Ethos is Destiny: Organizational Values and Compliance in Corporate Governance

  • Maria FotakiEmail author
  • Spyros Lioukas
  • Irini Voudouris
Original Paper


This paper investigates the effect of enacted ethical and instrumental values on corporate governance effectiveness. It further considers whether and how compliance with formal corporate governance codes influences the effect of these organizational values on governance effectiveness. Empirical evidence based on a sample of firms listed in the Athens Stock Exchange shows that strong ethical values are the key element for effective corporate governance, while instrumental values play a significant role only in the presence of compliance. Compliance, although not sufficient by itself, serves as a complementary mechanism strengthening the effects of ethical values and creating the conditions by which instrumental values can act in favor of corporate governance. The results highlight that governance benefits can emanate from maintaining high ethical standards as well as from synergies between compliance and a focus on organizational values. Overall, our findings provide important implications for managers regarding how to utilize behavioral along with structural governance mechanisms to enhance corporate governance. The findings add to the behavioral perspective of corporate governance bringing aspects of the social fabric into the corporate governance puzzle.


Corporate governance Enacted organizational values Ethical values Instrumental values Compliance 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Management Science and Technology, Athens University of Economics and BusinessAthensGreece

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