Ownership Typology: Four Basic Human Values & Will Based Ideal Types

Mike Franz Wahl


Ownership is the key building block in the development of the capitalist socio-economic system. It is not just a legal-economic construct; it has also personal, social, political, and economic value dimensions. The problem of not understanding the owners’ role or behaviour, either on individual, firm or societal levels arises. The goal of the current ownership research is to solve the problem through the form of an ownership typology, adopting different theoretical lenses, using different research methods and analysing ultimate owners of capital companies in Estonia. The constructed ownership ideal types shed light to the phenomenon of ownership, and help to explain behaviour of the most important actor in corporate governance. Methodologically the research is valuable in the designed research process. Practically, in order to stay sustainable and be able to develop further there is a need for professional corporate governance and also professional ultimate owners. The typology gives the owner an opportunity to understand his basic human values, and clearly express his will in the form of an ownership strategy. It is obvious that enlightened, competent, professional ultimate owners know what results they want to have from the company in the long run – diverse personal, social, political, and economic values. It’s also clear that they succeed in a dynamic environment only if they invest those same values. A future development of the author’s ownership research is a cross-national research, involving more deeply the research of business owners’ competencies.

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