• Carsten Tams

Giving Voice to Values: Responsible Management as Facilitation of Ethical Voice

For those interested in engaging employees actively in ethics & compliance management, I summarize below a book chapter that I had the pleasure to co-author with Mary Gentile, creator of the Giving Voice To Values (GVV) approach.



Co-creative governance comes to life when employees have the opportunities, skills and tools they need to give voice to their values. What does ethics management entail if its goal is to facilitate ethical voice? In an This article proposes an ethics management framework that can be summarized in six propositions:

1. Employees are capable moral agents.

2. Employees' primary ethical challenge lies in figuring out how to respond effectively to ethical problems they encounter.

3. Governance is best viewed as a highly distributed, collaborative, and reciprocal process.

4. The fundamental challenge of managing for ethics consists in harnessing and making effective use of employees' combined moral agency.

5. Effective ethics managers structure governance as a distributed, shared, and reciprocal influencing process. They expand employees' opportunities to participate in the governance value chain.

6. Managers' role vis-à-vis stakeholders is supportive in nature. They provide platforms that expand stakeholders’ opportunities for normative voice.


Available as eBook here.


“Giving voice to values: responsible management as facilitation of ethical voice” by Carsten Tams, Mary C. Gentile. In Laasch, O., Jamali, D., Freeman, E., & Suddaby, R. (2020) The Research Handbook of Responsible Management. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, pp. 532-548.