Managing Ethical Dilemmas

Cranston, Neil, Ehrich, Lisa C., & Kimber, Megan (2014) Managing Ethical Dilemmas. In Branson, Christopher & Gross, Steven (Eds.) Handbook of Ethical Educational Leadership. Routledge, New York, USA, pp. 229-245.

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This chapter reviews almost a decade of research and writing undertaken by the authors into ethical dilemmas faced by leaders in a number of different operational contexts, including schools, universities and the public sector. The importance of this body of work is emphasised by one of our research participants who argued that ethical dilemmas were the 'bread and butter' of what leaders do. The chapter comprises four main sections. The first section overviews key theoretical aspects as background to the chapter, including relevant discussions about ethics and ethical decision-making. The second section synthesises the research findings from our work in the three contexts noted above, drawing out a set of learnings that contribute to better understandings of the nature, complexities and challenges of ethical dilemmas. This section is followed by a discussion of an explanatory conceptual model of ethical dilemmas that was developed initially from the literature and confirmed by our research. The model reminds us of some of the critical issues at play in ethical dilemmas, and some of the consequences and implications for organisational culture building they can generate. By way of a short scenario, the final section provides a theory-to-practice illustration of an ethical dilemma in action. A set of recommendations, drawn from the ideas of school leaders who have worked with this and similar dilemmas, is offered as a way forward to better understanding and resolution of such dilemmas so prevalent in our schools today.

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1 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 72862
Item Type: Book Chapter
Keywords: educational leadership, ethics, ethical dilemmas, ethical leadership
ISBN: 9780415853910
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300) > Educational Administration Management and Leadership (130304)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Cultural & Professional Learning
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Taylor and Francis
Deposited On: 17 Jun 2014 22:28
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2017 07:12

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