Provisional topic and title for the report: An Exploratory Study of Ethical Leadership at a Higher Learning Institution in the Philippines

1.0 Project Description

Unethical behavior is prevalent in higher education in the form of administrative malpractices such as nepotism, racism and corruption among others (Rothman, 2017; Lahi, 2013). An analysis of literature on ethics in higher education (1980-2015)

reveals transgressions in ethical leadership (Keenan, 2015). Yet, such issues have not received the much needed attention in comparison to ethical issues in medicine, politics and business (Rothman,2017). The dearth of research into ethical leadership could be attributed to many cases which go unreported, especially if researchers meant to conduct such studies are often employees of these universities and colleges (Osipian, 2012).

As an educator and the Head of transnational partnership as well as a student of this program, both at personal and professional level of experience inspires me to investigate the essence of becoming and being an ethical leader within the higher education industry. It is my considered view that ethical behaviour is crucial to ethical leadership. Thus, as an educational leader I always tend to question the experiential journey that integrates self-personal values and belief with professionalism.

In my current position, I frequently have to enforce ethical standards as a divine philosophy to be embraced and aligned to educational ethical codes and mandates. In the process, sometimes I fail to realise as an ethical leader that this involves a constant awareness of the impact which my decisions and actions do have on people’s lives.

Therefore, this study will explore ethical issues to fill the gap of ethical behavior and its contribution to the fostering of a culture of trust. This is critical and desirable for my professional growth and development as well as to would-be and current employees of the higher education sector.

2.0 Background

This study will be specific to XYZ University. A private university was established in 1962 by two churches belonging to the protestant denominations. The University currently has two campuses in the Philippines with a student population of 20,000 and 13 faculties which comprise Business, Education, Health Sciences, Law, and others. Working as a Head of Transnational Partnerships, I report directly to the President of the University

4.0 Aim and objectives

The aim of this study is to explore the perspectives of ethical leadership and foster a culture of trust at the XYZ University guided by the following objectives:

1. To identify ethical leadership gaps

2. To ascertain the extent to which the university upholds ethical leadership

3. To recommend ethical leadership best practices for the identified gaps

5.0 Methodology and Data Resources

A qualitative research will be undertaken using narrative survey design (interview) administered to a sample of 2 participants. The chosen participants are active administrators and educators in the Executive Management level.

Gardiner and Tenuto (2015), utilized a narrative survey design consisting of a semi-structured oral interview process with participants to elicit personal narratives, reflections, perceptions, thoughts, ideas, and visions. These research instruments are extensively used in educational research (Bowers, 2009).The respondents have given consent to undertake this research.

6.0 Data Collection Approach

Individual, semi-structured, 90 minute interviews per respondent will be conducted via Zoom with confidentiality tentatively in January 2021. Within each interview, the researcher will use six self-authored, open-ended, predetermined questions and two self-authored case scenarios that depict ethical dilemmas.

The participants will be asked to share how they would resolve the ethical dilemmas depicted in the two selfauthored case scenarios. The participants will choose from a list of solutions provided and will be encouraged to discuss their choice and rationale. This instrument is designed to elicit participant reflections, thoughts, and ideas about their own ethical behaviours, characteristics, and values ( Gardiner and Tenuto, 2015). This study will
be conducted , recorded and transcribed by the researcher.

7.0 Data Analysis Approach

The data collected from the interview process will be analyzed based on similar themes, repeating themes, ethical aspects, and leadership practices including behaviours, characteristics and values of the educational leader participants.

Thematic analysis will be used to expressively identify patterns from data collected (Fulcher, 2010). Data will will be coded(open and prori coding) and analyzed with the aim of illustrating dimensions of ethical leadership, behaviours, characteristics, and values as well as trust.This method is used to identify, analyse and report patterns within data through coding (Braun & Clarke 2006).

8.0 Ethical Consideration

Confidentiality and objectivity will be considered when analysing the importance of interview feedback and its impact on an organization’s wider reputation. Ethical approval is attached to this proposal.

9.0 Referencing: Harvard Referencing will be adopted for this study

10. Confirmation of Originality

Both the research proposal and the final report will be my own work in conformity with the university academic regulations. Participants’ consent has been sought.

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