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02-07-2020 | Original Paper | Issue 1/2021

Journal of Business Ethics 1/2021

Espoused Values of the “Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For”: Essential Themes and Implementation Practices

Journal:
Journal of Business Ethics > Issue 1/2021
Authors:
Peter G. Dominick, Dimitra Iordanoglou, Gregory Prastacos, Richard R. Reilly
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Abstract

This study identifies and describes the values espoused by the 62 companies that have consistently (2014–2018) appeared on the “Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For” (FBCWF) list. We identify 24 separate values and offer an analysis of the keywords and phrases used to promote them. We confirm that these values fall within the categories of four well-accepted theoretical frameworks of corporate values and culture. We then provide evidence for three underlying dimensions transcending all four models. They are values that guide relationships and self-regulation; values that describe desired outcomes and performance; and values that inform learning and change. Next, we present the results of a qualitative study describing how these companies put their values into practice. Finally, using publicly available information from the Great Place to Work® Institute, we show how the espoused values we identified relate to: (1) what employees report about their experiences and (2) company self-descriptions. Our findings highlight connections between leadership and values and they offer guidance to those seeking to understand keys to values-based cultures.

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