If you wish to be better prepared to make tough ethical decisions at work or elsewhere in your life, it can be extremely helpful to clarify your personal ethical values before they’re seriously challenged. Following is a selected list of values (in alphabetical order). Feel free to add one or more if you have a deeply held value that is not represented on this list (it is not meant to be exhaustive). In priority order (with 1 being the most important value), list from three to five values that are most important to you personally in making decisions. That’s the easy part. Next, think seriously about what happens when two or more of these values conflict. For example, what happens if you value both honesty and success and they come into conflict? Are you willing to forgo financial success in order to be completely honest with customers or suppliers? In other words, how would you prioritize your values? Next, if you’re working, think about the values of your organization and how those are prioritized. Finally, list those values that you would choose to serve as the basis for business dealings in an ideal society. Be prepared to discuss.

Action orientation 

Freedom 

Responsibility

Altruism 

Harmony 

Risk taking

Authority 

Helpfulness 

Security

Compassion 

Honesty/integrity 

Self‐discipline

Competence 

Honor  

Status

Conformity 

Humility 

Success

Creativity 

Initiative 

Teamwork

Customer satisfaction 

Innovation  

Tradition

Diversity 

Loyalty 

Wealth

Equality 

Novelty 

Winning

Excitement 

Obedience 

Experimentation 

Order 

Fairness/justice 

Power 

Family well‐being 

Promise keeping 

Flexibility/adaptability 

Respect  

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