Monthly Archives: January 2016

A risk factor for lapses of professionalism

The Indiana University School of Medicine Newsroom circulated an interesting report on research concerning professionalism. The study “is one of the first to provide quantitative evidence to support anecdotal claims linking reflective ability of medical students and professional behaviors of future physicians.”

The term “reflective ability” is new to me, but a simple example made it clear.

“Medical students know right from wrong but don’t always reflect on the short- and long-term consequences of their actions,” Dr. Frankel [senior author of the study] said. “For example, cutting and pasting sources from the Internet without attribution, which some students believe is permissible, is actually a form of plagiarism as is cutting and pasting patients’ electronic medical records. Not seeing or reflecting upon the connection between these two types of behaviors can pose a risk for serious lapses in professionalism. By enhancing students’ training in reflective practice we can boost their awareness and vigilance regarding professionalism.”

I can’t help wondering whether other practitioners in other professions are at a similar risk, and whether mentioned training in reflective practice would help them.

Anonymous. 2016. “Low reflective ability is risk for professionalism lapses during medical school and beyond.” IUSM Newsroom (Jan 21).

Ken Pimple
January 22, 2016
5:10 pm EDT

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Developing and Defending Your Ethical Professional Brand

The third in The Future of Professional Ethics Workshop series at Indiana University Bloomington will be hosted by the School of Public & Environmental Affairs, Friday, January 29, 11:30-1:30 pm, in SPEA 169* and online: #FutureEthics

Seminar poster

The keynote speaker is Trish Tchume, First Executive Director of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network.

  • 11:30-12:30: Keynote
  • 12:30-1:00: Responses by IU Faculty
  • 1:00-1:30: Pizza and open discussion period

Young professionals across sectors can expect that they will need to move between organizations and adapt to a variety of contexts, all while acquiring new knowledge and skills.  Cultivating a sense of one’s own professional identity or brand can be a challenge; doing so with integrity and attention to ethical priorities is essential.  Join Trish Tchume for an introduction to this topic, followed by a panel discussion and workshop session.  Tchume, a member of the inaugural class of American Express NGen Fellows, is a writer and activist, and she served as the first Executive Director of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network. 

*BUILDING UNDER CONSTRUCTION! Updated tips on how to access it here:

Made Possible by  College of Arts and Sciences Ostrom Grants Program.

Sponsored by Association for Practical and Professional Ethics; Department of Business, Law & Ethics, Kelley School of Business; Division of Informatics, School of Informatics and Computing; Maurer School of Law; Media School; Medical Sciences Program; Poynter Center for the Study of Ethics; School of Education; School of Optometry; School of Public and Environmental Affairs; School of Public Health–Bloomington; School of Social Work.

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Ethics and Technology in the U.S. Navy

Professor Thomas E. Creely, Ph.D.*

1. What ethical challenges do professionals currently face?

As the world becomes more globalized, there is a lack of fusion of cultures with respect to Western versus Eastern values. In the midst of globalization, there is increased polarization ideologically. This presents not only a global clash of cultural values, but a local clash of cultural values.

The use of social media presents ethical dynamics for people who have a physical personality and a separate online personality. This presents ethical challenges for ethical leadership. What happens when a millennial leader projects the online personality adversely in the work place?

As technological autonomy increases in warfare, desensitization of the human factor increases. How do we keep technology humane? Or, does the “Other” simply become an object? Young people who have coursing personal values (ethics) are adept with technology. How will they handle ethically complex technology in warfare?

Increasingly, millennials prefer texting as the primary means of communicating, which presents a challenge in the military environment. At least 60 percent of communications is the visual reception of body language. The lack of face-to-face communications appears to adversely affect trust, transparency, and ethical engagement.

In developing a deeper ethical culture in the Navy, do incentives for ethical behavior or celebrating ethical behavior have the greater impact on ethical leader development?

Across the board, senior Naval Officers notice the general lack of empathy among young Sailors. This lack of empathy has an impact on projecting moral leadership.

Social media and games influence Sailors’ ethical values. Social media and many games do not reinforce positive values for moral engagement and impact. The lack of civility on social media and the permissive violence in games is opposite of developing ethical leaders in the Navy.

The increasing government bureaucracy within the Navy and U.S. Government overcomes reasonableness and marginalizes and constrains ethical decision making.

2. What do the professions and professionals need when encountering new ethical challenges? How might Association for Practical and Professional Ethics address these needs?

In Navy Recruiting and Basic Training, Sailors need robust ethics education and introspection of values for personal development. Seeds must be planted early in young Enlisted and Officers for future leader development.

The gap between the average Sailor’s ethics and technology must be closed. The Sailor’s knowledge and use of technology is more advanced than their ethical knowledge and critical thinking skills. This requires a focus in teaching ethics in all of Naval Education and Training Curriculum.

Thomas E. Creely, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor at the College of Operational and Strategic Leadership, United States Naval War College (Newport, Rhode Island).

*Note: We are pleased to share Professor Creely’s answers to key questions associated with the Year of Conversation on the Future of Practical and Professional Ethics.

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