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Development Paper (due Week One, Monday)
Prepare a 1,400-1,750-word paper on Personal Values
Development examining your personal values
, ground rules, and/or ethics development. Focus on the developmental aspect rather than on a particular position on any issue. Important: read the post in the Materials Forum: W1 R3 LL personal values
paper grading. It discusses the need to consider personal values
in terms of good reasons to hold them, not just acceptance of them because they are yours. You will not be graded on what your values
are, because that is a personal
choice for you; you will be graded on how you analyze them and demonstrate you understand them.
To have the possibility of (not a guarantee of) the grade “A” you need to serious consideration of your values
in terms of Kohlberg's stage theory, found also in Week Four on the UOP webpage in rEsources.
• Define what your values
are including their place on Kohlberg’s stage theory
• Explain how the sources (people, institutions, events, etc.) helped shape your values
, including their place on Kohlberg’s stage theory
• Explain the criteria and decision-making factors you utilize to defend them or revise them, including their place on Kohlberg’s stage theory
• Discuss the potential impact of your values
and your performance in your work place (current or prior), including the place on Kohlberg’s stage theory of your workplace’s corporate culture as the real values
used in the daily work of the company (you can compare/contrast these to the verbalized place the company talks about as being values
but could be different from the real values
required in the corporate culture)
• See Grading Rubric in the Appendix at the end of this Syllabus the post in the Materials Forum that gives guidelines for writing the paper.
• Note: Kohlberg’s model is mainly for the Week 1 paper, and there will be different models required for Week 2 paper (next week the focus will be on Consequentialism, Deontology, and/or Human Nature ethics).
This is the text book for the class:
Trevino, L. & Nelson, K., (2004). Managing business ethics: Straight talk about how to do it right (3rd ed.). New York: Wiley.
Discussions week one:
Ch 1: What is business ethics?
Ch 2: Why bother to be ethical?
Reference given to support this paper
The following is an explanation of how to approach your first paper, which topic was selected by the UOP course committee, not your professor. If you want to know how the readings of the textbook tell you how to write your paper, they do not. There is a textbook in your basket of materials and there is a values
paper assignment in your basket of materials. That does not mean the paper and the textbook are unconnected to ethics in management; it only means that the textbook was not written to explain the values
paper or the DQs, and the Values
Paper as well as the DQs were assigned to you precisely because your textbook did not cover the aspect of ethics that they begin to reveal.
Phil 323 W1 IP2
*W1 R3 LL personal values
paper guidelines rev 4
All rights reserved
Rev. 20 January 2008
In Week One your paper, IP2, is due: “Personal Values
Prepare a 1,400-1,750-word paper on Personal Values
Development examining your personal values
, ground rules, and/or ethics development. You should write it in the “First Person” using the personal
pronoun, “I” rather than the Third Person or Passive Voice.
Focus on the developmental aspect rather than on a particular position on any issue.
1. Section One: What is your current value
position. Define your values
, priorities and classification of types of values
(Note: Not all values
can be equal, so you should explain your priorities. Often, several values
will be of a single type, so you can distinguish groups of values
that you currently hold. )
2. Section Two: The history of how you got to your present value
position. Clarify the origins of your values
: when and how your values
got started. Explain how the sources (family, significant people, institutions, events, etc.) helped shape your values
(consider these developmental changes over time in terms of Kohlberg’s model, see rEsources readings in Week 4; you should classify your values
according to Kohlberg’s stages and explain why each value
fits the Kohlberg stage you choose).
3. Section Three: How you support your values
. Explain the criteria and decision-making factors you utilize to defend them or revise them.
4. Section Four: Implications of your values
. After defining your values
, understanding their origins, and supporting them, you can discuss the potential impact of your values
and your performance in your work place.
Some students have commented that they do not like being graded on their personal values
because their values
are just that, personal
. This attitude misses the point of the paper.
IP2 is not graded on whether your personal values
IP2 is graded on how well you discuss, clarify and justify your personal values
. This does not mean getting defensive about your values
and simply re-asserting them in the face of attack. Philosophical justification is simply giving good reasons for some of your key values
. For example, you might value
differences among people and the ability to accept people as they are. Stating that value
is fine, but there are also good reasons for it. In management theory people often talk about the importance of valuing
diversity. One reason to defend that position is the principle of equality and fairness. People should not suffer for their race, color, creed, age, etc. Another good reason is the principle of creative emergence. Out of diverse possibilities come more opportunities for new and unexpected achievements. Once you start giving good reasons for your key value
, you go beyond stating that you have it; you also give good reasons for others to embrace it.
Note, it is fine to describe religion as an origin of some of your values
, but justifying those values
on faith is not sufficient because not everyone shares your faith.
Likewise, it is one thing to give an abstract summary of your personal values
; you also need to pick out key points and give good examples from your life, especially in your work place if you have work experience: what happened, who did what, how did they look, what did you see, how did you interpret it; how did you justify it?
“Explain the criteria and decision-making factors you utilize to defend them or revise them” means that you need to give some good reasons for why you kept your values
or why you changed them. Defending your values
is a philosophical position that has nothing to do with getting defensive, which is a psychological position. I have had students say that they do not need to defend their values
, as if they are so above reproach that they do not have to talk about it. Defending your values
is not fighting back against an attack on your moral character, it is identifying and making clear why your values
are good. Personal values
can be defended from a philosophical point of view of ethics by just asking why and giving good reasons that can persuade others to your viewpoint.
The part about "good reasons" is crucial, and that is why you also ask whose opinion is right or wrong. People can have opinions and values
, and that is better than people who cannot even formulate their own opinion. Still, just having opinions and values
does not make them right. A philosophical defense of values
is not psychological defensiveness or an attack. A philosophical defense is a quiet presentation of good reasons with the intention of finding a basis for agreement, even if that means one or the other party sees the need to change a position because the other party’s reasons are better. Every offer of a philosophical defense is an openness to change.
One student said, "I am comfortable with my values
and behaviors both personally and professionally. I do not feel I need to defend them or myself." I feel that way too, but personal
feelings cannot count as good reasons (rational) precisely because those feelings are personal
. If feelings were sufficient, the Nazis could also say they feel right to commit genocide because they are comfortable with their values
, so they do not need to defend them. Obviously, something is wrong with that claim by the Nazis, so philosophy takes away that kind of justification from them. It is important for us to be able to defend our values
rationally so we can communicate, come to agreement or consensus, and then coordinate with one another. Obviously, we do not need to go around picking arguments with people to try to convince them that our values
are the right ones (that is merely fanaticism); nor do we need to get defensive if someone asks us to offer a defense of our values
(that is a reaction on a psychological level). Defense at a philosophical level means offering good reasons for your position if you need to do so (like for a philosophy class or in a discussion about competing values
when reviewing diversity in a company).
You can review your personal
moral development from the perspectives of the connections among a number of conceptual models. There are deep connections among:
? Psychological factors in the early levels, such as parental influence
? Social influences such as role models and roles you are required to play in school, church, work, etc.
? Cultural influences such as community values
, national values
, and exposure to cross-cultural values
? Philosophical influences such as books in philosophy, religion, and literature you have read that defend particular values
? Classify or group related values
together. For example, one student divided them in three groups in order to analyze these values
clearly. family values
, citizen values
and work values
. This use of classification makes it easier to discuss not only the values
but how the classes of values
inter-relate: are work values
primary or secondary?
? Priorities: discuss which value
is more important (when some of your values
compete) and why
To determine your values
and which ones are the most important, here is a website that might help if you add to the existing list.
Another overview of values
is accessible in:
The Power of Personal Values
Growth Center | Growth Online Home
by Roy Posner
Style: Students are often drilled to write in the Third Person (“It” and “They”) in their research papers...a philosophical issue in itself. First person (“I” and “We”) is fine for this essay, even though it is normally not part of APA format.
Tip: If you do not make Kohlberg’s model an important part of your paper, if will be difficult to get an “A”. So if you want a chance at an “A” grade, do the extra work and read ahead to Week 4, rEsources webpage, “StagesofMoralReasoning”—also reproduced below.
Then you can locate the development of your values
over stages of your life on Kohlberg’s stage development theory. As with everything we study in philosophy, requiring that you include a particular writer or position does not mean that you have to agree with it; you always have the option to present your argument against Kohlberg to give good reasons why he is wrong.
The material about Kohlberg is directly related to your Week 1 Values
paper. The reason the Kohlberg stages are important is that they help your locate your values
on a rating scale in a theoretical model. The application of a theoretical model to a set of specific circumstances in an actual case is a common explainatory procedure in science. In other words, if you take your personal values
that are rather subjective and you locate them in the Kohlberg model, you can see better how values
can develop over time and imrove. The following summary of Kohlberg’s work is from the W2 Materials in the rEsources website, reproduced here so you do not have to go looking for it.
*W1 6 Stages of Moral Reasoning cc of W4 material
Reproduced here from UOP material in the Syllabus
SIX STAGES OF MORAL REASONING
For many years, Lawrence Kohlberg conducted carefully controlled research on the moral development of children. He and his colleagues at the Harvard Center for the Study of Moral Development would ask children of varying ages to respond to situations, which entailed "right and wrong" behavior. They would ask, for example, what the child would do if another child took his/her toy. If someone asked him/her to misbehave in some way, how would he/she respond? Why would he/she refrain from hitting another child?
The researchers would determine what reasons they would use to make these moral decisions. What was their ethical system?
On the basis of thousands of responses, Kohlberg was able to identify six stages typical of moral development in children as they mature. The first two stages he called the "pre-conventional" levels; the second two stages the "conventional" levels; and the third two stages the "post-conventional" or "principled" levels. His work was informed by Piaget's earlier study of cognitive development in children, and is similar in that both researchers discovered that developmental stages, both of cognition in general and moral development in particular, proceed from the concrete to the abstract.
A major implication of Kohlberg's work is that if specific stages of development can be identified, procedures might be generated to help people progress through the stages, moving toward moral maturity. His later work on the moral development of prisoners confirmed much of this belief and has helped point the way to improved practices in correctional education. Our point in learning about the stages is to identify a model of moral development, evaluate responses to a moral dilemma in terms of the model, then utilize the model to help us become increasingly mature in our moral responses, developing a functional ethical system.
The following descriptions are an attempt to define each of the six stages in terms which can be useful in an understanding of ethics in the world of work:
1. Pre-Conventional Level.
a. At this level, the individual is basically responsive to the idea of good or bad, but interprets situations in terms of simple reward and punishment, or the exchange of favors.
b. Stage 1: Obedience and Punishment.
Avoidance of punishment, doing something because it feels good, and submission to power are seen as good in their own right, not with respect to any moral order.
c. Stage 2: The Marketplace.
Right behavior is that which satisfies one's own needs. Reciprocity, fairness, and sharing are present, but always interpreted in a highly practical, immediate way: "You scratch my back, and I'll scratch yours." Justice and loyalty are not parts of this stage.
2. Conventional Level.
a. "Right" behavior is seen as living up to expectations of family or nation, as conformity to personal
expectations and to the social order. It includes clear loyalty to the social order, and identifying with the persons or groups that represent it.
b. Stage 3: Good Boy-Nice Girl.
Approval by others characterizes good behavior at this stage. Conformity to stereotypes is typical here, and behavior is frequently judged by intention. "He meant well" is important, and one earns approval by being "nice."
c. Stage 4: Law and Order.
Morally correct behavior at this stage consists of showing respect for authority, doing one's duty, utilizing fixed rules, and maintaining the social order for its own sake.
3. Post-Conventional or Principled Level.
a. Stage 5: The Social Contract.
"Right" action is defined in terms of general individual rights and standards which have been agreed upon by society. "Right" is a matter of personal
opinion and values
, especially in the context of procedural rules for reaching consensus. Relativism of personal values
and opinions is accepted. The legal point of view is important, but the possibility always exists of changing laws to move toward increasing rationality and social usefulness.
b. Stage 6: The Universal Ethical Principle.
This stage is based on respect for the dignity of human beings as individuals. "Right" behavior proceeds from self-appropriated ethical principles. The principles are highly abstract, such as the Golden Rule; not concrete, like the Ten Commandments.
In addition to this six-stage version of Kohlberg, you can think about a Stage 7: Wisdom. Here, right action is guided by wisdom and spiritual insight, such as note for the Tao is Chinese Taoism.
Note: you need to classify your values
according to Kohlberg’s stages, but you also have to explain why your choice for a classification is correct. For example, honesty is a value
that you could learn at Kohlberg’s Stage One, but it would be more profound if you come to understand it and implement it at Kohlberg’s Stage Six.
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