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Cultural Values and Personal Ethics

Essay by   •  January 28, 2011  •  Essay  •  872 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,374 Views

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When a person tries to sit down and write out how his or her feelings or go about in his or her life dealing with cultural values and personal ethics, he or she may look at themselves in a whole new light. He or she would think that whatever their cultural values are they should coincide with their personal ethics and for most people this may not always be the case. As I took the time to write this paper and think about my own values and ethics I began to analyze those who are around me and I asked them about their own values and ethics and if they have ever felt that they had to make a decision where their personal values conflicted with their cultural values. Almost every person I asked said yes and thus I began to wonder as to how these decisions either made the situation better or worse and to whose opinion.

My first question to myself was what is ethics? Are they the same as values? In my research I found that ethics refers to principles that define behavior as right, good and proper. The terms "ethics" and "values" are interchangeable. Ethics is concerned with how a moral person should behave, whereas values are the inner judgments that determine how a person behaves. Values concern ethics when they pertain to beliefs about what is right and wrong. Most values; however have nothing to do with ethics. For instance, the desire for health and wealth are values, but not ethical values (Hanson 2002). Making ethical decisions requires the ability to make distinctions between competing choices. One requires training, in the home and beyond (Hanson 2002).

Being a manager at Wendy's, my personal values and ethics and the company's ethics seem to conflict with each other occasionally. I often find myself making many decisions that should not be made off my own values. Although this has not been a problem in the past I am now in a different situation. The restaurant that I am managing now is very diverse. Culturally I have nothing in common with most of the people who I manage. Some are older and some are younger but they all have one thing in common...they live in a wealthy suburb. I often find myself faced with different situations where the company's ethics policy always seems to override my own cultural ethics. Sometimes this works out for the person with whom the situation is with and other times the situation does not work out. Although I try my hardest to understand how my subordinates are feeling, I find myself saying what would I do if I were in that predicament or how would I want my manager to handle my situation. This is where the conflict always seems to come in. As a manager, I know that company policies have to be followed but how does one turn off compassion? How does one look away from what is right or wrong according to his or her values and ethics?

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