comprehensive, theory-guided, analytic framework able to analyze corporate values beyond the false equation with human values. To accomplish this, the dissertation is based on two methodological blocks: The first block comprising chapter 2 to chapter 5 contributes the theoretical foundations and the theoretical reasoning supporting the creation of the analytical framework. This first block also undertakes a functional differentiation between corporate and individual values as well as outlines their different functional layers and phases. Based on these insights, the constitutive elements of the framework are identified, discussed and correlated to form a functional framework. The second methodological block consists of chapter 6 and constitutes the practical validation of the theoretical approach developed in the preceding chapters. The framework’s ability to analyze corporate values and disclose value inconsistency is validated by applying it to the publicly declared corporate value of sustainability proclaimed by a real-life corporation. While all corporate values are validated using the framework, the framework is also utilized when some corporate values are replaced with new, reworked editions to validate the forming capabilities of the framework and demonstrate the explanatory power of well-designed corporate values. The dissertation’s findings should be considered on different levels. On a characterization level, the dissertation performs a literature-based, functional separation between corporate and individual values, while on an analytical level it places a detailed and theory-guided framework at one's disposal, facilitating the analysis and discussion of functional corporate values. Finally, the results of the framework’s application indicate that even though a corporation’s values can be award-winning, well intended, and successful, they can still base on misconceptions, inaccuracy, and gaps. Such corporate values have to rely on like-minded value recipients to close the communication gap according to the corporation’s ideology. Approaching the topic of corporate values with a framework specifically laid out to analyze and form corporate values turns out to result in a more accurate, conceivable, conveyable and therefore more successful analysis of corporate values.

Item Type:

Doctoral Thesis (Dissertation)


Business School > Institute for Sustainable Business
Business School


Frecè, Jan Thomas0000-0002-6062-6780




Jan Thomas Frecè

Date Deposited:

18 May 2021 16:11

Last Modified:

03 Aug 2022 15:11


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