Publication Date

6-2010

Abstract

{Excerpt} Advertising strong, positive corporate values is à la mode. Why? In a globalizing world, meaningful values can, for example, instill a sense of identity and purpose in organizations; add spirit to the workplace; align and unify people; promote employee ownership; attract newcomers; create consistency; simplify decision making; energize endeavors; raise efficiency; hearten client trust, loyalty, and forgiveness for mistakes; build resilience to shocks; and contribute to society at large.

To note, corporate values do not equate with organizational culture: that describes the attitudes, experiences, beliefs, and values of the organization, acquired through social learning, that control the way individuals and groups in the organization interact with one another and with parties outside it. Corporate values are firstorder operating philosophies or principles, to be acted upon, that guide an organization's internal conduct andits relationship with the external world. (To be clear, corporate values do not drive the business; however, if they are imbedded in business processes—and made credible to skeptics—they inspire the people who deliver the business, with a healthy balance between work and life and between the short term and the long term.) The ultimate glue that bonds the best organizations, they are usually formalized in explicit—often espoused,not just embedded—mission statements, tag lines, and branding material. Important elements are content and context.

Comments

Suggested Citation

Serrat, O. (2010). A primer on corporate values.Washington, DC: Asian Development Bank.

Required Publisher's Statement

This article was first published by the Asian Development Bank (www.adb.org)

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