Value Positioning and Business Ethics. Keeping Promises as Business Legitimation
This contribution strives to argue for a company’s true value positioning as its value promise to its stakeholders. A company will be increasingly rewarded if it, first, admits to its values and positions them; second, communicates – i.e., to mandatory declare – them; and, third, keeps them to their stakeholders (“walk the talk”). Keeping promises means business legitimation. To explicate our thesis, we will first introduce the promised-based theory of the firm as an alternative to the traditional theory of the firm. The promised-based theory of the firm further develops two prominent pieces of research: Josef Wieland’s governance ethics and Michael Porter’s shared value concept. We will differentiate between global and local legitimacy. Finally, we will provide examples of different types of value on a local level. Our management implication is to leave the red ocean of functionalities and to dive into the blue ocean of values.