Who Can Define Values?

A cynical look from Dilbert at corporate culture creation:

Dilbert.com

Some of the comments to the comic reinforce this cynical view of corporate values (and ethics):

kmulchandani:

Just Brilliant! i had a boss who always preached in a code of ethics and values, but when it came to him he was always excused. Quoting him it was – “for the greater good” or “my experience tells me that in this case it can be ignored”. “Values” are a subjective term, flowing down a corporate hierarchy, with the ones on top enforcing them onto their “minions”.

It’s not about stating what values and ethics should be. It’s what values and ethics are evidenced by the actions of your company’s employees at all levels in the organization.

2 Responses to Who Can Define Values?

  1. Dianne December 9, 2010 at 12:12 am #

    all aspects of life are governed by “someones” values not necessarily our own. War and conflict arise because one person determines their values are of more importance than anothers. History repeatedly tells the story of values based upon tradition, family of origin and religion culminating in war, genocide and partition. Today in modern society not much has changed particularly in private education and court systems. The thing most people do not realize is that in most instances their values have been “acquired” and most don’t know themselves well enough nor have the insight to question where they came from and more and whether they actually are their own…that they have a choice and cane change them to suit an outcome. Unless we determine our en values they will be determined by someone.

    • Doug Cornelius December 9, 2010 at 3:08 pm #

      Dianne –

      You hit upon a central premise of corporate compliance and ethics: our values are influenced by those around us.

      If everyone around you is lying and stealing, you may eventually become more willing to lie and steal yourself. Especially, if the liars and thieves are not caught, or if caught, receive no punishment.