One of the most important personal successes in society is career success. A person's values and later his ethics are the building blocks of a successful career. Achieving career success leads to a higher level of personal fulfillment. Understanding one's values can help to choose a career path that is conducive to his development as a person. Values are usually the result of acceptable cultural behavior and learned behavior from families. Values tend to lead to goals and ethics help a person to reach those goals.
People hold certain beliefs concerning the aspects of work. These beliefs show how people should conduct themselves and what type of challenges the work environment will offer to them. Work values include several general categories. These include extrinsic or instrumental values, intrinsic and cognitive values, relational or social values, and power or self-enhancement values (Ravlin, 2007). Values, defined by businessdictionary.com, are important or endearing beliefs shared by members of a culture about what is good or desirable and what is not.
Work values will differ based on a culture from a certain region or nation. Work values influence perceptions of people in a work environment when contexts are not clearly defined. Values also influence behavioral decisions. Values also lead to goals, which lead to certain behaviors. Certain values play more important roles in influencing particular behavior. "For example, dominant honesty value produces more ethical decisions" (Ravlin, 2007, p. 909). The relationship between work values and behavior play sometimes small roles and other times larger roles depending on the situation. Work value similarities generate a more productive work environment and positive attitudes. Values are the building blocks for ethics (Work Values, 2007).
Values and ethics are both very important in careers and professional environments. Ethics as defined by Merriam-Webster's Third New International Dictionary Unabridged...