In today’s workplace many find themselves in a tug of war between their personal and organizational values, both walking an ethical tightrope especially when employee and company values compete. With the added complexity of a global business market, cultural differences among different groups of stakeholders often compete. Values are beliefs of a person or social group in which he or she have an emotional investment either for or against something. Knowing one’s personal and organizational values is important, and has an important role in both personal and professional decision-making. Values ultimately become a declaration of limitations that are the guiding light for behaviors. The discovery of personal values is a journey. The question is whether there is a point in which we cross over an ethical boundary by making professional (organizational) decisions based on personal values?
When we were little, most of us had parents or guardians who taught us right from wrong, and good from bad in order to help shape us into productive individuals within society. Many of the values that were instilled in us from a young age, carried over into our adulthood and have some cultural relevance or uniqueness. As we live and learn, life experiences help either confirm values already instilled, or we form new ones that based on a core set of values that help us to distinguish between what we should and should not, or would and would not do. By definition, values are connected to us in such an emotional way that they are not easily shut off. Our values ultimately affect decision-making in both our personal and professional lives. Our personal values are like the heartbeat of each decision. When making any decision, there is a critical evaluation process which filters each choice through a core set of values, separating those decisions which are consistent with your personal or professional values versus those that are not.
While there is a difference...