Essay about Values Based Decision-Making

1416 Words Mar 5th, 2006 6 Pages
An individual's personal, organizational, and cultural values are the foundation of their personal and professional decision-making cycle. These values form the core of that individual's moral fabric, and his actions and decisions are predicated on those beliefs. Shalom H. Schwartz defined values as "conceptions of the desirable that guide the way social actors (e.g. organizational leaders, policy-makers, individual persons) select actions, evaluate people and events, and explain their actions and evaluations" (Schwartz, 1999, pp. 24-25). Because values drive the way individuals select actions, this paper will outline how my personal, organizational, and cultural values affect my decision-making.
Personal Values
Personally, I hold
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When making decisions about my personal life, it is integral that I am honest to myself and to others. An example of this would be making a decision to take a vacation. While the vacation would be enjoyable, if I did not have the funds to pay for the vacation without using credit cards, I would have to be honest with myself and my family about the monetary situation and decide against the vacation. Professionally, it is critical to be honest because without the credibility of your superiors and subordinates, you are nothing. Any dishonest act, while perhaps having short-term benefits, is likely to reduce your credibility in the eyes of others. Once you have lost this credibility and trust, it is nearly impossible to regain it.
In an insightful article in the Journal of Business Ethics, D. J. Fritzsche tested the hypothesis that certain instrumental personal values such as responsibility, honesty, and broadmindedness are associated with ethical decision-making (Fritzsche, 1995). In his study, Fritzsche surveyed 750 business managers in a series of vignettes. He found that while these core values can be a yardstick for ethical decision-making, not all three values can be used generically (Fritzsche, 1995). Fritzsche concluded that different value sets promoted ethical behavior in different types of ethical dilemmas (Fritzsche, 1995). The only consistent value he found through his survey was that