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The Influence of Executives’ Values on Corporate Responsibility Adoption

Chow, C. (2018) The Influence of Executives’ Values on Corporate Responsibility Adoption. DBA thesis, Henley Business School, University of Reading

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To link to this item DOI: 10.48683/1926.00105702


The research aim of this inquiry is to understand how executives’ values influence the adoption of Corporate Responsibility practice. Corporate Responsibility (CR) is recognised as a values-laden concept which encompasses both normative and instrumental value orientations. Strategic Leadership Theory posits that senior executives are responsible for shaping their organisations’ strategic direction. Since humans are at the nexus of all decisions – and, according to Values Theory, human values are the underlying construct for motivations, goals and social ideals – executives’ values play an important role in influencing organisational approaches to CR adoption. While there is general agreement that values do influence Corporate Responsibility adoption, empirical evidence provides only partial support and some contradictory results. The paucity of qualitative research providing insights into the complexity of leaders’ values-to-action in business highlights a significant research gap in understanding the role of Strategic Leadership on CR adoption beyond normative studies. Adopting a constructionist interpretive research paradigm, this research inquiry explores the influence of executives’ values via in-depth semi-structured interviews as a data collection method. Twenty senior Canadian executive interviews were conducted. Using thematic analysis, this inquiry collects from the interview data common themes as well as divergences, providing a rich description of the executives’ values-to-CR adoption process. The data findings point to a number of factors that mediate the influence of values on CR adoption, and the types of CR practices. A tentative model is proposed that highlights the common patterns that emerged from the data analysis. This research inquiry contributes to a deepening of the Strategic Leadership knowledge, in particular the influence of values on organisational CR decisions; expands interpretivist qualitative studies in management studies; and contributes to practice by highlighting the importance of values in executive recruitment, business education and management development.

Item Type:Thesis (DBA)
Thesis Supervisor:Kakabadse, N. and Stride, H.
Thesis/Report Department:Henley Business School
Identification Number/DOI:
Divisions:Henley Business School > Leadership, Organisations and Behaviour
ID Code:105702


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