Ethics and Morality

04/12/2022 0 By indiafreenotes



Meaning Morals are the beliefs of the individual or group as to what is right or wrong. Ethics are the guiding principles which help the individual or group to decide what is good or bad.
What is it? General principles set by group Response to a specific situation
Root word Mos which means custom Ethikos which means character
Governed By Social and cultural norms Individual or Legal and Professional norms
Deals with Principles of right and wrong Right and wrong conduct
Applicability in Business No Yes
Consistency Morals may differ from society to society and culture to culture. Ethics are generally uniform.
Expression Morals are expressed in the form of general rules and statements. Ethics are abstract.
Freedom to think and choose No Yes

These can be defined as ideas or beliefs that a person holds desirable or undesirable.

The variability in that statement is, first, what a person could value, and second, the degree to which they value it.

Values may be specific, such as honoring one’s parents or owning a home or they may be more general, such as health, love, and democracy. ‘Truth prevails”, “love thy neighbor as yourself, “learning is good as ends itself are a few examples of general values.

Individual achievement, personal happiness, and materialism are major values of modem industrial society.

It is defined as a concept of the desirable, an internalized creation or standard of evaluation a person possesses.

Such concepts and standards are relatively few and determine or guide an individual’s evaluations of the many objects encountered in everyday life.

The characteristics of values are:

  • These are extremely practical, and valuation requires not just techniques but also an understanding of the strategic context.
  • These can provide standards of competence and morality.
  • These can go beyond specific situations or persons.
  • Personal values can be influenced by culture, tradition, and a combination of internal and external factors.
  • These are relatively permanent.
  • These are more central to the core of a person.
  • Most of our core values are learned early in life from family, friends, neighborhood school, the mass print, visual media and other sources within the society.
  • Values are loaded with effective thoughts about ideas, objects, behavior, etc.
  • They contain a judgmental element in that they carry an individual’s ideas as to what is right, good, or desirable.
  • Values can differ from culture to culture and even person to person.
  • Values play a significant role in the integration and fulfillment of man’s basic impulses and desire stably and consistently appropriate for his living.
  • They are generic experiences in social action made up of both individual and social responses and attitudes.
  • They build up societies, integrate social relations.
  • They mold the ideal dimensions of personality and depth of culture.
  • They influence people’s behavior and serve as criteria for evaluating the actions of others.
  • They have a great role to play in the conduct of social life. They help in creating norms to guide day-to-day behavior.

The values of a culture may change, but most remain stable during one person’s lifetime.

Socially shared, intensely felt values are a fundamental part of our lives. These values become part of our personalities. They are shared and reinforced by those with whom we interact.

Since values often strongly influence both attitude and behavior, they serve as a kind of personal compass for employee conduct in the workplace.

These help to determine whether an employee is passionate about work and the workplace, which in turn can lead to above-average returns, high employee satisfaction, strong team dynamics, and synergy.


Values refer to stable life goals that people have, reflecting on what is most important to them.

These are established throughout one’s life as a result of accumulating life experiences and tend to be relatively stable.

The values that are important to people tend to affect the types of decisions they make, how they perceive their environment, and their actual behaviors.

Moreover, people are more likely to accept job offers when the company possesses the values people care about.

Value attainment is one reason why people stay in a company, and when an organization does not help them to attain their values, they are more likely to decide to leave if they are dissatisfied with the job itself.

2 Types fo Values

Rokeach divided values into two types.

Two types of values are;

  1. Terminal Values.
  2. Instrumental Values.

Terminal Values are most desirable to humans and Instrumental values are views of how human desires should be achieved.

Terminal Values

These are values that we think are most important or most desirable.

These refer to desirable end states of existence, the goals a person would like to achieve during his or her lifetime.

They include happiness, self-respect, recognition, inner harmony, leading a prosperous life, and professional excellence.

Instrumental Values

Instrumental values deal with views on acceptable modes of conductor means of achieving the terminal values.

These include being honest, sincere, ethical, and being ambitious. These values are more focused on personality traits and character.

There are many typologies of values. One of the most established surveys to assess individual values is the Rokeach Value Survey.

This survey lists 18 terminal and 18 instrumental values in alphabetical order.

They are given below:

Terminal Values

Instrumental Values

A comfortable life (a prosperous life) Ambitious (hardworking)
An exciting life (a stimulating, active life) Broadminded (open minded)
A sense of accomplishment (lasting contribution) Capable (competent, efficient)
A world of peace (free of war and conflict) Cheerful ( lighthearted, joyful)
 A world of beauty (the beauty of nature and the arts) Clean (neat, tidy)
Equality (brotherhood, equal opportunity for all) Courageous (standing up for your beliefs)
Family security (taking care of loved ones) Forgiving (willing to pardon)
Freedom (independence, free choice) Helpful (working for the welfare of others)
Happiness ( contentedness) Honest (sincere, truthful)
Inner harmony (freedom from inner conflict) Imaginative (daring, creative)
Mature love (sexual and spiritual intimacy) Independent (self-reliant, self-sufficient)
National security (protection from attack) Intellectual (intelligent, reflective)
Pleasure (an enjoyable, leisurely life) Logical (consistent, rational)
Salvation (saved, eternal) Loving (affectionate, tender)
SSelf-respect(self-esteem) Obedient (dutiful, respectful)
Social recognition (respect, admiration) Polite (courteous, well-mannered)
True friend (close companionship) Responsible (dependable, reliable)
Wisdom ( a mature understanding of life) Self-controlled (restrained, self-disciplined)

The values a person holds will affect his or her employment.

For example, someone who has an orientation toward strong stimulation may pursue extreme sports and select an occupation that involves fast action and high risks, such as firefighter, police officer, or emergency medical doctor.

Someone who has a drive for achievement may more readily act as an entrepreneur.

Several studies confirm that the RVS values vary among groups. People in the same occupations or categories (e.g. corporate managers, union members, parents, students) tend to hold similar values.

For instance, one study compared corporate executives, members of the steelworkers’ union, and members of a community activist group.

Although a good deal of overlap was found among the three groups, there were also some very significant differences.

The activists had value preferences that were quite different from those of the other two groups.

They ranked “equality” as their most important terminal value, executives and union members ranked this value 12 and 13, respectively. Activists ranked “helpful” as their second-highest instrumental value.

The other two groups both ranked it 14. These differences are important, because executives, union members, and activists all have a vested interest in what corporations do.

Formation of values in Organisational behaviour

Formation of values are learned and acquired primarily through experiences with people and institutions.

Parents, for example, will have substantial influence on their children’s values. A parent’s reaction to everyday events demonstrates what is good and bad, acceptable and unacceptable and important and unimportant. Values are also taught and reinforced in schools, religious organizations, and social groups. As we grow and develop, each source of influence contributes to our definition what is important in life. Cultural mores have influence of the formation of values. Basic convictions of what is good or bad are derived from one’s own culture.