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Ethics and Values

By | August 2010
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What are ethics and values? Ethics and values can seem rather similar, but there is a basic difference. Values define one’s personal character while ethics stresses more of a system in which those values are applied or expected. In other words, ethics point to a standard of codes or rules expected to be followed by the group or organization to which the individual belongs. This could be anything from religion, clubs, the workplace or even family. So while a person’s values are usually unchanging, the ethics he or she practices can be greatly different. A definition of values and ethics is important in understanding its fundamentals. Different sources of ethics and values can then be considered, and examples that may or may not have used values and ethics to get ahead in career success are examined. Values can be defined as things that are important to or valued by someone. That someone can be an individual or, collectively, an organization. One place where values are important is in relation to vision. According to Dictionary.com (2010), values are “beliefs of a person or social group in which they have an emotional investment (either for or against something); ‘he has very conservative values’.” Ethics are considered the moral standards by which people judge behavior. Ethics are often summed up in what is considered the “golden rule”—do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Ethics is defined as “a system of moral principles” Dictionary.com (2010). One source of professional ethics and values can be found in international development. “Development ethicists assess the ends and means of local, national, regional, and global development” (Crocker, 2004, para. 1). Workers involved in international development include policy makers, project managers, grassroots communities, and international aid donors. Each of these confronts moral questions in their work. Thus, ethical principles are implemented to work in bringing social change to poor, developing...
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