We are living in a society which is characterised by a permanent developing knowledge culture. The emergence of this megatrend among others, in combination with the financial crisis started in 2007 is the basis of the discussion about values and their impact on economic success. This study explores the links between values, which promote leadership, especially cooperative values, and economic success.
The thesis is based on an online survey with all cooperative banks in Germany with an individual balance sheet totals over 1500 million Euro. These banks represent the greatest cooperative banks in Germany and their employees were invited to answer a questionnaire in order to analyse if cooperative values are part of everyday leadership and are perceived accordingly. The examined values were fairness, confidence, certainty, competence, reliability, individuality, common
ground, respect, partnership, responsibility and solidarity. These values were set in correlation to financial figures: capital adequacy, asset quality, management efficiency, earnings quality and liquidity management. In addition to that the questionnaire of the online survey contained questions about performance appraisal systems including feedback systems for executives.
The concept of values-based leadership and economic success measured in Key Performance Indicators formed the conceptual framework as presented in the literature review. Beyond that, this research follows the fundamental philosophy ‘critical theory’, because critical theory as a social theory is oriented toward critiquing society as a whole or like in this research project a part of our society.
The study shows first small indications about the relationships between cooperative management values and business key figures. Correlation analysis was one of the main statistical analysis method of the study, because it measures the relationship between two items. In this case values and financial figures. In addition, various regression analyses were carried out. The aim of regression analysis is to determine the relationships between a dependent variable (financial figures) on the one hand and several explanatory variables (cooperative values) on the other.
The elaborations in this study indicate that values-based leadership might have a positive influence on economic success. Organisations could be able to improve their results if they follow the concept of values-based leadership or even the cooperative values management style. The findings of this study might have important implications for those training, coaching or selecting executives, those intending to take a leadership position or who already are leaders, the organisations within values-based leadership is put into focus and for other researchers who want to build on the results.
Thus, this study contributes to both practice and knowledge.