University of Phoenix
Managerial Communication and Ethics
December 12, 2004
Cultural Values and Personal Ethics
Behavior is such an ingrained part of culture and society that it becomes a common reaction in response to a multitude of everyday situations. From birth, we are all coached and cultivated to learn the ways of those around us or to develop a “social identity” (Stroink, 2004, p. 273). Our behavior is corrected or discouraged according to the norms or standards of the group. Culture is defined by the on-line source Dictionary.com as:
a. The totality of socially transmitted behavior patterns, arts, beliefs, institutions, and all other products of human work and thought.
b. These patterns, traits, and products considered as the expression of a particular period, class, community, or population: Edwardian culture; Japanese culture; the culture of poverty.
c. These patterns, traits, and products considered with respect to a particular category, such as a field, subject, or mode of expression: religious culture in the Middle Ages; musical culture; oral culture.
d. The predominating attitudes and behavior that characterize the functioning of a group or organization.
The home where you grew up, the neighborhood in which you played, the schools you attended, your social circles of friends and family, and your place of work define culture. These circles of influence on your behavior constantly overlap and are endless.
Ethics is generally thought of as correct behavior or as defined by Dictonary.com as “a set of principles of right conduct” or “a theory or a system of moral values.” Ethics in different cultures have different standards. For example, in India cows are sacred animals, whereas in the United States they are regularly eaten. This difference in behavior originates in the culture of the peoples who populate these respective countries. The problems arise... [continues]
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