The Influence of the Embedment of Managerial Values on the Corporate Financial Performance of Small and Medium-Sized Swiss Enterprises

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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The main objective of this research was to explore the relationship between managerial values and corporate financial performance in Swiss small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). As a departure from previous research into managerial values, a conceptual Maturity Model of Managerial Values (MM-MV) was developed which articulates the extent to which values are integrated or embedded within organisations (six levels: Indifferent/Non-existent to Optimised/Mastered). This allowed a close examination of the degree of value-embeddedness in SMEs against a range of financial performance measures. The MM-MV provides SME managers with a tool that they can employ to analyse and possibly adapt their values for stimulating financial performance. This study was motivated by the main research question: how does the embedment of managerial values influence the corporate financial performance of Swiss SMEs?The research followed the postpositivist paradigm applying a mixed research methodology with a sequential QUAL-QUAN design. As a first step, managerial values were qualitatively analysed through content analysis and quantified using the MM-MV (QUAL). In the subsequent QUAN step, the quantified values were contrasted against the financial performance data by carrying out a statistical data analyses. Multivariate and univariate techniques '' namely ANOVA and Chi-square test of independence '' produced the final results.The applied research approach focused on publicly traded Swiss SMEs from different industries, longitudinally analysed over a period of five years (2007-2011). The SIX Swiss Exchange offered an adequate sampling frame epitomising transparency, standards and comparability of information, and accuracy and trustworthiness due to regulatory standards. Moreover, publishing corporate annual reports is compulsory for the SMEs selected for the study. The latter formed the basis for gathering all data for the analysis. In fulfilling all the requirements of this research, a final sample of 46 SMEs remained. That is, the sample encompassed 230 data sets containing information on managerial values and financial performance data.The results suggest a positive relationship with higher embeddedness corresponding with better financial performance outcomes. Specifically, Swiss SME managers intensifying their values institutionalisation may positively influence operating results. A complementary analysis further discovered that transparency, industry sector, company size, and company age all influence the maturity of managerial values. While there are actions and organisational factors that can actively be influenced by strategic decision makers, there are other factors beyond the manager''s sphere of influence. However, influenceable actions should be integrated into the active strategic agenda, and take advantage of the non-influenceable factors'' function in decision making.In summary, this research contributes to professional practice, particularly to SME managers, by delivering a concrete model '' which can be used for any form of organisation and industry '' to assess and improve the corporate embeddedness of managerial values. Based on a firm''s current maturity level, an upper level can be targeted and integrated in strategic considerations. By providing evidence that, among other managerial initiatives, managerial values are likely to influence economic performance, SME managers are offered the opportunity to take the company''s economic success into their scope of control '' at least to a certain degree.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Business Administration
Awarding Institution
  • Charles Sturt University
  • Jungmeister, Alexander, Principal Supervisor
  • Wang, Calvin, Co-Supervisor
Award date15 Nov 2015
Place of PublicationAustralia
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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