The strength of personal values and how these penetrate firm organization is measured through a survey of 1500 Danish CEOs. We construct a measure of value-based leadership and investigate the impact on firm outcomes and firm policies. First, value-based leadership is more common in family firms and with female leadership, but not correlated to leaders’ IQ nor to management practices. Second, value-based leadership is positively correlated to firm performance. Causal evidence is provided through the analysis of CEO changes and CEO hospitalizations. Third, value-based leaders build more resilient organizations in a pandemic crisis and generate less conflicts, lower employee turnover and have a flatter organizational structure in normal times. Taken together, leaders’ personal values and how they spread through organizations are important factors in explaining the value they bring to their firms.
Morten Bennedsen is Professor of Economics at the University of Copenhagen and Visiting Professor at INSEAD. He was for more than a decade the André and Rosalie Hoffmann Chair in Family Firms and the Academic leader of the Wendel Center for Family Enterprise at INSEAD. He obtained his PhD from Harvard University and is today one of the world’s leading experts on family firms and their impact on the society.
MB is an expert on family business, boards and sustainability. He has written 3 book manuscripts, published 30+ articles (mostly) in top economics and finance journals, 35+ business cases, 30+articles in applied journals and policy reports and 200+ popular media articles and interviews on 6 continents. He writes regular columns in leading media outlets in China, Hong Kong, Korea and Taiwan. He has written continuously for the last 6 years for the Chinese Family Business Review.
MB has served as an advisor to global family firms, the Danish and UK Government, EU, private equity funds, World Economic Forum, The World Bank and other national and supranational institutions. He regularly give talks and teach executive programs to business families, advisors and investors around the globe. MB teaches families in business, MBAs and executives on the global and regional challenges that Asian family firms face today.