Identify your Values

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There is empirical evidence that if we identify our values and think about them, we are
more likely to identify ethical situations that may be in conflict with them. We will use this
exercise to individually identify and understand our own values.

Basic Instructions
The basic instructions for this project are:
• One page, double-spaced.
• Include a brief heading with your name, the project, professor, class time and
due date.
• You should write this paper like you would write a business document, polished
and error-free with a straightforward, clear style. It may be organized as you like
but a list of responses by question is acceptable.
Detailed Requirements
Below is a selected list of values (in alphabetical order). Feel free to add one or more if
you have a deeply held value that is not represented on this list (it is not meant to be

1. In priority order (with 1 being the most important value), list the five values that
are most important to you personally in making decisions.

2. Next, think seriously about what happens when two or more of these values
conflict. For example, what happens if you value both honesty and success and
they come into conflict? Are you willing to forgo financial success in order to be
completely honest with customers or suppliers? In other words, how would you
prioritize your values? Document your answers on the page.

3. Next, if you’re working, think about the values of your organization and how
those are prioritized. Are there serious conflicts between your personal values
(and priorities) and the organization’s values? Document your answers on the

4. Finally, list those values that you would choose to serve as the basis for business
dealings in an ideal society. Document your answers on the page.

values example* Action orientation Freedom Responsibility
Altruism Harmony Risk taking
Authority Helpfulness Security
Compassion Honesty/integrity Self‐discipline
Competence Honor Status
Conformity Humility Success
Creativity Initiative Teamwork
Customer satisfaction Innovation Tradition
Diversity Loyalty Wealth
Equality Novelty Winning
Excitement Obedience
Experimentation Order
Fairness/justice Power
Family well‐being Promise keeping
Flexibility/adaptability Respect

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