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Values and Ethics

Professional Values and Ethics Jocelyn Agbayani, Megan Benson, and Kevin Wilson GEN/200 November 1, 2010 Dale McCurdy

Values and Ethics

Professional Values and Ethics The success that an individual will have in his or her career is largely based on the values and ethics that the individual practices in life. Andrews (1989) stated, Values and ethics can be classified as things that hold importance to or are valued by an individual or organization. Therefore, the values and ethics that govern a persons career are not always his or her own. Many organizations operate by a specific set of values that each individual must learn to adapt to. For example, a person who has a strong desire to succeed and a high-level of determination will often attain a high-level of professional success. However, if that individual conducts business in a way that conflicts with organizational values the actions may hurt the individuals success. In this essay, my learning team and I will differentiate between and define values and ethics, identify multiple sources of values and ethics in a professional setting, and describe in-depth how professional values and ethics can affect the success or failure of an individuals career. According to Newman (2010), professional values are the main beliefs that direct our choices in how we perform in the workplace. With this definition in mind, it is clear that this type of value is a pivotal part of the success or failure of an individual or organization. One example of values in a professional setting would be a companys customer service policy. A quality customer service policy can help maintain customer retention for a company in addition to generate new customers from positive reviews. Professional ethics are much different from professional values despite the close association of the two. Newman (2010) stated, Ethics is designed to educate people, to help them

Values and Ethics

to behave properly with others, to communicate at the workplace, etc. Professional ethics taught to follow the measurement standards of morality, adopted in order to regulate human behavior. An example of professional ethics would be a doctors choice to keep patient confidentiality or to give out patient information. Multiple sources of professional values and ethics are often found in professional settings. For example because values and ethics are often viewed in gray areas, many successful organizations have established an ethical program or a code of conduct in the workplace. A code of conduct is defined as "a statement and description of required behaviors, responsibilities, and actions expected of employees of an organization or of members of a professional body ("Code of conduct" 2009). Code of conducts are not just standard codes and procedures that an organization adhere to, but it serves as a guiding light that helps employers and employees walk their path to success, together. Aside from the written codes of conduct in a workplace, business leaders such as office managers and executives are another source of professional values and ethics. These strong leaders set the tone and expectations of the business. Because business leaders are often looked up to by their employees, it is important they demonstrate loyalty, respect, and accountability as well as to avoid harassment and discrimination. The third source of professional values and ethics in a workplace can be found in the mission statement. A mission statement is a brief statement outlining the organizations purpose and goal. It not only serves as a marketing and branding tool to customers, but it also serves as a motivational statement for staffs and employees. A mission statement implements a companys value and is a useful guide for employees when making ethical decisions.

Values and Ethics

Professional values and ethics can impact personal success by either increasing or decreasing the success of an individuals career. Because of this, an individual must always be aware of the risks and rewards of every choice or action he or she makes. For example, if an individual follows a positive set of values and adjusts his or her actions based on quality ethical guidelines they can increase the chances of maintaining a successful career. Another example is an employee who gossips about other colleagues in the workplace and has no discretion. This shows that he or she have no concern for other peoples feelings and cannot keep to themselves. To higher management, they may view this persons action as lack of confidentiality to personal information as well as company information. This type of unethical behavior may prevent an employee from moving forward in their career. Values and ethics are essential to any organization or individual in a professional environment, which is why it is very important for individuals to understand the difference between values and ethics. Being mindful and respectful towards an organizations values in addition to practicing ethical behavior can lead to career success.

Values and Ethics

References Andrews, K. (1989). Ethics in practice. Harvard Business Review (Sept.-Oct.): p. 99-104. Retrieved from http://hbr.org/magazine Carter, C., Bishop, J., & Kravits, S. (2007). Keys to college studying: Becoming an active thinker (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. Code of conduct. (2009). In BUSINESS: The Ultimate Resource. Retrieved from http://www.credoreference.com/entry/ultimatebusiness/code_of_conduct Newman, M. (2010). Professional values and ethics. Retrieved from http://www.articlesbase.com/ethics-articles/professional-values-and-ethics1663610.html#ixzz13cYC4iqD Posner, R. (n.d.). Buisiness: Utilizing Buisiness Values. Retrieved from http://www.gurusoftware.com/gurunet/knowledgebase/Business/Values.htm#Meaning