A taxonomic approach to understanding managerial ethical decision making approaches of clinically and non-clinically trained healthcare managers in Australia

Casali, Gian Luca & Day, Gary (2015) A taxonomic approach to understanding managerial ethical decision making approaches of clinically and non-clinically trained healthcare managers in Australia. Asia Pacific Journal of Health Management, 10(3), SI 8-SI 17.

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To understand differences in the managerial ethical decision-making styles of Australian healthcare managers through the exploratory use of the Managerial Ethical Profiles (MEP) Scale.


Healthcare managers (doctors, nurses, allied health practitioners and non-clinically trained professionals) are faced with a raft of variables when making decisions within the workplace. In the absence of clear protocols and policies healthcare managers rely on a range of personal experiences, personal ethical philosophies, personal factors and organizational factors to arrive at a decision. Understanding the dominant approaches to managerial ethical decision-making, particularly for clinically trained healthcare managers, is a fundamental step in both increasing awareness of the importance of how managers make decisions, but also as a basis for ongoing development of healthcare managers.




The study adopts a taxonomic approach that simultaneously considers multiple ethical factors that potentially influence managerial ethical decision-making. These factors are used as inputs into cluster analysis to identify distinct patterns of influence on managerial ethical decision-making.


Data analysis from the participants (n=441) showed a similar spread of the five managerial ethical profiles (Knights, Guardian Angels, Duty Followers, Defenders and Chameleons) across clinically trained and non-clinically trained healthcare managers. There was no substantial statistical difference between the two manager types (clinical and non-clinical) across the five profiles.


This paper demonstrated that managers that came from clinical backgrounds have similar ethical decision-making profiles to non-clinically trained managers. This is an important finding in terms of manager development and how organisations understand the various approaches of managerial decision-making across the different ethical profiles.

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ID Code: 91907
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Clinician Managers, Cross-sectional, Decision-making, Ethics, Non-clinican Managers
ISSN: 1833-3818
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300) > Organisational Behaviour (150311)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Deposited On: 17 Jan 2016 23:14
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2017 19:01

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