Values and Virtues

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Virtues are described in a given institution or community as conforming to a standard of moral or correct excellence, whereas values are regarded as culturally accepted norms. Values are, in turn, the commonly accepted and appropriate ways of behaving associated with particular performance. Workplace principles, for example, play an important role in defining the guidelines or boundaries for the actions of employees. As such, the organizational principles are part and parcel of the business that drives the output of the company. Since principles are integrated as part of business goals, virtues act as the instrument to achieve these goals. Therefore, virtues are characteristics of an individual, which support collective well-being and moral excellence. They are mainly the innate qualities that do not always align with societal or organizational values (Baer, 2015). It is, however, of the essence to realize that both values and virtues are essential in a company or community for success and peaceful coexistence respectively.

Although the two concepts, value, and virtue are similar regarding describing things that a person or society finds desirable, there is a lot of overlap between virtues and values. For instance, virtues explain an ideal that people or workplace groups look up to and try to emulate; on the other hand, values describe what an individual might hold dear and finds valuable. As such, it can be possible that values are not necessarily moral as they are based on personal perspectives, which are diverse and can be positive and negative. However, virtues will always be based on morality since they are developed for the entire population in a community as the positive attributes acceptable to all people (Crossan, Mazutis, & Seijts, 2013). Virtues have been continuously passed on into consecutive generations, while values form from a person’s view of the world.


Baer, R. (2015). Ethics, values, virtues, and character strengths in mindfulness-based

interventions: a psychological science perspective. Mindfulness, 6(4), 956-969.

Crossan, M., Mazutis, D., & Seijts, G. (2013). In search of virtue: The role of virtues, values and

character strengths in ethical decision making. Journal of Business Ethics, 113(4), 567-


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