“Today, I concur!”

How employees learn about company values by using competitive debate

In late 2014, we released our essay with the German title (whose English translation you can see above) “Heute bin ich dafür! Wie Mitarbeiter durch das Debattieren lernen, sich mit Werten im Unternehmen auseinander zu setzen” as a contribution to the anthology „Weiterbildung orientiert an Lebensphasen“ („Further education adapting to stages of life“) published by GABAL. The three authors Sarah T.P. Andiel, Thore Wojke and Marietta Gädeke show how companies benefit from debating:

Corporate culture has developed into a key selling point of marketing and recruiting: Media, job candidates and consumers alike take a piercing look at corporations and analyse whether guidelines are lip service or if their promises are really kept. Not the postulation of new guidelines by the management bring the required commitment of all employees. Instead, it is the individual in-depth analysis of corporate culture and the values behind by each employee which will ultimately lead to an extensive acceptance and internalisation of the new corporate behaviours. This leads us to an innovative method which stimulates this process and leads to a deeper and better acceptance of top-down decisions: Debating.

Debating is a speech competition in which two teams – Pro and Con – introduce arguments in favour and against of a specific topic to the audience. This creates ideal preconditions to impleme