Individual’s values and the corporate values
In the following paragraphs team A will provide a brief analysis in regard to the origins and evolution of values at a personal level and in the workplace. The team will explain throughout the paper how an individual’s values can drive actions and behaviors, and the alignment between values, actions and behaviors. The team will include in the mentioned analysis the degree of alignment between Wal-Mart’s stated values, and the company’s plans, and actions. Last the team will explain the differences, between personal values and Wal-Mart’s values as reflected by Wal-Mart’s plans and actions.
Origin and Evolution
According to sociologists, values are formed during the early years of a person’s life. One sociologist’s research suggested values are formed during four periods. This sociologist, Morris Massey, believed these values originate at pre-birth and continue to the age of approximately 21. The first period begins at pre-birth and continues through four years, and is considered the basic programming period. During this time, a child is not capable of differentiating between important and not important information so all experiences are absorbed and values are formed. Subsequently, a person’s first job experience, which is usually at about the age of 16 to 18 years, plays a large role in forming workplace values. Without any previous exposure to workplace ethics, his or her first experiences are absorbed without differentiation (Squidoo, 2010).
The second stage is the imprint period that takes place up to the about the age of seven. Children continue to absorb information from experiences. They become aware of their environment and culture from family and people they are exposed to and begin to store this information.
This information is imprinted in their minds and begins to form their values from their experiences, which are reflected later in a person’s individual behaviors and actions. Similar to the basic period, a person’s first job experiences are absorbed in his or her mind forming their workplace values and behaviors. For example, if a teenager witnesses a manager skimming money from the cash register without remorse, this memory is imprinted in his or her mind. Unless his or her individual values are in place correctly, the unethical behavior displayed to them at an impressionable stage may be carried into future workplace ethics.
The next period of forming values happens between the ages of 13 to 18. Labeled the modeling period, a person begins to mirror or model behaviors of other people. A person’s constant exposure to ethical or unethical behavior during this time is often mimicked. According to the Squidoo (2010) website, “from Massey’s research he suggests that our major values about life are picked up during this period at about age 10” (How Values Are Formed, para. 6).
Further, he infers that world happenings and where a person was at the time is a basis for forming values. With the recent state of the United States’ economy over the past few years, it leaves one to wonder the repercussions to workplace ethics. Individual ethics may improve because people will appreciate their jobs and decide to make better decisions in the workplace. Conversely, people may believe they are trapped in their current position and may make poor ethical decisions.
Massey’s last period of developing values is the socialization period, which takes place between the ages of 14 to 21. A person develops relationship and social values during this time, and these values are the formation of a person’s core values that usually stays with him or her throughout his or her life. As a person develops these core values individually, a person may develop his or her core workplace values as well, which may stay for a lifetime. People experience many events up to 21, which are pivotal to shaping their values. As people formed their values, the foundation of how they perform as an individual and in the workplace became aligned. During childhood, for example, parents often tell children to do their best in school.
That value is imprinted into their personalities and is carried into the workplace; those children become adults who do their best at work every day. Throughout the periods suggested by Massey, the experiences form our values and become a compass to our actions, decisions, and behaviors, both personally, and professionally. Wal-Mart’s stated values versus Wal-Mart’s plans and actions The authors’ employer shares some basic values with those of Wal-Mart. The employer values the respect of coworkers, diversity, inclusion, providing exceptional customer service, and offering a variety of quality products for a reasonable price. Wal-Mart focuses on being a diverse organization, providing excellent customer service, and providing a variety of good quality products for a reasonable price as well. The organization also shares the valued of volunteering in the community.
The focus of the organization is to make the customers happy, so they continue to come back. The degree of alignment between Wal-Mart’s stated values plans and actions show that the company has balanced the two to some extent. Wal-Mart values its customers, and its number one priority is putting the customer first by offering low prices. Wal-Mart also matches its competitor’s prices for customers. Wal-Mart employees are valued and offered career development so they have the opportunity to move to higher positions within the organization. Most of the employees at each level are treated with respect and receive suitable benefits, but sometimes the company loses sight of its stated values’ therefore, its plans and actions do not always follow suit.
The differences between an individual’s values and the corporate values depend on the individual. Corporations design the strategy to align with the culture’s values. For instance, Wal-Mart’s vision “to become the world’s largest retailer,” so the company has to reflect the values all the time. Developing one vision helps employees to adhere to the corporate values regardless of the local values. Sam Walton, the founder of Wal-Mart says “Personal and moral integrity is one of our basic fundamentals and it has to start with each of us.” An example is the use of the whistleblowers form available to employees and customers alike. If an employee is found to be violating the corporate policies, another employee may report the incident without fear of reprisal.
Wal-Mart encourages every employee to use Wal-Mart’s Statement of Ethics, introduces the associates to the types of attitudes and conduct that create an honest, fair, and legal workplace (Wal-Mart, 2010). They learn how to recognize situations that may come up on their job that could be a violation of Wal-Mart’s ethics, also what to do if they have any questions or concerns about what is correct and ethical conduct. As an individual, knowing what the company will allow should make the job easier to comply with policy. Clear and concise writing allows very little interpretation on expectations of the company. To conclude, team A as provided the readers with a brief analysis of the basic origins and evolution of values at a personal level and workplace values.
Team A also explained how an individual’s values can drive actions and behaviors, along with the alignment between ones values, actions, and behaviors. The team was able to briefly analyze the degree of alignment between Wal-Mart’s stated values and the company’s plans, and actions. Last, the team explained the differences, and the degree of alignment between personal values, and Wal-Mart’s values as the values were reflected by Wal-Mart’s plan, and actions.
Squidoo. (2010). Going For Gold-Goal Setting That Really Works. Retrieved from http://www.squidoo.com/GoForGold-GoalSettingThatWorks http://ethics.walmartstores.com/StatementofEthics/MSGfromCEO.aspx