The Importance Of Personal Value Systems And Business Ethics

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The extent to which personal value systems and business ethics appear to be intricately related to managerial decision-making is of particular importance. Baumhart (1961) indicated that one of the variables affecting business ethics and decision-making was an individual’s personal value system and personal code of behaviour. He recommended additional research to clarify this relationship. In response, England (1975) conducted a comprehensive survey to investigate managers’ value systems and ethical decision-making. That much remained to be discovered about personal value systems, how they are forced, and how they are affected in an organisational environment was shown by the study findings. Other researchers have extended inquiry in this area. In 1983, Schmidt and Posner surveyed 1460 chief executives and managers to determine the importance of managerial values in today’s business environment. Study findings appear to support the conclusions of previous researchers (Baumhart, 1961; Brenner & Molander, 1977; England, 1975; Miller, 1982) that values, both personal and corporate, play an important role in ethical decision-making) reported: Many organisations may be overlooking one of the most important keys to greater effectiveness: A close link between personal and organisational values (p. 9). A complication in establishing this link, however, is the finding that there is a clear contradiction between what managers perceive as their values and how they actually behave.

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