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Cultural Values And Personal Ethics in Business

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Every day people make decisions that may have profound effect on their personal and/or professional lives as well as the lives of others. The decision people make have a foundation on their personal, cultural, and perhaps organizational values. When these values are in disagreement, an ethical dilemma occurs.
This article attempts to explain how personal, cultural, and organizational values play significant parts in decision-making. In addition, the foundation of ethical dilemmas can often be traced to conflicting values. This paper will also briefly discuss how ethical dilemmas can be mitigated. A practical approach for understanding how ethical dilemmas occur, how dilemmas can be prevented, and how to make ethical decisions can best be done by studying how these values, particularly personal values, affect behavior and influence the decision-making.

Personal and Cultural Values
People's values have an immense effect on how people live and the choices they make. According to Disbrow (n.d.), "personal values will always be the cornerstone of decisions." The development of personal values and beliefs begin in childhood when people interact with organizational units such as families, caregivers, educational and religious institutions, etc. (Hopen, 2002). Experiences and interaction with organizational units influence the values people deem important to them. Personal values become a personal blueprint for people on how to live their lives, their convictions, and the decisions they make. Connor (2003) concludes "values are global beliefs that transcendentally guide actions and judgments across specific objects and situations."
Similar to personal values, cultural values are deep-rooted since childhood. Srnka (2004) states t...

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Molloy, A. (2005). Decisions, decisions. Harvard Public Health Review. Retrieved December 2, 2005,
Srnka, K. (2004). Culture's role in marketers' ethical decision-making. Academy of Marketing Science Review. Retrieved December 1, 2005, from
Tangri, R. (2003). Building a values-driven organization. Approaching Change. Retrieved December 3, 2005, from

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