An exploratory study of ethical dilemmas faced by academic leaders in three Australian universities

Cranston, Neil, Ehrich, Lisa, Kimber, Megan and Starr, Karen 2012, An exploratory study of ethical dilemmas faced by academic leaders in three Australian universities, Journal of educational leadership, policy and practice, vol. 27, no. 1, pp. 3-15.

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Title An exploratory study of ethical dilemmas faced by academic leaders in three Australian universities
Author(s) Cranston, Neil
Ehrich, Lisa
Kimber, Megan
Starr, Karen
Journal name Journal of educational leadership, policy and practice
Volume number 27
Issue number 1
Start page 3
End page 15
Total pages 13
Publisher New Zealand Educational Administration and Leadership Society
Place of publication Hamilton, New Zealand
Publication date 2012
ISSN 1178-8690
Keyword(s) Ethics and leadership
ethical decision-making
academic leadership
Summary Being an academic in universities today is characterised by change and increasing complexity in response to a multitude of factors impacting on the university sector. Among the consequences of such changes are that many academics, and academic leaders in particular, are subjected to both increasing stress and scrutiny in many of the decisions they make. Some of these decisions require critical choices that involve contestation of values (including personal, professional, institutional, and community), resulting in ethical dilemmas for the decision makers. This article reports on an exploratory study into ethical dilemmas faced by middle-level academic leaders, drawing on the results of an on-line survey distributed to relevant academics in three universities in Australia. Here, middle-level academic leaders are defined as those holding course coordination roles, locating them between senior university staff and other academics on the one hand, and students on the other hand. As a consequence, these diverse groups of staff and students potentially have an array of conflicting interests in, and expectations on, middle-level academics’ decision-making processes. The findings of the study are clear: ethical dilemmas are evident, and commonly so, for many middle-level academic leaders. While exploratory in nature, the findings of this study suggest that much more attention to ethics and ethical dilemmas is needed in our universities.
Language eng
Field of Research 139999 Education not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970113 Expanding Knowledge in Education
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2012, New Zealand Educational Administration and Leadership Society
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30046269

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Education
Higher Education Research Group
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