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Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Do we lose our private values at the entrance door of our company?

Friday, 23 January 2015 | Posted by: Sonja Specks, European Coatings Journal

To think about how to spend the money we earned through our work is one of our first world problems. A lot of people in this world don’t even have enough money to buy things that satisfy the basics needs. I think, it is therefore an ethical necessity to act socially responsible. This could mean to look for the attribute "organic” or "bio” while you shop groceries. Sometimes we consider this ethical attitude and buy our food at a local market or directly at a nearby farmer. On other days we go to one of the huge chains or supermarket around the corner. That’s how we humans are, not always consistent but at sometimes we at least try to act politically and ethically correct.

Private acting versus business conduct?

But what does the business person in us? Does it only count to achieve your targets or do you think about environmental concerns of the polymer production when using them for your coating? Do we choose the small distributor in the neighborhood as we do when buying at the farmer’s place on the weekends? Spending some of our hardly earned money for organic food seems to be easier, than spending money for biobased raw-materials. Obviously, this is the point where private intentions, which include naïve hopes to change the world by starting with small steps, collapses.

My assumption is: the more influence the individual has on a company, either because of the company’s size or his own job position, the more the economic interest counts compared to individual values. But I also think: The one behaviour doesn’t have to exclude the other.

Courage for the private values in your job!

If you put your private values regarding food into practice at your work place, it seems to be out of favour. It seems as it doesn’t fit the seriousness of a business environment. I think, this is not true. We don’t lose when we keep sticking to our values and we keep being true to ourselves. Openness and courage are necessary, and at least these two virtues are well appreciated by society. So stick to your values, everywhere and at any time!

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