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The valuation of values : essays on the relationship of business and society

  • The doctoral thesis explores the relationship of Business and Society in four essays. The growing public, corporate and academic interest in organizational contribution to society – in this thesis measured as Public Value, Shared Value and Corporate Social Responsibility – poses the question how we can determine value creation beyond financial benefits. The thesis provides psychological and sociological perspectives to shed light on this pressuring question. The psychological view in essay four shows that value is rooted in relationship between an observing subject and an object that is to be evaluated, thus, it is not objectively out there. This perspective is rooted in motivational psychology of basic human needs upon which individuals assess the contribution of organizations to society. Adding to this emotional-affective perspective on human psychology, we show that cognition (‘cognitive styles’) plays a vital role in individuals’ determination of how value for society is created. Essay three provides evidence that how an individual perceives value creation for society reciprocally affects the individual. We show that employees who perceive their organizations’ value creation more strongly, also derive higher levels of meaningfulness from their work and identify more strongly with their employing organization, which in turn is related to higher levels of work addiction. The final paper takes a sociological perspective borrowed from the actor network theory and shows that some discourses concerning corporate value creation for society narrow the concept of value for society down to a self-serving notion for corporations. In a case study, the essay not only shows how this narrow concept infuses corporate action but, moreover, it details how it negatively impacts society. The multi-facetted approach of the dissertation furthers the understanding of the notion of value creation for society as much as it poses new questions and calls for ambivalent investigation.

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Document Type:Doctoral Thesis
Author:Stefan Anderer
Contributor(s):Timo Meynhardt, Steven A. Brieger
Chairs and Professorships:Chair of Business Psychology and Leadership
Full text/ URN:urn:nbn:de:bsz:14-qucosa2-337020
Title Additional (English):Dissertation
Place of publication:Leipzig
Year of Completion:2018
Page Number:141