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Personal Values Development Paper

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Personal Values Development


"A value is a belief, a mission, or a philosophy that is meaningful. Whether we are consciously aware of them or not, every individual has a core set of personal values." (Posner, R.) Human nature as well as life experience comes into play in further development of values, serving to both reinforce and moderate our value sets. When people are faced with dilemmas about values certain questions will arise, such as what forged the feelings and beliefs. This paper will answer this question as well as defining some personal work values and the development of those values. Today's globalization also requires people to understand different cultural ethics. This will be discussed with reference to the organization's development of cultural ethics. Finally, the paper will cover the impact of values and performances in the workplace.

Personal Values

Personal values that individuals hold should be regarded as worthwhile. The values will represent a person's highest priority and the person's driving force. When a person becomes part of a business they will bring those beliefs and values to the organization. In this environment is where the values will blend with those of other employees and will help to create the family culture of the organization. This organizational culture becomes the personality of the business. The culture is based on the assumptions and beliefs of the management and employees, thus begins the ground work for the work culture. Some of the personal work values of an employee include security, recognition, leadership, independence, and work mastery.

Security is a work value because individuals want to be in a job that is not likely to be threatened by the changing economy in the United States. Employees want to believe their job is safe and will not be eliminated during a downsizing of the organization. The general nature of people is a feeling of recognition for a job well done. People want to be recognized for the quality of the work they do on an individual basis or in some public way. The recognition an individual needs will help motivate them to produce good quality work. A goal and value some people want in their job is the role of being a leader. Many people wish to be in a role where they would be directly responsible for the work done by others. This can give particular people a sense of accomplishment in helping other individuals to do a good job. While some people want to be leaders others want to be independent workers. These people want to be able to determine the nature of their work without significant direction; therefore, they are not looking to a leader for guidance. The individual will work by themselves to complete the task at hand. Work mastery is the ability to do a job with significant skill. For someone to master a skill or job will give a strong feeling of accomplishment for the individual in knowing the job is being done to the best of ones ability. This value also lends the possibility of promoting into another value, leadership.

Development of Personal Values

People are a product of their upbringing, with values as individuals developed early in life. As a four-year-old, one may be taught that hitting his or her sibling is wrong. As a seven-year-old, one may be taught to share her or her toys with others. As a 10 year old, being disciplined for shoplifting a candy-bar enforces the idea that stealing is wrong. People receive varying degrees of this sort of ethical training in life, depending upon their families, religion, communities, and experiences. This kind of training is not consistently applied, but usually at least some guidance in developing ethical beliefs and values are received. Author David Peters (2003) describes a set of ideas that for most become habitual behavior based upon the building of an ethical foundation.

Individual's values are made of all that has happened in the course of one's life. This includes the influences an individual gets from parents, church, family, friends, peers, education, culture, and many times reading. Most people will realize all the environmental factors that influence them and will develop a clear and meaningful set of values and priorities. Once an individual had defined these values, the values will then impact every aspect of the person's life.

Cultural Ethics

Learning and understanding different cultures is an area for many individuals in today's workplace. This is not entirely new, as cultures have been trading for thousands of years. However, this practice is growing more important as the world's nations and cultures become more intertwined and dependent upon one another. A person's experience and learning of cultural ethics can be developed in several manners.

One manner in which to develop and understand a different culture's ethics is to learn from the people through listening and talking with individuals from that culture. A person can take a class to educate themselves on some of the customs of the culture in which they will be working. One last way to develop personal values in another culture is through working closely with foreign cultures. People doing business today often have to deal with a world marketplace



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