Can values drive value for sustainable business? : An analyzing and interpreting case study of Konsum Värmland Value-creation

University essay from Karlstads universitet/Fakulteten för ekonomi, kommunikation och IT



Historically, value was believed to be created and embedded in the manufacturing process, implying that companies were the creators of value. Conversely, the notion of value-creation changed during the last decades and has implemented the customer orientation and service centred view. Instead, researchers currently believe that companies only can offer value-propositions, which means that value is to be created by the customers. Services and goods are much about values and identity today, which people connect to therefore it is important that positive values are associated with the company.

The purpose of this case study is to present if values can drive value for sustainable business. In order to illustrate this we have chosen Konsum Värmland for our investigation, an independent consumer co-operative own by its 126 000 members. Konsum Värmland has advantages by being independent from KF (the co-operative union in Sweden), this by being able to set its own strategies and visions.

This thesis aspires to illustrate which values Konsum Värmland stands for and to see if Konsum Värmland has succeeded to communicate these values to their stakeholders.

We will present the theoretical framework and how values-based management is an excellent performance measurement for co-creating values together with its stakeholders. We chose to use a narrative approach for our empirical analysis. The narratives are based on interviews, observations and secondary data that we obtained in forms of literature, articles and previous research.

We have chosen to investigate four areas for our case study, which are obvious of creating values. The areas are; the history Konsum Värmland, the brands Nästgård and Värmlandsgrisen, and the adapting and developing Konsum Värmland. These areas give the reader an insight to the value creation efforts of Konsum Värmland.

It is important for companies to differentiate themselves from others, in order to stay competitive in the everyday retail branch. This is something that Konsum Värmland has done by standing for values that contributes to the region of Värmland

This case study shows how the consumer co-operative thinking is becoming more modern, in co-creating common values and meanings. The consumer co-operative thinking also tells us that is can be used as a competitive strategy, to be able to predict and to adapt to the market.

In this study we can see that local produced goods generate value, which makes the customer want to buy the goods even if they are more expensive. The values are communicated through the brands Värmlandsgrisen and Nästgård and the goods are offered in form of values-based service quality. We have created a model that illustrates how the vision, organization and the value-creation have to be in balance, to create values that can drive value for sustainable business.

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