There is growing interest in corporate values but where do they come from? What factors determine corporate values? This paper argues that they are determined by corporate governance in a broad sense of the word. Three governance mechanisms are emphasized: ownership structure, board composition and stakeholder influence. In smaller companies founder‐owners often play a pivotal role in shaping corporate value systems that influence companies for years to come. In larger companies that separate ownership and control, managers and boards come to play a powerful role. In both cases repeated interaction with customers, employees and other stakeholders shape corporate values by way of corporate reputation and corporate culture.
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