VALUES AND ETHICS
DEFINITION OF VALUES
Based on the marketing area, value can be defined as to the extent to which a good or service is recognized by its customer in order to meet either his or her needs nor wants, measured by customer's willingness to pay for it. It commonly depends more on the customer's recognition of the worth of the product than on its real value. http://www.businessdictionary.com
One of the keys that influences behaviour in organizations is the values of people. A value refers to the importance of a person attaches to something that serves as a guide to action. Values are also tied in with enduring beliefs that one's mode of conduct is better than the opposite mode of conduct. One person may highly value quantitative analysis and will look down on people who present a position without providing quantitative evidence.
Values must be distinguished from attitudes and from behaviour. This is because firstly, values are abstract ideals that guide one's thinking and behaviour across all situations. Next, attitudes can be defined as learned predispositions toward a given object. Together, values and attitudes influence people's workplace behaviour—their actions and judgments.
HOW VALUES ARE LEARNED
First of all, values do not exist naturally to the people who were just born. However, it is builds in an individual upon the process of growing up and especially starting from the age of four. One of the important way to obtain values is through modelling. For instance, models are those who are teachers, parents, friends, siblings and much more. If we look at the way of a particular person, we can learn to practice the values which might either be much bit or more like him or her.
Other than that, communication of attitudes is also one of the major ways to learn values. The attitudes we hear expressed directly or indirectly help shape our values. Besides, unstated but implied attitudes can also help to shape values. If key people in your life showed no enthusiasm when you talked about work accomplishment, you might not place a high value on achieving outstanding results. In contrast, if your family and friends centred their lives on their careers, you might develop similar values.
Furthermore, most of the key values are learnt from religion and thus become the basis for society's morals. A basic example is that all religions emphasize treating other people fairly and kindly. Members of the clergy teach many ethics courses and seminars because it is often assumed that religious person has special expertise with constructive values.
THE MESH BETWEEN INDIVIDUAL AND ORGANIZATIONAL VALUES
Organizational behaviour is dedicated to better understanding and managing people at work. Organizational behaviour looks at two areas which are the individual behaviour and group behaviour. Personal values and organizational values might change at different stages of a person's career because of a change in values. At one point in a person's career, he or she may think that founding a business is important because the new firm might create employment. At another stage of the same person's career, he or she might believe that working for the non-profit sector is more meritorious.
DEFINITION OF ETHICS
Ethics can be defined as the basic concepts and fundamental principles of decent human act. It involves the study of universal values such as the essential equality of all humans, natural rights, concern for health and safety and, increasingly, also for the natural environment.
ETHICAL DECISION-MAKING CRITERIA
A normal way to understand ethical decision is by understanding the most basic philosophy in making these decisions. In order to decide between what is wrong or right, one needs to focus on consequences, duties, obligations and integrity.
Firstly, focus on consequences means that in order to decide what is wrong or right, people tend to focus on the consequences of their decision or action. If one follows this criterion, if no one gets hurt, thus the decision is ethical. Focusing on consequences is often referred to as utilitarianism. The decision maker is concerned with the utility of the decision. What really counts is the net balance of good consequences over bad.
Secondly, focusing on duties, obligations and principles means that in order to make an ethical decision, one needs to examine one's duties. The theories underlying this approach are referred to as deontological, from the Greek word deon(or duty). The deontological approach is based on universal principles such as honesty, fairness, justice and respect for persons and property. Rights, such as the right to privacy and safety, are also important. From a deontological perspective, the principles are more important the consequences. If a given decision violates one of these universal principles, it is automatically unethical, even if nobody gets hurt.
Lastly, focus on integrity (virtue ethics) means in determining the ethics of behaviour focuses on the character of the person involved in the decision or action. If the person in question has good character and genuine motivation and intentions, he or she will be judged to have behaved ethically. The criteria for good character will often include the two other ethical criteria. For instance, one might judge a person to have good character if he or she follows the right principles and respects the right of others.
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