Faculty ethics logic of a religiously affiliated university

William R Hanson


This work responds to calls for ethics reform in higher education by exploring faculty realities of ethics logic within a small, religiously affiliated university. Research questions sought to discover what ethics entities existed, how they were related to each other, and how faculty members operationalised them. Using grounded theory methods and graph theory based analysis, the resulting Faculty Ethics Logic Model operationalised participant realities of the primary forces that drive teaching or resolving ethics issues at this particular university. That is, when emerging needs arose, faculty members derived response strategies primarily from knowledge, resources/artefacts, goals and beliefs; set within a framework of teaching or resolving ethics related issues, their resulting course of action was shaped by work-related contexts of group influence and collective norms. While the model did not exclude formal institutional influence, it highlighted the importance of informal elements within faculty realities (such as professional experience and desire for continued learning). Research implications pose the possiblitiy of using model construction to facilitate collective ethics logic understanding, or serve as a vehicle for discussing reform strategies. Triangulation of methods for data collection, analysis, and findings provide research trustworthiness.

This paper is based on an earlier version presented at The Center for Academic Integrity 2009 Annual International Conference.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21913/IJEI.v6i1.670