Policy Article

Bridging Morale and Business through Shared Value?

Kiel Policy Briefs, 38

38: The recent worldwide economic crisis has produced a lot of discontent, irritation, even hostility towards business and the market rules that govern it. Demands for morale in society and in business have re-gained momentum in times of sky-rocketing profits in some areas and aggravating poverty in others. More particularly, social responsibility and profit maximization in business have been perceived as being irreconcilable opposites. Concepts like shared value claim to offer a solution to this antagonism. The idea behind shared value is to produce a good or a service that, while complying with market forces, still offers a positive social externality beyond its private value for producers and consumers. The question central to this paper is, however, whether such kind of production really is feasible to a noteworthy amount and in a non-trivial way.

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Publication Date
JEL Classification
D63, L33