The Growth and Formation of Individual Ethics
Personal ethics materialize at an early age, and evolve throughout a person’s life based on many internal and external influences. These internal and external influences form the basis for each individual ethical system and determine how that system will interact with all the other individual ethical systems in which it will contact and interact within and outside of the professional environment. Most individual’s ethical system will be similar but not a carbon copy of immediate family and friends because they have a strong influence on belief development and share many common experiences. Social interactions over a lifetime of associations in many diverse communal environments formulate the basis of the individual morals, norms, and beliefs. The closer the relationship the more likely it is to have a lasting effect on a person’s beliefs and morals. In the modern increasingly mobile workforce this makes the possibility of a group of employees with identical morals, norms, and beliefs remote. This causes management to be more sensitive to these differences when writing company policies ensuring they specifically dictate expectations instead of assuming the employee will already knows the proper behavior and consequences of his or her actions in an ethical situation. The workforce is only becoming more diverse, which makes understanding cultural differences between employees, management and company policy so vital when trying to establish an ethical work environment. Ethics is personal not some abstract theory. Individuals have hundreds of social interactions every day. Most are casual with little subtenant interaction. The influence that determines a person’s moral compass does not come from these interactions. There must be a crisis, challenge, problem or serious interruption of the normal life pattern or comfort zone to influence the ethical system. Here is an example of someone who has lost a close...
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