Do these values provide insight into your career?

The most difficult ethical challenge you face may come from competing personal values. The answers to ethical issues are not always black and white. When faced with a situation, we must really think about the complexities of the situation, our personal values, cognitive bias, and the societal norms that impact moral disengagement. This process starts with a fundamental understanding of our personal values.

Terminal values are the ‘end result’ values that indicate what you want your life to ultimately be about when your time on earth is over. These indicate a desired end-state. Instrumental values are what we traditionally discuss in relation to moral and ethical behavior. Instrumental values moderate our daily behavior, based on associated consequences. Acting on our instrumental values leads to achievement of terminal values. In preparation for a discussion about our personal values, please complete the Rokeach Value Survey.

Below is the Rokeach Value Survey [DOC file size 13.2 KB], which lists 18 terminal values and 18 instrumental values. In preparation for this discussion:

Rank (prioritize) the terminal values most important to you from “1” to the least important at “18”.
Rank (prioritize) the instrumental values most important to you from “1” to the least important at “18”.
Identify your top five guiding values (terminal and instrumental) on each list.

Terminal Values

A World at Peace

Family Security






National Security


True Friendship

A Sense of Accomplishment

Inner Harmony

A Comfortable Life

Mature Love

A World of Beauty


Social Recognition

An Exciting Life
Instrumental Values



















More detailed description of each value can be found in this pdf: Values- A necessary but neglected ingredient of motivation on the job. [PDF file size 6.7 MB]

For your discussion:

Identify your five guiding values and explain why those values are a priority for you.

Note: We often better understand the importance of our own values when we can clearly articulate why these are important to us.
Explain your use of these five values in your day-to-day decision making. Do these values guide your decisions or do you have a challenge in applying them? If you are experiencing a conflict with someone at work or in your personal life, what role might differing values have in that conflict? Do these values provide insight into your career? Why or why not?

Post your primary response on the discussion board. Be sure to review your writing for grammar and spelling before posting. Read any postings already provided by your instructor or fellow students. See the SBT Discussion Rubric for how you will be evaluated for this activity. You are also expected to read the responses to your original posts, and if a classmate raises a question or an issue that warrants a response, you are expected to respond.

Your responses to the discussion questions should relate the assigned readings and viewings to the discussion topic and should not consist only of personal opinion. Your opinion is important to the discussion, but you should add connections to the material to support your views. Without a foundation in the literature, your opinion has little professional value. For example, “Based on Trevino and Nelson’s stance that cultural relativism creates an environment where unethical behavior is justified through the cultural discourse (year, P#), the discussion should center around….”. This type of statement allows you to connect your views to the literature. This is possible even when you are providing personal examples.

Use the subject line as an advanced organizer to allow your classmates and the instructor to have some idea of what your posting is about. For example, a subject line, “response to discussion question,” is not appropriate. Your responses to fellow students should contain substance, should be more than just opinion, and must go beyond a simple agreement or disagreement.

Compose your work using a word processor and save it, as a Plain Text or an .rtf, to your computer. When you’re ready to make your initial posting, please click on the “Create Thread” button and copy/paste the text from your document into the message field. Be sure to check your work and correct any spelling or grammatical errors before you post it.

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