The importance of value diversity in corporate life

Wayne Eastman, Michael Santoro

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Donaldson and Dunfee (1999) suggest in a brief discussion that a manager may in some cases rely on his or her own values in making organizational decisions. Our paper examines the role of diversity in values in an organizational context. Our central contention is that value diversity among managers, employees, and other stake-holders on dimensions such as prudence-boldness, clarity-flexibility, and rigor-mercy is highly useful for an organization. We introduce non-technical models of individual and board decision-making in which value diversity cuts across group interests that would otherwise control the decision. In these models, decision-makers who are influenced by values such as prudence or boldness as well as by their group interests are more likely to avoid suboptimal decisions, because their weaker but not their more intense group interests are likely to be overridden by their cross-cutting value inclinations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)433-452+596+597
JournalBusiness Ethics Quarterly
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • Philosophy
  • Economics and Econometrics


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