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Cultural Values And Personal Ethics

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Cultural Values and Personal Ethics Paper

University of Phoenix

MBA/500 - Foundations of Problem Based Learning

Week 3 - January 09, 2006

Cultural Values and Personal Ethics Paper

All people have personal values and ethics, just as they have cultural values. Often, those personal values and ethics will clash with those of their employer. As an example, as an individual, a person's ethical guidelines might require honesty, integrity and respect. If that individual works for a company that does not necessarily operate under those same principles, the employee may well face an ethical dilemma. Trying to intertwine these types of values when making professional and personal decisions in ones life can create a very stressful situation. The intent of this paper is to identify values that are important to me personally, organizationally, and culturally, and the effects that these values have on decision making in regards to my personal and professional life.

Personal Values

Personal values are the standards that people have, and that they try to live their lives by. They are the rules that set the tone and the direction for one's life and for their decision-making process. "Values reflect the most basic characteristics of adaptation that guides individuals in deciding which situations they should enter and what they should do in them" (Nonis 2001). Personal values are most important to me since these values define individuality. David Peters (2003) said it best when he said "an examination of our beliefs can offer valuable insights into our character and help us determine a clear pathway to a more satisfying life." Based on this I can say that the following values are present in my everyday life: honesty, integrity, loyalty, and respect. However, this does not necessarily mean that every person in society shares these same personal values. The different values among individuals creates an environment filled with varying personal beliefs, expectations, and philosophies.

My decisions whether personal or professional, are dependent on my values and the environment that I am in. In my current position, I often make changes to components on automobiles, usually in response to warranty claims and failures. It is not uncommon for my management to insist that the supplier of the component make the change prior to having all the paperwork complete and payments processed. In some cases, the supplier will incur costs associated with the change that are not subsequently approved and reimbursed. In these instances I sometimes clash with my employer in an effort to be fair and honest with the supplier.

I believe that being honest with people, whether it is family, friends, employers or any member of society, leads to the creation of a lasting relationship based on trust and credibility. Associating personal values in accordance with business values tells my employer and clients what I stand for as a professional, thus creating a positive image, strong business values, and a feeling of self-confidence.

Organizational Values

Organizational values are defined by the organization's codes of conduct and ethical principles. These codes of conduct set acceptable or expected norms of behavior for the individual members of the organization. Balancing individual and organizational values explores the major challenges in today's business world. Without organizational values, members will follow their individual beliefs.

When making a business decision, I try to take into consideration the code of conduct of my company. Sometimes, in order to be successful, we must be willing to adapt. For example our code of conduct allows us to except tickets, lunch or dinner as a form of developing or maintaining business relationships with our suppliers. The main point being that the supplier must accompany the employee to the event. However, more often than not, the supplier will have tickets available for an event, but be unable to attend themselves. Technically, the employee should not go. However, my belief is that the offer and subsequent acceptance of the gift in and of itself constitutes a development or maintenance of the business relationship. Therefore, I find myself at odds with the organizations values.

Cultural Values

Cultural values are important in all cultures. My perception is that most countries create their own set of values, thus generating their own cultures and beliefs. Although values may vary within a given culture, without those values there would be no basic societal direction. It is this societal direction, or rather the difference in the direction between societies and there values that create conflict.

Conflict arises when one culture is either unaware of, or uncaring of the other cultures



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