Values-based Service for Sustainable Business

Bo Edvardsson
CTF-Service Research Center, Karlstad University, Karlstad, Sweden

Bo Enquist
CTF-Service Research Center, Karlstad University, Karlstad, Sweden

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Ingår i: 11th QMOD Conference. Quality Management and Organizational Development Attaining Sustainability From Organizational Excellence to SustainAble Excellence; 20-22 August; 2008 in Helsingborg; Sweden

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 33:18, s. 203-214

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Publicerad: 2008-12-09


ISSN: 1650-3686 (tryckt), 1650-3740 (online)


Aim: The aim of this paper is to explore the role of values-based service for sustainable busi-ness. The two basic questions addressed are: What is ‘values-based service’? How can values create value for customers and other stakeholders?

Design methodology approach: This paper is based on extensive empirical studies focusing on the role of values at the corporate; country and store levels in the retail company IKEA and a comparison of the results with data from Starbucks; H&M and Body Shop. The theoretical point of departure is a business model based on the service-dominant logic (SDL) on the one hand and control through values focusing on social and environmental values forming the basis for a sustainable business.

Findings: Based on a comparative; inductive empirical analysis; five principles for a sustain-able values-based service business were identified: (1) Strong company values drive customer value; (2) CSR as a strategy for sustainable service business; (3) Values-based service expe-rience for co-creating value with customers; (4) Values-based service brand and communica-tion for values resonance and (5) Values-based service leadership for living the values. A company built on an entrepreneurial business model often has the original entrepreneur’s va-lues and leadership style as a model for future generations of leaders. However; the challenge for subsequent leaders is to develop these values and communicate what they mean today.

Orginality value: We suggest a new framework for managing values-based service to create a sustainable business based on values resonance.


Values-based service; corporate values; foundation values; CSR; value-in-use; values resonance; sustainable service business; service experience; service brand and commu-nication; service leadership


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