The Alibaba Group’s Corporate Values

Jean S. K. Lee (First Author), Wanwen Zhong (Participant Author), Jing An (Participant Author)

Research output: Other contributionCase Studies


This multifaceted case focuses on corporate values, authentic leadership and responsible leadership, with the concepts of morality and business ethics featured throughout. It explores how the Alibaba Group built its corporate values and preserved them during a crisis. It also illustrates how the authentic leadership of Jack Ma, the Group’s founder and board chairman at the time, influenced the Group’s corporate values, and how his responsible leadership framed Alibaba’s response to a crisis, even at the expense of talent and short-term performance. The 2011 merchant fraud scandal threatened Alibaba’s promising future, put the credibility of its corporate values on the verge of collapse, and endangered the public’s perception of the trustworthiness of Internet-based trading. The case dilemma hinges on the fate of two talented senior executives who were accused of negligence. The board of directors had to decide how to respond to the crisis and prevent future fraud on Alibaba’s diverse web-based trading platform.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012

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Published by

China Europe International Business School


  • Alibaba
  • Business Ethics
  • Corporate Values
  • E-commerce
  • Leadership
  • Social Responsibility

Case studies discipline

  • Organizational Behavior
  • Human Resource Management

Case studies industry

  • Retail Trade


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