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Professional Value and Ethics

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Professional Values and Ethics

Jamie Simonds, Connie Haynes, Carrie Carrier, Randy Carson, Tonya Gower

Instructor: Lisa Jelone

July 05, 2010

Values and Ethics

Values are our rules, it is an individual belief that people go by and hold themselves accountable to. They are the ideals people choose to live by. A person's values can affect how one may view the world and our actions. The choices we make today can affect us tomorrow. Ethics is defined as one doing right by guidelines set forth by society. It is the concept in which one knows right from wrong or even good from bad. Sometimes we have to set aside our values and impose our ethics in order to satisfy our society. Values and ethics are what make a person as well as what is important when it comes to a person's career. Professional values are very important to ones success.

Ethics and values are heard often in every facet of life, but the meanings of these words are rarely understood. Ethics, in the simplest terms, means to do no harm and values are what each person believes to be important (Voice Marketing Inc., 2010). In business and academics, ethics are the guidelines that are used to create fair and just working environments, the overall public opinion of what is the right thing to do. Holding everyone to the same standard while treating everyone with respect are good examples of ethics and values (Voice Marketing Inc., 2010). Some examples of ethics and values are working even when the boss is away, completing one's own homework and returning extra money given by a cashier, basic concepts of what is right. Work and school are not the only areas of life where ethics and values play a role, the way people treat others in their personal lives can have life altering consequences, lying on a tax return can result in a audit that can wipe a person out financially, losing a job for inappropriate behavior and cheating on a spouse can cause the break-up of a family. How people interact in every facet of their lives will depend on the ethics and values they have for life, every decision they make is an example of those ethics and values.

To understand ethics and values, you first need to understand morality. "Morality is not absolute, the many versions of human morality are all human creations....Moral judgments are always relative to some basic assumed set of values..."(Owen, 2009, add page or para for direct quotes). This is basically saying we make our own morality which also means we make our own values and ethics. Ethics can be judged by good or bad, noble or non-noble, right or wrong, and good or evil. Values are the rules that show us right from wrong. When a person decides to use bad judgment or ethics and values, and therefore is deciding to go against what is right and what is good. "The erosion of values is one of the major concerns of today's society" (Life Positive, 2000, page)[source not listed this way on the ref page]. Americans have to remember that using bad ethics or values is what is bringing the world down today; no one wants to believe that their actions are wrong, the fact is most of the time it is. "While some problems are caused by bad people not caring what is wrong, most problems probably arise from good people not knowing or fully understanding what is wrong" (Garlikov, 2010, page).

A judge is one of the highest honored careers in America today. In the older days it was believed that a judge's ethical obligations consist of "setting aside his personal biases and interest, no matter how serious a conflict of interest he might have" (Kozinski, 2003). Some more updated ethics would include work allocation, which is the amount of time a judge will spend on a case. Another ethical situation a judge faces is not being able to follow all the fixed rules that people believes makes up the law. "Legal analysis has to engage the ethical project of weighing competition values and interest" (Schultz, 2010). Some believe that a judge with a highly religious morality is the best at showing good moral values. "There is likely to be a genuine process of moral awareness and sensitization involved in the task of teaching criminal justice ethics" (Chilton, 1998).

Teachers are forced to practice their values and ethics on a daily basis. This includes influencing the children that they teach by increasing the students opportunities to practice social skills and to develop respect and solidarity (Veugelers &Vedder, 2003). When a teacher is faced with a student who displays harassing behaviors towards other students of a different cultural background than themselves, that teacher must make an ethical decision based on their professional values to get involved and help the students involved. Scott-Baumann states that teachers cannot stay neutral while teaching but can as long as they are chairing the discussion (2006). The teacher in this case could chair a discussion with the class on different cultures and on basic values and ethics.

Ethics in Information Technology is an area that has many misconceptions about what is right and wrong, perhaps due to confusion. This is a field that presents numerous opportunities to act on unethical behavior. Using and disclosing private files, unauthorized modification or destruction of files, surfing the web or e-mail chats while on company time are all examples of unethical behavior and is not just the domain of information technologist but traditional employees as well (Calluzzo & Cante, 2004). Work-related ethical attitudes are a combination of the perception of organizational values and personal values, and in order to be successful in this field one must not engage in unethical behavior.

Ethical influence is the understanding of the code of ethics, and placing professional actions to the values for the organization. How organizations come up with code of ethics depends upon core values of the organization, or the companies mission statements. Larger corporations like Johnson

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