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1.

In the Origins section, the author sets out the basic, initial assumption behind the Giving Voice to
Values approach. She goes on to mention several objections to this basic assumption, and to refute
them. Summarize this introductory section: what is the basic assumption behind Giving Voice to
Values? What objections does the author mention? How does she refute them? 3 points.

Giving voice to values is a constructive value approach that implies that most of the individuals want
to express their value judgements and find a way to act on their workplace. In order to do so
effectively, it is important to estimate how difficult it can be to determine what our own core values
are, and whether or not a particular business practice conflicts with them. As author mentions in the
first part of the essay: „ranging from ethicists to political scientists, many of the thorniest choices we
face in our lives are less about right versus wrong decisions than about right versus right.“ (4)

There are researchers that would say that individuals really want to be able to feel like they have
voiced and acted on their values. If individual feels like he/she has actually done something – that
enables them to focus energy on finding ways to rationalize their business decions with their core
values, as opposed to focusing their energy on trying to be consistent with their personal values.

Moreover, some reseachers would say that organizational and personal barriers to acting on our
values will endanger the attempts to follow our values simply because we don’t believe it is possible
to do so.

However, the basic idea behind Giving voice to values is not to deny the tendency that individuals are
prone to rationalizations but to give insight in the fact that some people do voice and act on their
values. Therefore, Giving Voice to Values initiative is the educational and creative approach that
enables individuals to identify with someone who knows what their values dictate in a certain
situation and then to carefully script their response and reaction. According to author, this approach
is post-decision-making. „It is not about analyzing what the right thing to do may be or whether to act
on our values in the workplace; it’s about starting from the assumption that we know what we want
to do and then figuring out how we might make that happen –and then practicing our voice.“(7)

2. In the section “First a word about values”, the author draws upon the work of various researchers
and writers to make the argument that there exists a set of ‘hypernorms,’ cross-cultural values that
transcend context. How can these hypernorms help the individual to navigate context-specific values
conflicts? Give an example of how appealing to one or more hypernorms might help an individual find
common ground with others: imagine a situation similar to the author’s example of the young Indian
woman, and describe it briefly, illustrating the author’s argument. 3 points.

„The concept of a hypernorm is used to establish the boundaries of moral free space, and individual
hypernorms would limit the imposition of ethical obligations.“(9)Therefore, norms by which all
others are to be judged are called hypernorms. This concept is very useful when a reseacher intends
to find a root of a certain moral or polithical problem that seems to be differently analysed across
different cultures. When there exists cross-cultural values that transcend context we reffer to
hypernorms. For example, imagine that there is a dispute over an extra work that is necessary to be
conducted. Knowing that different employees will have varyng opinnions on this matter,
management should propose a meeting and talk about fundamental values implemented in
company’s core. Concepts like responsibility, honor and future prestige would likely be the key
strategy to the satisfaction of the majority of different employees and their value standards.
3. In the section “Choice”, the author states that “free will is a matter of free will.” What does she
mean by this? Summarize her argument. 3 points.

If asked “Is there free will in business?”, the author suggest that we should answer „free will is a
matter of free will“. But what does it mean? Author states that when encountering similar
challenges certain individuals believed and acted as if they had a choice, and others did not. The
circumstances in any two situations are not, and never can be entirely equivalent, but the fact is
that, even in those examples where the individuals reported that they did voice and act on their
values, they had colleagues in those same organizations that did not. (11) Values can be expressed in
a particular manner, only if individual have a (strong) will to do so.

4. In the section “The Normalization of Values Conflicts”, the author discusses two phenomena that
must be normalized in order to effectively voice our values. What are they? How are they linked?
Whose example does the author give in discussing the second phenomenon? 3 points.

The two phenomena that ought to be normalized in order to voice our values are: normalization of
values and normalization of risks.

In order to approach our business careers with adequate value expectations, we must analyse
various types of potencial value conflicts in our intended industry and functional area, and minimize
the disabling effect of surprise.

Moreover, it may be highly useful to become familiar, with the inevitable risks that come with values
conflicts and expectatitons: to normalize the stakes. Almost every business and life decision comes
with the risk that it will not turn out as we hope. There is no guarantees in an everexpanding
economy, and that is also true of our choice to voice and act on our values. Therefore, normalization
of risks is highly connected with the normalization of values, because business is highy concentrated
on a particular set of values that could be endangered by the varios internal or external shocks.

When talking about normalization of risks, author adresses Franco Bernabe, CEO of Eni.

5. In the section “Definition of Purpose”, the author discusses the ways in which having a broad sense
of purpose can affect the individual’s ability to act in the face of values conflicts. First, define a ‘broad
sense of purpose’: what does this mean? Second, how can having a broad sense of purpose impact
the approach to values conflicts? 3 points.

A broader sense of purphose implies wider aproach to a certain phenomenon that is opposite to a
narrow sense of purphose. In a corporative manner, broader sense of purphose implies providing
valuable products or services to consumers, creating good jobs in a healthy work environment,
building a firm that investors can trust etc. Therefore, a broader variety of operation when we
confront values conflicts will have a wider set of positive principles and achievements to which we
can refer and towards which we can direct our behavior.
6. Summarize the section “Self-Knowledge, Self-Image and Alignment”. 3 points.
In the section Self-Knowledge, Self-Image and Alignment the author discucess the importance of self-
knowlegde and self image in the particular workplace. Self knowledge and self-image are one of the
most significant lenses through which to view values. In interviews with managers at all levels of the
company, a creator of values-based action is often reported to be the clarity, commitment and
courage that are born of acting from our true center, finding alignment between who we are and
what we say and do.
However, things are not always on this basic level. “Gregory Dees and Peter Crampton suggest that
we might categorize ourselves as “idealists” (those who attempt to act on their moral ideals, no
matter what); as “pragmatists” (those who attempt to both act in the service of their own material
welfare as well as upon their moral ideas); or as “opportunists” (those who are driven exclusively by
their own material welfare). Dees and Crampton point out that most people fall into more than one
of these categories depending on the issue, but in our experience with business students and
practitioners, the largest group usually self-identify as “pragmatists.” They want to act on their values
but do not wish to place themselves at a “systematic disadvantage” by doing so.” (18)
7. Summarize the section “Voice”. 3 points.

In this section author continues with value-confrontations in the workplace where some
students(individuals) have found a way to voice on their values.“The repertoire of strategies adopted
by those who chose to act inside the organization (as opposed to acting outside the organization, by
external whistle-blowing or by leaving) fell into some recognizable categories: looking for a win/win
solution; changing the boss’s mind through persuasion and logic; going over the boss’s head within
the organization; building coalitions of like-minded employees.“ (21)

Therefore, author insists that it is crucial to understand following statements: a) there are many
different ways to express our values and that some may work better in particular circumstances than
others, b) we ourselves may be more skillful at, or simply more likely to choose one approach over
another, c) some organizational conditions ( some types of leaders) will have a strong impact on our
own and others’ likelihood of expressing our values, d) there are things we can do to make it more
likely that we will voice our values and that that we will do so effectively.

8. In the section “Reasons and Rationalizations”, how does the text recommend responding to
someone who insists that a questionable business practice is OK because “everyone else does it”? 3
points.

If someone insists that a questionable business practice is OK because “everyone else does it“, this
quasi-conclusion belongs to the expected or standard practice (exaggeration). The strongest
argument agains these kinds of statements is following: „If everyone actually were doing “it”
(whatever “it” is), what would be the consequences for business practice and customer trust? If the
practice is really accepted, why are there so often laws, rules and/or policies against it? Would you
be comfortable if everyone knew you were doing this? Who wouldn’t you want to know? And so on.“
(27-28)

9. Explain what the author means by “false dichotomies.” Illustrate with an example of your own. 1
point.

A false dichotomy occurs when an argument presents two options and ignores, either purposefully or
out of ignorance, other alternatives. In general, a false dichotomy gives the impression that the two
opposite options are mutually exclusive. „To illustrate, some might cite an unforgiving market as the
reason for all sorts of financial reporting distortions and operating manipulations. If the market does
not tolerate the trade-off of short-term profits for long-term gain in one instance, then this becomes
an excuse to abandon the attempt to forge open, honest communications in any instance.“ (28)

Moreover, one of the most famous dichotomies is private vs public property, where researcher
believes that existence of one alternative destroys the needed conditions for implementation of
other.