Values and ethics are very important to the study of organizational behaviour because they lay the foundation for the understanding of attitudes and motivation of individuals in the workplace because they influence our perceptions towards something (Robbins, 1993)…
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As such, this paper seeks to explore the significance of values and ethics in the workplace. The paper starts by explaining the meaning of these two interrelated concepts. The main body of the paper will attempt to illustrate how these concepts influence group behaviour as well as performance in an organization. Basically, values represent convictions that “a specific mode of conduct or end state of existence is personally or socially preferable to an opposite or converse mode of conduct or end state of existence,” (Robbins, 1993, p.171). They contain a judgemental element in that they carry an individual’s ideas as to what is right, good or desirable. On the other hand, values are described as the “essential and enduring tenets” that help define the company and are “not to be compromised for financial gain or short term expediency,” (DesJardins, 2006, p. 5). In simple terms, values are treated as beliefs that often incline businesses to act in certain ways in order to distinguish themselves from other organizations. It should be noted that values range from financial, religious as well as political factors among others. These shape the operations of business towards the attainment of its set goals. However, the concept of values goes hand in hand with the concept of ethics which is particularly concerned with serving the ends of human well being. It is generally believed that the concept of ethics mainly derive from the value system that exists among members of a certain group of people. This value system helps to distinguish one group from the other. This also helps to shape the policies of companies in different places. Ethics refers to values, principles and standards that operate within a certain business and these attempt to make a distinction between something that is morally good from bad (Rossouw, 2004). The concept of ethics is developed from the value system obtaining from a business set up. Therefore, it can be seen that these two concepts are somehow interrelated since they play a significant role in shaping the behaviour of the workers in their respective workplaces. Though they are not synonymous, they play a pivotal role in moulding the behaviour of the employees in a certain organization. Thus, in a bid to create a high performing culture in the workplace, values and ethics in the organization ought to be given special consideration since they are very important in shaping the behaviour of members belonging to that company. Carrel (1995) posits to the effect that values are a representation of a particular type of conduct that is preferred by the people belonging to a certain organization. This shapes the behaviour of people and it also helps them to make a distinction between something that is good from bad. Values also shape the perceptions possessed by employees in a given organization about different aspects that affect their lives. Since values are shared by all people within a given organization, it can be noted that they play a very important role in promoting group cohesion given that people belonging to that group will share a common understanding towards the goals and objectives of the organization. Emphasis in the organization will be based on the notion of collective identity where members of a particular group are identified as similar rather than focusing on individual interests. Therefore, it can be noted that these shared values in an organization influence the employees to pull their efforts towards the same direction and this can help the
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