Shining a spotlight on the cultural values of the top 100 Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) companies, a Griffith University report examines how Australian companies say they intend to behave.

Shaping Australian culture and identity, and corporate values are a commitment made by companies to its stakeholders as an indication of how it promises to behave and operate.

Stating corporate values is a common practice and the study found only three per cent of the sample had not made their values publicly available.

Professor Nick Barter, Academic Director of Griffith Online, welcomed Griffith's new partnership with FutureLearn.

Professor of Strategy and Sustainability Nick Barter.

Professor of Strategy and Sustainability, Nick Barter from the Department of Business Strategy and Innovation said 90 per cent of Australian companies claimed at least one of six popular values: collaboration, integrity, excellence, respect, creativity/ innovation and empathy.

“The report shows the values of ASX companies are similar as if they are following a similar recipe,” Professor Barter said.

“Australian companies are key enablers of the change needed to help Australia face unprecedented challenges such as the transition to a low-carbon economy, so how they act and the decisions they make are imperative to our future.

“A signal from the data shows more sustainable companies may place greater emphasis on the values of courage, responsibility, simplicity, respect, and transparency.

Griffith Business School Professor of Economics Chris Fleming

“Given the intergenerational challenge of transition, it might also be expected that values of care, long-term thinking, and thinking differently would be effective and more popular, however they are not.”

Griffith Business School Professor of Economics Chris Fleming said the four least popular values were humility, diligence, relationship, and generosity.

“Companies with the highest Environmental Social Governance (ESG) scores included values of courage, responsibility, simplicity, respect and transparency, but strangely, these values are also among the least popular,” Professor Fleming said.

“Australian company values are generally no different to others around the world and this leads us to question whether they should break the mould to lead the way toward a successful transition that is more equitable, sustainable and prosperous.”

The ASX100 Business Values Review builds on the recent book publication by Professors Nick Barter and Chris Fleming, Future Normal: 8 Questions to Create Businesses your Children will be Proud Of.

Co-authors include Dr Anya Phelan and Dr Rebecca Park and was created with support from the University of Oxford Character Project.

12: Responsible Consumption and Production
UN Sustainable Development Goals 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
UN Sustainable Development Goals 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions