Giving Voice To Values

  • gvv-email-header-2016_8-002

    What is Giving Voice To Values?

    Giving Voice to Values (GVV) is an innovative approach to values-driven leadership development in business education and the workplace, pioneered by Dr. Mary C. Gentile. GVV is based at University of Virginia-Darden School of Business, having been launched by Aspen Institute as Incubator & Founding Partner, with Yale School of Management; then supported at Babson College 2009-16. Drawing on actual experience and scholarship, GVV fills a long-standing critical gap in the development of values-centered leaders.

    GVV is not about persuading people to be more ethical. Rather GVV starts from the premise that most of us already want to act on our values, but that we also want to feel that we have a reasonable chance of doing so effectively and successfully. This pedagogy and curriculum are about raising those odds.

    Rather than a focus on ethical analysis, the Giving Voice to Values (GVV) curriculum focuses on ethical implementation and asks the question: “What if I were going to act on my values? What would I say and do? How could I be most effective?”

    Giving Voice To Values – European Hub

    The European Hub can be understood as the European competence center for GVV. We undertake research in this area (e.g., surveying students and business leaders), create case studies in collaboration with Mary Gentile (cases can be downloaded via the Darden GVV Website) and offer teaching sessions for students in and outside of our university. We moreover, offer (tailored) GVV courses for entrepreneurs, business leaders and other decision makers, as well as faculty development for schools and educators who want to use the GVV methodology.

    Who is using GVV?

    GVV has now had over 1,050 pilots in educational and business settings on all seven continents. There is a database of nearly 5,000 GVV contacts, both educators and managers. Pilot sites have included the U.S., Europe, Africa, India, China, Australia, Canada, Israel, United Arab Emirates, Phillipines, Barbados etc.

    Designed for use in graduate business curriculum, the approach has also moved well beyond that. On the education side, GVV has been used in undergraduate, MBA and executive education in hundreds of business schools around the world. It has been a featured part of the United Nations Global Compact PRME (Principles for Responsible Management Education) programming and PRME has become a partner supporting GVV curriculum development on Anti-Corruption, with a recent initiative in India. A similar region-specific curriculum development initiative was conducted in Egypt. Increasingly GVV is also being adapted for educational purposes beyond business (medicine, nursing, engineering, law, accounting, liberal arts). A recent book features chapters by a dozen faculty from different disciplines (economics, accounting, negotiations, HRM, etc.) sharing how they use GVV – Educating for Values-Driven Leadership: Giving Voice To Values Across the Curriculum,, 2013. And there are numerous titles in the Giving Voice To Values Book Collection previously from Business Expert Press and now from Routledge/Greenleaf PublishingThe latest title is Giving Voice to Values in the Legal Profession.

    Some of the many companies and organizations that have invited presentations and/or are piloting or considering piloting the approach include: Lockheed Martin with award-winning offerings, Unilever, Consolidated Edison, Bertelsmann, Magnetrol, General Mills, Prudential, Northrup Grumman, WalMart, General Dynamics, Chemonics, National Grid, Mayo Clinic, Kaiser Permanente, The Institute for Chartered Accountancy/Ontario, Ethics Resource Center, Ethics & Compliance Officers’ Association, National Investment Company Service Association, Net Impact, FriendFactor, etc. The World Bank and the InterAmerican Development Bank have also piloted ways to implement the GVV approach in their training programs. And other expressions of interest are continually growing.

    Gentile has delivered a seven-session Webinar on GVV, developed for corporate practitioners, offered by the Ethics and Compliance Officers Association. The seminar provided both a broad overview of GVV, and also included guidance for Compliance Officers to incorporate its principles into their own corporate programs.

    Currently, Gentile has partnered with Nomadic to develop a series of interactive, on-line social-cohort based modules that introduce GVV and offer opportunities for practitioner and/or student users to work in cohorts on its application. The modules are available for customization and use in companies, educational contexts and other settings. See GivingVoiceToValues.

    A new MOOC on “Ethical Leadership Through Giving Voice To Values“  was launched by Darden/Coursera in Fall 2017

    Other potential applications/audiences for GVV include: elementary/secondary educators and students; the general public; parents; etc.

    Giving Voice To Values at the University of Applied Sciences for Management & Communication

    At the University for Applied Sciences for Management & Communication we have implemented Business Ethics seminars as mandatory courses in all our Master programs. Our courses are designed to provide (future) entrepreneurs and business leaders the opportunity to address and to analyse ethical issues that might arise within the path of their careers as (global) managers. Our courses will not provide normative guidelines, i.e., they will not follow any kind of political ideology. Instead the aims of our courses are 1) to survey a range of key ethical and corporate governance issues that arise for business leaders within national boundaries or in a global context and 2) to analyse the ways how to address and figure in decision-making by thoughtful and responsible business leaders. Furthermore, our courses aim to help business leaders 3) to understand and structure their own values in order to provide guidance in making and implementing (business) decisions.

    While we believe that analysing and evaluating business situations from different ethical perspectives is essential in order to make responsible business decisions we also believe that we need to combine these exercises with an action framework. The Giving Voice to Values framework closes the existing gap between sound normative analyses and enabling decision-makers to live up to their values. We have therefore blended our business ethics courses with GVV elements in order to educate (future) entrepreneurs and business leaders in the best possible way.

    Where can you find the book and the curriculum?

    The Curriculum is available at GivingVoiceToValues. (There is also a Faculty-Only URL with teaching notes and B cases, available to verified faculty members by sending an email to The book from Yale University Press is Giving Voice To Values: How To Speak Your Mind When You Know What’s Right, (available in Chinese and Korean). A series of 6 online interactive, social cohort-based customizable modules are also available: visit GivingVoiceToValues and contact Mary Gentile for DEMO.

    Selected Awards/Recognition:

    Among numerous honors, Gentile was named a “Top Mind 2017” by Compliance Weekly and was short-listed for the Thinkers 50 2017 ‘Ideas into Practice’ Award. Giving Voice To Values also won the Bronze Medal in the 2017 Reimagine Education Ethical Leadership Awards. Gentile and GVV received the 2013 “Humanistic Management Leadership Award” for Teaching and Education at the Academy of Management convening in Orlando, FL in August. GVV was selected as one of the Semi-Finalists for the Ashoka Innovation Award in 2013. The book from Yale University Press won the Axiom Business Book Awards 2011 Gold Medal in the Business Ethics Category. Mary Gentile has also been recognized independently for her work with GVV, and named by Trust Across America as one of the “Top 100 Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business Behavior” over several years and received their “Lifetime Achievement Award,” as well as named to Good Business New York Leading Women for 2012 for “21st Century Leadership – Women Who Are Changing The World: 25 Dynamic Leaders Actively Creating a Better World Through Work & Business.”

  • p

    Prof. Dr. Markus Scholz

    GVV ambassador
    Head of Competence Center for Corporate Governance and Business Ethics

    phone: +43 (1) 476 77-5737

    Mary C. Gentile, Ph.D.

    Creator/Director, Giving Voice To Values

    phone: +1 978-468-2757

    New GIVING VOICE TO VALUES Online Course

    Beginning in the fall of 2017, the Darden School of Business, in partnership with Coursera, will offer a four-week online course, Ethical Leadership through Giving Voice To Values. This course will offer an introduction to the GVV approach to Values-Driven Leadership Development as well as the opportunity to engage in self-assessment, to rehearse GVV scripting and action-planning exercises and to create a personalized implementation plan.

    Fore more Information, please follow this link.


    A McKinsey Quarterly Video Interview (8 mins.) with the Creator and Director of GVV
    Professor Mary Gentile explores ethical dilemmas at work and how to act on them
    Link to Video

    Short Videos on GVV
    Series of eight short videos (7-10 minutes each) explaining GVV background theory and the seven principles that enable people to effectively voice their values. Written and narrated by Professor Gentile.
    Link to Video

    Mary Gentile: Putting your values to the test
    Radio Interview zum mp3 download
    Link to Interview