Shana S. Brown
COM 525 Managerial Communications and Ethics
Instructor: Jerry Barkley
University of Phoenix-Charlotte Campus
February 28, 2005
Cultural Values and Personal Ethics
I will be discussing how I make decisions, based on my cultural values and personal ethics to interact with people of different cultural values and ethics in society and the workplace without conflict. According to Peters (2003), "Personal ethics have been defined as principles of good behavior. Personal ethics are the rules we impose on ourselves that govern our daily actions. Our ethical beliefs are dynamic growing, shifting and changing throughout our lives" (2003, p1). Culture--as defined is--"the total pattern of human behavior embodied in thought, speech [and] action" (Merriam, 2002, p2). Before I make a decision about anything, I always ask myself what affects would my decision making have on my family. "What are the consequences"? "Will my decision hurt anyone"? "Is this the right decision to make"? and "Why did I make this decision"? I know making decisions based on my personal values are appropriate as long as I consider other's cultural values and ethics. I believe when you consider other's in any aspect of decision making, it causes better decision making and little or no conflict.
However, I did not always consider other's, and their cultural values, and ethics. The ethics that I experienced as a child has affected my life negatively and positively. I found myself making bad decisions because of the ethical lifestyle of my guardians. I have made decisions in the past without asking myself the same questions I ask myself today, which consist of "What affect will my decision make on my family", and "What will be the consequences for making the decision"? "Will anyone get hurt because of the decision"? and "Why did I make the decision?
Even though my guardians sometime displayed ethics that would be consider unethical to some people and myself now, it helped me set my own personal values and ethics that will help me interact with others in a manner that displayed my consideration for other culture values and ethics. I believe that I have flaws that I have to work on. With this in mind, when making decisions I also ask myself questions such as, "What can I improve about myself"? "Should I consider other's ideas, opinions, values, and ethics when making a decisions that will affect my life and others personal lives, or workplace? Specifically, in the workplace, it is essential to ensure that we consider everyone's diverse background when dealing with cultural and ethic issues. [CEO Kent Kresa inherited a company that had a poor reputation for integrity, a battered stock price, and an unfortunate reputation as one of the least admired companies in its industry" (Goldsmith, 2003, p2). "His leadership team reversed the company's poor image and engineered a turn around in performance. From the beginning of the process, Kent led by example. He communicated clear expectations for ethics, values and behaviors. He made sure that he was evaluated by the same standards that he set for everyone else. He consistently reached out to co-workers. He didn't just work to develop he leaders he created an environment in which the company's leaders were working to develop him]. (Goldsmith, 2003, p2) Kent reminds me of my boss in the way she runs her company. My boss conducts team meetings, which consist of all employees, to find out our ideas, concerns, how we feel abut the workplace environment, and she always ask the question, "What can I do to help you"? My boss is always willing to help out employees. I really admire that my boss always relate to the company as "Our Company" because she feels that the employees make the company successful. I work for a company that believes and demonstrate team work everyday. Even though our pay rate and positions, are different our culture values and ethics are always respected. Culture values and Organization
In addition to cultural values, organizational values too can affect a person's decisions. For example, the organization I work for is multicultural. Everyone within the organization promotes mutual respect, acceptance, teamwork, and productivity among diverse employees and clients. As a Community Base Service Professional, I help clients with mental health problems. In my profession, I have to display values and ethics that are suitable for that particular client. All clients have different cultural values and personal ethics, so in order to help that client CBS Professionals, have to adjust to the clients' values and ethics. Clients that I help come from different backgrounds. Most clients are very outspoken about who they prefer as a CBS Professional. With that being said, a problem may develop within the workplace, with the employee and with client. Problems that may occur within the workplace may include (1)An employee may not be able to receive any hours until a new client is referred to the company, so that leaves an employee out of work because of one client's culture values and ethics (2) The company will loss profits if the company does not have an employee who suits the client culture values, and ethics (3) A problem that may arise with the client is that the client may not receive the health services that they need which are recommended by the psychiatrist.
My boss is very selective, about who she hire's for the organization so that she will be able to provide services to all clients of different cultures and ethics. In my profession, I have to adjust and display a nonjudgmental approach to clients regardless of their cultural values, and ethics. I learned from past experiences, that you should research an organization, and learn about their organization codes to determine if that organization is right for you. I make personal and professional decisions everyday; often these decisions are drawn from my values, and what I believe to be right. In order for me to be 100% ethical, I keep in mind of other people's culture values, and ethics when making decisions, Therefore, I must be convinced that I have made the right choice and prepare myself to face the consequences if I didn't make the right decision. Overall, I adjust in the necessary manner to interact with people in society and the workplace to avoid conflict because of other's cultural values and ethics.
Goldsmith, M. (2003) To Help Others Develop, Start with
Yourself, Fast Company 80, p100, 1p, 2c Retrieved February 06, 2005 from http://weblinks1.epnet.com
Merriam-Webster's third new international dictionary unabridged (2003). Merriam-Webster Inc. Retrieved February 09, 2005 from http://www.mwu.eb.com/mwu
Peters, D. (2003). Your personal ethics-Is it time for a check-up? National Jeweler, 97, (7), p30 2/3 p. Retrieved February 09, 2005 from EBSCO Host.