Values Based Decision-Making
An individual's personal, organizational, and cultural values are the foundation of their personal and professional decision-making cycle. These values form the core of that individual's moral fabric, and his actions and decisions are predicated on those beliefs. Shalom H. Schwartz defined values as "conceptions of the desirable that guide the way social actors (e.g. organizational leaders, policy-makers, individual persons) select actions, evaluate people and events, and explain their actions and evaluations" (Schwartz, 1999, pp. 24-25). Because values drive the way individuals select actions, this paper will outline how my personal, organizational, and cultural values affect my decision-making.
Personally, I hold
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In the wake of several ethical scandals involving improper senior-subordinate relationships in the late 1990's, the Army developed a campaign promoting the seven Army Values. The Army Field Manual 22-100, Army Leadership, lists these values as loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage (Army Leadership, 1999). The Army describes its value process in Army Leadership:
Your subordinates enter the Army with their own values, developed in childhood and nurtured through experience
but when they take the oath (of service) they enter an institution guided by Army values. These values tell you what you need to be, every day, in every action you take. (Army Leadership, 1999, p. 2-2)
This is a unique policy where the organization teaches its members values that are conducive to military service and clearly mandates adherence to such values. The Army describes its values as the "fundamental building blocks that enable (soldiers) to discern right from wrong in any situation" (Army Leadership, 1999, p. 2-2).
These Army values had little impact on my decision-making process because they were all encapsulated by my personal values. The Army values are an excellent way of setting a moral standard in the organization ensuring that all members are held to a minimum code of behavior. Most decisions not covered by regulations can