by Dan

The topic of ethics or a set of followed values can mean the difference between right vs wrong, success vs failure and development vs decay.  It is important to gain as much understanding as possible regarding value principles and how to apply them appropriately to applicable situations.  Effective application of ethics has the power to create a ripple effect which will influence those touched to respond in kind.  Ultimately those within influential distance will continue to resonate back and forth continually being strengthened by one another.

Personal Values:

Before ever having the ability to apply ethical values to a group you must first determine your personal value system.  In many cases, our parents or family unit helps to instill our initial value set.  This set of values can be as simple as sharing, listening and apologizing when in the wrong.

Parents with young children must often guide by “might=right” values due to a lack of understanding or personal experience.  During the formative years it is my belief that this theory has a very positive effect when the “right” values are passed along.  Another principle often learned at a young age is the “golden rule” where it is important to do-unto-others as you would have them do-unto-you.  Effectively teaching this principle early in life will set the stage for the application or random acts of kindness as well as positive communications.

Management Values:

It is of high importance for managers to understand that many of the values-based management concepts and outcomes can be linked together in such a way to produce positive outcomes for stake holders, management and employees.

For me, applying a “might=right” value system is not an ethical use of leadership power and will ultimately lead to employee disenchantment and cultural breakdown.  While on the other hand, following values set by the “golden rule” may start a very positive cultural ripple within the organization.  Within my organizations of influence I believe implementing several variations of the values based theories will help to create a culture which breads success.

For example, an appropriate implementation of the justice principle is an effective tool to ensure that performance is rewarded with distributive results and there are retributive results for clear violations of important values. It is important to the personal rights theory to ensure that everyone’s rights are maintained where possible and when rights conflict the appropriate solution is implemented for the greater good.

Ultimately, creating a situation where organization ethics are top-of-mind will ensure that all those who join the corporate family accept, live and enjoy the culture created.   With that said, organizational ethics must be focused on principles which are deemed universally beneficial and morally good.

As a stakeholders and/or management, my ability to successfully develop, implement and follow a company values statement and associated cultural guide will instill within employees a higher level of respect personal value.  In turn the employee will become a more engaged worker.  With greater employee engagement they will certainly respect, follow and uphold company culture, driving benefit back to the stakeholders.

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