Business Ethics Values Direct Term Paper

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Business Ethics

Values direct and determine how we do any action we decide to do. Whenever we have a choice, which we always do, our values will influence our decision. This is no different when applied to an employment setting.

I am driven to help others by my value of community. I believe that we all have a duty as a member of our community, no matter at what level (local, national, global) to help make it a better community for others. I feel strongly about such social issues as: poverty, racism, child abuse and unemployment and thus am drawn to jobs that allow me to help others.

A find that I have trouble accepting work assignments or environments that conflict with my values. For example, I value having an open mind. I would have difficulty working for an employer who has a negative outlook on other people.

Sometimes I would like to change my value of placing others before myself as this leads to having a work-first lifestyle that may get in the way of my own well being and that of my family.

When I need help, as we all often do, I have no problem seeking help from others. Again, this goes back to my value of community, believing that each of us is here to help each other in a specific way.

I think my personal values are both unique and similar. Although many people value community, the way I define community, and thus value it, is unique to me.

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The first step in understanding character development is understanding where an individual gets their values, or their view as to the meaning of life. This step is essential because one's values serve as excellent predictors as to eventual economic success or potential for economic development. An individual's philosophy on the meaning of life has a profound effect on establishing their values, which likewise has a profound control on such things as career plans, ambitions, view of self and self-development. Thus, by viewing an individuals work ethic and self-image, one can quickly come to a general conclusion on what that individual's philosophy of meaning and what their values are.

Term Paper on Business Ethics Values Direct and Determine How Assignment

For example, one who holds an atheistic meaning, or one that does not believe in a supreme god or supernatural being and therefore none of the universe's inhabitants were created with divine overbearing, have a unique philosophy on the origin and purpose of life. Without the existence of a god telling one what to do, atheist tend to have a more independent and individualistic approach to life. Thus, you will often see such individuals placing high value on decision making and individuality and choosing career plans that cater to this individualist tendencies. One popular career path is the arts. Further, these individuals will take charge and responsibility for their own self-development since they believe they have complete control of it.

Existentialist, on the other hand, view life as a reflection of one's will and that one's will is aimless and irrational. According to existentialist, life is absurd and the only solution is to make one's own values in an otherwise indifferent world. Meaning is created by devoting oneself to these values. Thus, an existentialist will often have a dedicated career path, believing that the only way to create meaning in their life is to commit to their value, such as hard work. Further, existentialist often also look to create meaning by working with others and helping them create values. Thus, many existentialist become involved in such fields as social work and teaching.

Humanist view the purpose of life as being biological. In other words, the purpose of life is to reproduce and continue the human race. Based off of this biological foundation, humanist tend to have a value set that is based on human needs and are thus often self-interested. However, humanist understand that their self-interest is tied to society's self-interest an thus, their own well-being in inextricably linked to the well-being of society as a whole. Thus, humanist value relationships, friendships and family. Humanist also tend to pursue careers focused on improving society, in such fields as social work, education, non-profit organizations and politics.

Positivist, on the other hand, also take a self-interested approach to meaning, but understand that meaning comes not from others but only from the events found throughout ones life and the results of one's life, in terms of achievements, legacy, etc. Thus, positivist will have a value set that includes self-interested pursuit and entertainment. They will value anything that makes them feel better. Therefore their career choices will be in fields that contribute to creating life events, such as a career in law or medicine.

Pragmatist believe that meaning comes from the continued struggle of individuals trying to achieve significance amongst other individuals. They value such things as knowledge and the pursuit of truth. In order to discover truths, one must pursue knowledge by taking ideas, making predictions and testing them. Therefore, pragmatist often pursuit careers in the academics and various sciences.

Of course these personal ethics did not just "appear." Instead, my personal values and ethics are something that have been shaped and developed and will continue to grow as I continue to grow. There has been much research conducted on the development of ethics, many studies showing that ethics are developed in a form of ethical evolution, or, as it is more commonly referred to: character development. As an individual matures, each one of us undergoes a character development. As character is another term of morals, each of us goes through specific stage of developing morals.

At the foundation of this character development is a definition of the difference between good and bad virtues. The fundamental moral question of human existence is what is the nature of good virtues? Although virtues by its very nature means good, or the opposite of vice, this does not make the answer to the question any simpler. Every individual has a different idea of what virtues are, meaning that to one person a virtue may be a virtue but to another the virtue is perceived as a vice. The result is that there is no definition as to what is virtuous, therefore leading to the ongoing question of "what is the nature of good virtue?"

Several contemporary theorist who have struggled with defining the nature of good virtue as it applies to society are Carol Gilligan, James Fowler and James T. Brotzke. Each of these theorists brought a unique and often conflicting perspectives onto what it means to be moral and thus have good virtues.

The central theme in Gilligan's work is the establishment of the theory known as the ethics of care. The ethics of care is seen as the opposite of the ethics of justice. According to this theory, the nature of good virtue is part of an ethical development that all humans progressed through. In other words, humans learn what is right (virtuous) and what is wrong (vices) in progressive stages. This is opposed to the traditional justice view of morality, which is a male-orientated theory. In the feminist ethics of care, morals are seen through such things as solidarity, community and caring about one's special relationships. (Gilligan, 1993; p. 47-65).

According to Gilligan, there are three stages in developing good virtue. First is the pre-conventional stage, where the goal is purely individual survival. Second is the conventional stage, where self-sacrifice is seen as being the basis of good virtue. Finally there is the post-conventional stage where the goal is the principle of nonviolence or not hurting others or oneself. (Gilligan, 1993; et. al.).

James Fowler's Stages of Faith, like Gilligan, examines the development of morals. However, unlike Gilligan, Fowler's theory uses a religious approach as opposed to a feminist approach. According to Fowler, one's personal faith is akin to ones personal morals, thus ones faith is the nature of an individual's good virtue. Like Piaget's theory of cognitive development, Kohlberg's stages of moral development, and Gilligan's stages of moral development, Fowler also theorizes that the development of faith is based in stages. (Fowler, 1995; et. al.).

According to Fowler's stages of faith development, an individual goes through a lifelong series of staged developments of faith, or character development. In this theory, faith is seen as a holistic orientation and thus is centered on the individual as he or she relates to society. According to Fowler, this development occurs in seven separate stages. At the first stage, primal faith is characterized by an early understanding of staying safe in one's environment. At the intuitive-projective stage, an individual's psyche is unprotected and thus exposed to the unconscious. The mythic-literal stage finds the person having a strong belief in justice and reciprocity with an anthropomorphic deity. The synthetic- conventional stage is characterized by conformity, whereas the individuate-reflective stage is filled with angst and struggle as the individual takes on personal responsibility for their beliefs and feelings. The conjunctive stage, which occurs at midlife, is… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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