• Personal values determine an individual's behavior.

  • They can determine the strategy and direction that business owners take in their enterprises.

We often come across business people who will neither stock nor sell certain commodities such as alcohol and cigarettes. When you inquire why they are not willing to sell such profitable goods, they often cite religion and morals as the guide to their choices.

However, you will find other traders with similar moral and religious views engaging in the businesses that their counterparts shun. They will claim that business is business, and therefore, you have to do everything to make it successful.

So, why are there notable differences in the decisions and actions of people who seem to bear similar views?

The answer lies in personal values.

What are personal values?


Personal values are attitudes, characteristics, and beliefs that guide an individual's decision-making processes. They are the attributes that we consider to be important to us, and therefore, define our identity. They help us in making decisions and discerning what is right or wrong.

Complexity surrounds the issue of personal values because we are often unaware of them and hence, we may ignore the influence that they have on our strategic choices. Additionally, they affect an individual's personality and are revealed when individuals face challenges and have to choose alternatives.

Significance of Personal Value in Business


Personal values are crucial in business because they influence decision-making and determine the owner's business strategy. By examining his or her values, a business owner will determine the enterprise's general direction and the kind of employees that will be suitable to help in achieving the set goals.

For instance, a business owner whose personal values are inclined to social value will direct his or her business towards security, stability, and satisfying the employees and communities' needs. Alternatively, a business owner whose personal values are inclined towards economic gains will adopt strategies that will seek profitability and growth regardless of other individuals' welfare.

Therefore, these attributes play an imperative role in decision-making and determining an individual's personality. They are intrinsic and form a yardstick of what is considered to be ethical or unethical behavior.

Personal values are individualistic and they are said to be the backbone of human behavior. A world devoid of values would be chaotic, without direction, and self-destructive. To sort out our basic choices, we should come up with a way in which personal values can be identified, compared, and contrasted.