Ethics in Research Scenarios: What Would YOU Do?

KEY INSIGHT:  James Davis and Susan Madsen (former co-chairs of AOM’s Ethics Education Committee (EEC)) have developed four ethics in research scenarios, which they, EEC members and journal editors have taught to multiple doctoral consortia at the AOM annual meetings since 2008.  In this blog posting, Jim and Susan introduce their scenarios. A short annotated list of internet resources on teaching research ethics follows.  We hope that these resources will stimulate discussion about research ethics among the faculty and doctoral students at your institution. The Ethicist has migrated from AOM Connect and “gone public”; the blog is freely available for reading and download at Comments are welcome, and you are encouraged to circulate this blog posting (and earlier ones) to your colleagues and students.

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Teaching vs. preaching: Conversational ethics in the classroom

Key Insight: Sharing personal opinions can enrich a conversation and advance a learning opportunity, but done incorrectly, can turn “teaching” into “preaching.” Not understanding when we are preaching can alienate students and detract from learning. In this blog, I talk about those differences, and discuss that line between sharing helpfully and sharing forcefully.

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The Teaching ETHICIST: Beyond course content

I am delighted to engage the Academy community in discussion about the myriad ways ethics may be manifested in our teaching responsibilities. While I have a long list of topics I am eager to put out in this blog column for your input, let me echo Lorraine Eden’s introductory invitation for you, the Academy member, to send me topics you’d like to see in discussion.

What do the following have in common?

  • Grading student work fairly and consistently
  • Taking into account for final grades some ‘outlier’ student life experience or individual student need, such as a mid-semester baby birth or care of a sick parent or sibling
  • Discovering that a student has disclosed private or inappropriate information to others in an online discussion
  • Considering extreme consequences of students’ earning failing grades, such as with international students being deported if they fail a course