What are Social Values?

Definition: Social values are a set of moral principles defined by society dynamics, institutions, traditions and cultural beliefs. These values are implicit guidelines that provide orientation to individuals and corporations to conduct themselves properly within a social system.

What Does Social Values Mean?

Values are progressively formed in the lives of people and in corporate culture. They shape society’s behavior to guarantee adequate coexistence between participants. These values provide the boundaries between what is right and what is wrong, what is permissible, prohibited, illegal, desirable, legitimate or punishable and, the only way they can positively function is by a collective agreement, either explicit or implicit, that clarifies rules in a way that everybody knows and understands the boundaries.

In business, social values are essential to maintain healthy relationships between co-workers and between the company and the society. A company that conducts itself by contradicting well-established social values will encounter severe conflicts that will isolate the business from its consumers and it will surely lead to disappearance, since businesses must act towards developing benefits for society. Governments and laws are normally established to preserve social values through enforcement procedures. The judiciary system and government institutions are therefore created to maintain society’s proper functioning.

Example

BioGenics Co. is a company that develops farming technologies to increase the speed of agricultural processes through genetic manipulations. The company has created different methods to increase crops resistance, size, color and glow among other factors that have a positive effect in the agricultural industry.

Nevertheless, there has been a lot of rumors about the company’s unethical practices and the society as a whole seems to be concerned about the negative effects these biotechnologies will have in human health. The government established a commission to investigate these violations and after reviewing most of the cases they found that the company was implementing illegal procedures to develop some of their technologies. These findings led to the company’s dismantling and further disappearance since it contradicted essential social values.