The Definition of Values and Ethics
Why is everyone’s job on the line? There can be so many reasons why a person can lose his or her job or advance at the career instead. In looking at the professional values and ethics it can be seen where the job or career is headed. Everyone should be able to define what values and ethics are and how these can impact people’s careers.
A breakdown of values and ethics is needed in order to understand fully. Values are defined as – “beliefs of a person or social group in which they have an emotional investment (either for or against something); “he has very conservative’s values”(Syque, 2009). With the definition of values comes a list of values that an individual would need for a successful career in order to make the job more fulfilling. A values list should include, “being recognized for quality of work, having self-respect and pride in work, a supervisor who is a strong role model and mentor, flexibility in commitments and schedule to allow for balance between work life and personal life and compassion and caring – helping others and/or being helped”(Rose, 2007). Now values are important, but ethics are also important. Ethics is defined as “study of good and evil and moral duty, Moral principles or practice” (Merriam-Webster, 1995). Values are different from ethics, because they are more dependent on a person to “contribute to society and human well-being, avoid harm to others, be honest and trustworthy, be fair and take action not to discriminate and respect the privacy of others” (ACM, 2009). So to break it down further values are aspects that are important to a person and ethics are more like guidelines that people use to keep respect one another.
Sources of Professional Values and Ethics
Professional values and ethics can be classified into three different categories. These are:
1)Cultural Environment. The environment in which one is raised has a huge impact on morals, values and ethics. Having been raised in a very religious family certainly affects overall knowledge, attitude, intentions and one’s own religious beliefs. Cultural environment is this base foundation that may cause an individual to either accept or reject issues from the remaining two sources.
2)Industry Environment. The regulations mandated by a personscompany; i.e., the recent peanut butter scare, also challenge human values. A company may strive to produce only the best quality peanut butter and values public safety. If even one laboratory test comes back questionable for consumption, the company will immediately stop shipment and issue a recall. However, when a company is more concerned about profitability, it may try to find a way around the issue. National news recently reported on a company did just that. It first received a bad test result on peanuts but chose to continue testing. When the second and third tests results came back as “OK,”it shipped its product out the door. Working for such a company puts a huge strain on individuals. Should the employee report the company to authorities or should he or sheremain quiet so as not to lose his or herjob?
3)Personal Experiences. This is a twofold category composed of outside and inside (genetic) influences.
(a)Outside Influences. A good example of an outside influence is the type of neighborhood a person lives in. Let’s say one lives in a gang-ridden neighborhood where shootings are an everyday occurrence. The first exposure may produce shock. The next few shootings could induce anger. If the number of such occurrences is largeenough, an individual’s defensive behavior may eventually because aggressive. He or she may want to eradicate the problem by purchasing a gun and becoming a vigilante.
(b)Genetic Composition. Authorities universally state that an individual’s genetic composition has no effect on good and evil; that is, a person is not born a saint or a serial killer. This is true except for the fact that a person’s personality does have a bearing on individual toleration. A litter of puppies produces animals with very different characteristics at birth. One dog may like to be held by humans while another will not tolerate being touched and runs away. Humans too are born with very different likes, dislikes and desires. One can withstand great deal of pain while another cannot and will turn to drugs to alleviate the pain whether mental or physical. One person sees a glass half full while another, half empty. One has patience and perseverance and is will to work for what he or shewants; while another wants his or herdesires fulfilled immediately, even if he or shehas to turn to a life of crime to get what they want. Impacts on Career Success
Professional values and ethics play a major role in career success. Were a person not to know right from wrong they would never be able to hold down a job. Career success depends solely on an individual’s willingness to do what is right and their ability to treat everyone around them with respect.
An individual who has a position in a major accounting firm would never be able to move into a higher position if they were constantly late for work or stealing from the company. The most likely scenario for this individual were he or shevalues this negative would be that they would lose their current position or they would lose their job entirely. They would also more likely be passed up for promotion if they treated their coworkers with contempt and disrespect.
That same accountant in a more positive value scenario would most likely encounter a very different future with the accounting firm. If this individual were to always be on time or early for work and to make sure that they complete their work to the best of their ability the firm would most likely take notice of this individual. Treating coworkers equally and with respect will also prove that this individual has leadership potential and will be a positive aspect on their chosen career path.
Career success does not only depend on how much a person knows about the line of work they are in. Career success also includes how coworkers and management perceive a person. Having positive values and ethics and knowing as much as possible about both is definitely a step in the right direction towards a rewarding career path.References
ACM, Inc. (2009). Code of Ethics. Retrieved on March 23, 2009, from http://www.acm.org/about/code-of-ethics
Rose, J. (2007). Career Values Assessment, Retrieved on March 23, 2009 fromhttp://trainingpd.suite101.com/article.cfm/career_values_assessment
Syque, (2009). Values, Morals and ethics, Retrieved on March 23, 2009, from http://changingminds.org/explanations/values/values_morals_ethics.htm