Core values and ethical principles I.Core values and ethical principles I.

The article “Living by Design: The Transformative Power of Core Values” is about core values and how they affect our life.

In this article will write more about definition, core values and ethics. These values are guiding principles, which help to shape our present and future. It is important to get to know new acquintances core values fast when we are getting into a new friendship, relationship, or partnership.

Definition and importance

Core values are fundamental principles, which should be defined in the first place to be able to have an idea whether a connection/relationship will have future or not.

These beliefs or guiding principles help shape

  • the identity,
  • culture, and
  • behavior of individuals, organizations, or societies.

They serve

  • as a compass to guide decision-making and actions, and
  • reflect what is important and meaningful to a person or group.

These morals vary from person to person or from organization to organization, but often represent timeless principles that are deeply ingrained and upheld.

Clarification is important

Important to understand the other person values in order to understand

  • how they think and
  • what are their goals,
  • logic,
  • what is important for them and what is not.

Several times people forgot to tell their leading principles or ask about the other person values in the beginning of a relationship, friendship, partnership and this can cause problems later e.g.:

people can realize or recognize only later that

  • the common cross sections of their core values not exist,
  • the understanding is different regarding core values or
  • the communication simply not working or not existing between them.

Early stage

Recognition is important, but mostly in the beginning.

Sometimes too late to manage a relationship later on, if the fundamentals are too different. A friendship, relationship, partnership should be based on

  • similar principles,
  • clear understanding,
  • honest and effective communication, or
  • a lot of compromise and adaptions.

Identifying core values

A core value has crucial importance to an individual, organization, and generally on society. They shape the culture, behavior, decision-making of an entity, and are seen as essential to achieving its mission or purpose.

These are typically enduring and stable and are unlikely to change over time in an individual life.

They are not typically negotiable or comprisable and may be seen as essential to the identity or purpose of an entity.

Examples I.

  1. Integrity: upholding honesty, ethics, and moral principles in all interactions.
  2. Respect: valuing and treating others with dignity, fairness, and consideration.
  3. Accountability: taking responsibility for one’s actions, obligations, and commitments.
  4. Collaboration: promoting teamwork, cooperation, and synergy to achieve common goals.
  5. Innovation: embracing creativity, continuous improvement, and forward-thinking.
  6. Excellence: striving for high standards, quality, and continuous personal or organizational growth.
  7. Diversity and Inclusion: valuing and embracing diverse perspectives, experiences, & backgrounds.
  8. Sustainability: committing to environmental stewardship and social responsibility.
  9. Customer Focus: prioritizing customer satisfaction and delivering value to clients or stakeholders.
  10. Learning and Growth: encouraging continuous learning, personal development, and professional growth.

On the Greenfrastructures blog you can read more about sustainability, and sustainable development.

Different entities have different values

Examples for individuals might include

  • honesty,
  • integrity,
  • respect, or
  • compassion.

For organizations,

  • teamwork,
  • innovation,
  • customer service, or
  • social responsibility.
Core values and ethics: teamwork, innovation, customer service, social responsibility

For societies,

  • equality,
  • freedom,
  • justice, or
  • democracy.

Identifying and articulating core values is important exercise for individuals, organizations, and societies, as it can provide a framework for

  • decision-making,
  • goal setting, and
  • behavior that is consistent with the entity’s overall mission or purpose.


  1. Personal: individual beliefs and principles guide one’s behavior and attitudes. E.g.: honesty, integrity, compassion, and responsibility.
  2. Family: shared beliefs and principles are important to a particular family or household. E.g.: loyalty, respect, and tradition.
  3. Cultural: beliefs and principles shared by a particular culture or society. E.g.: collectivism, individualism, and respect for authority.
  4. Religious: beliefs and principles rooted in a particular religious tradition. E.g.: forgiveness, humility, and reverence for the divine.
  5. Social: beliefs and principles are important for creating a just and equitable society. E.g.: equality, fairness, and respect for human rights.
  6. Environmental: beliefs and principles prioritize health and well-being of the natural environment. E.g.: sustainability, conservation, and respect for the earth.

Examples II.

Some examples of core values and beliefs include:

  1. Honesty: being truthful and sincere in one’s words and actions.
  2. Respect: treating others with dignity and showing consideration for their feelings and rights.
  3. Responsibility: being accountable for one’s actions and decisions.
  4. Compassion: showing kindness and empathy towards others.
  5. Equality: treating everyone fairly and without discrimination.
  6. Integrity: adhering to moral and ethical principles, even in the face of adversity.
  7. Freedom: having the right to make choices and pursue one’s goals without undue interference.

Morals are deeply personal and vary widely among individuals and cultures.

However, they play a significant role in shaping our thoughts, actions, and relationships with others.

Core values and ethics

Values in connection with psychology

These beliefs closely related to psychology and fundamental to study it in an unbiased way.

They help to

  • explain and shape human behavior,
  • decision-making and
  • play a significant role in shaping an individual’s behavior, attitudes, and beliefs.

How values playing roles in shaping behaviour?

Core values can significantly shape a behaviour of a person, that is why psychologists study

  • how core values and ethical principles are formed,
  • how they can be changed, and influence human behavior and decision-making,
  • ethical decision-making processes, and how decision-making processes can be influenced by various factors, such as personal values and social norms.

These standards are influenced by a variety of factors, including culture, upbringing, & individual experiences.


Refers to the study of moral principles and standards that govern human conduct and provides a framework for evaluating the rightness or wrongness of actions and behaviors, taking into account factors such as

  • fairness,
  • honesty,
  • integrity,
  • justice, and
  • respect for others.

Ethical principles

  1. Respect for Autonomy: respecting individuals’ right to make their own decisions and honoring their autonomy and self-determination.
  2. Beneficence: acting in ways that promote well-being and welfare of others
  3. Nonmaleficence: avoiding or minimizing harm & preventing unnecessary suffering, injury to others.
  4. Justice: promoting fairness, equity, impartiality; ensuring the just distribution of resources, opportunities, and burdens.
  5. Fidelity: being faithful, trustworthy; honoring commitments and obligations.
  6. Veracity: practicing truthfulness, honesty; transparency in communications and interactions.
  7. Respect for Others: valuing the inherent worth, dignity, and rights of all individuals, regardless of differences such as race, gender, religion, or socioeconomic status.
  8. Integrity: upholding moral and ethical principles, demonstrating consistency between beliefs and actions; maintaining honesty and ethical conduct.
Principles and guidelines, own edit

Core values and ethics

The two terms are interconnected as core values often form the basis for ethical decision-making.

When faced with ethical dilemmas, individuals and organizations rely on their core values to determine the morally appropriate course of action. For example, someone who values honesty as a core value is more likely to prioritize truthfulness even in challenging situations.

Ethics goes beyond personal morals and incorporates broader societal considerations.

Provides guidelines for behavior that

  • promote well-being and
  • welfare of individuals and communities.

Ethical principles help us navigate

  • complex situations,
  • make informed choices, and
  • consider the potential consequences of our actions on others.

In personal and professional settings, core values and ethics shape our relationships, interactions, and decision-making processes. They influence how we treat others, how we prioritize resources, how we handle conflicts, and how we contribute to the betterment of society.

Role of Core Values in Decision-Making

There are several studies, which explored the relationship between core values and decision-making process.

For instance we can read more about the different Core Values examples in consumer decision making processes.

“The Influence of Core Values on Consumer Decision Making”

A Theoretical Framework and Research Agenda” by L. J. Shrum, et al. (2014) This study developed a theoretical framework for understanding how core values influence consumer decision-making.

Found that values such as self-enhancement, benevolence, and tradition were principal factors in shaping consumer behavior.

“Values and Decision Making”

“Values and Decision Making: An Integrative Framework and Empirical Tests in Ten Countries” by Shalom H. Schwartz, et al. (2012)

The study developed an integrative framework of values and decision-making; tested the framework in ten different countries. Found values were key determinant of decision-making, and different values were more or less important in different cultural contexts.

“Moral Values and Decision Making”

“Moral Values and Decision Making: The Role of Integrity and Individual Differences” by Annelies E. M. van Vianen, et al. (2004) This study explored the relationship between moral values and decision-making. Found that individuals with high levels of integrity were more likely to make ethical decisions in the face of difficult moral dilemmas.

Impact on Relationships and Culture

Shared core values foster trust, collaboration, and mutual understanding, shaping a positive culture within organizations and communities.

They create a common foundation that builds trust among individuals, facilitates effective collaboration, and promotes a shared understanding and perspective.

This shared culture enhances decision-making, promotes cohesion, and aligns actions towards common goals, resulting in a stronger and more harmonious collective

Building trust

When individuals share similar beliefs within a group or organization, trust is established more easily.

Building trust as part of the shared values

Trust stems from the belief that others will act in line with shared values,

  • fostering reliability,
  • dependability, and
  • integrity.

Enhanced collaborations

When individuals or teams have shared values, collaboration becomes more effective and seamless.

The shared values serve as

  • a framework for decision-making and behavior,
  • promoting better communication, cooperation, and coordination.

This shared vision and common goals foster increased productivity and the ability to overcome challenges as a unified force.

Mutual understanding

Shared values create a shared language and perspective among individuals, leading to empathy and a similar mindset. This shared understanding reduces conflicts, promotes open dialogue, and encourages respectful interactions.

Positive culture

When a group or organization upholds shared values, they become the foundation of its culture.

A positive culture emerges when these values reflect principles like

  • respect,
  • integrity,
  • inclusivity, or
  • innovation.

This positive culture influences attitudes, behaviors, and norms, creating a supportive and harmonious environment where individuals feel valued, motivated, and empowered.

Alignement and Cohesion

When values are shared, individuals within an organization or community can align their goals, strategies, and actions toward a common purpose more easily. This alignment promotes greater cohesion, unity, and a sense of belonging among members, strengthening the overall fabric of the group or community.


They go beyond individual preferences and self-interest, providing a framework that prioritizes ethical considerations, fairness, and the collective well-being.

Guided by shared values, decisions become more inclusive, well-rounded, and beneficial for the organization or community as a whole.

Picture sources: unsplash, own design

By Silk and Cake

Hi, Silk & Cake is my new blog about design, experience, entertainment, business, travel, fashion, and LifeStyle.

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