The role of leadership in shared value creation from the public's perspective: A multi-continental study

Regina Y R Chen*, Flora C J HUNG-BAESECKE, Shannon A. Bowen, Ansgar Zerfass, Don W. Stacks, Ben Boyd

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Porter and Kramer's concept of creating shared value (CSV) has been welcomed as an approach to corporate social responsibility (CSR) among corporations that also provides a practical opportunity for dialogue in public relations, but it has been little examined from the general population's (i.e., the public's) perspective. Such scrutiny is important because its findings enable public relations to contribute to the debate and development of CSV from both the public's and the organization's viewpoints. Additionally, if public relations professionals understand how the public perceives CSV, they can give a strategic perspective to top management for maximizing moral capabilities of the business and formulate effective communication to promote CSV initiatives. This study investigates whether the public prefers corporations to practice CSV as opposed to intrinsic CSR as a separate pursuit from business interests. It also explores the role of leadership as an influential and ethical construct in implementing effective CSV as perceived by the public. The public's preference for CSV over intrinsic CSR was revealed in a survey of 1784 participants in the United States (US), Germany, and China. Factor analysis results further suggested that effective CSV competencies of CEOs were construed as a unidimensional concept in the US, but German and Chinese participants viewed it as two-dimensional. The public perceived that leaders’ moral character played a more important, core role in effective CSV than did altruistic and behavioral attributes, across nations. Network analysis of the perceived effective CSV-characteristics provides further implications for CSV communication.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101749
Number of pages11
JournalPublic Relations Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Communication
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Marketing

User-Defined Keywords

  • CEO characteristics
  • Comparative study
  • Corporate social responsibility (CSR)
  • Creating shared value (CSV)
  • Leadership


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