After reading that Curt Monash writes FIVE blogs on software and marketing, I felt as if I had no excuse for not keeping up lately. However, for my excuse, you can click the link below:
I’m in Green Bay, Wisconsin at the CANAR conference to give a presentation on analysis of ethics data. CANAR is the Consortium of Administrators of Native American Rehabilitation, in case you did not know (which, be honest, you did NOT know).
Qualitative research would not be my first choice in most situations, but if there is a really good quantitative measure of ethics, I don’t know it and I can guarantee if such a thing exists it wasn’t validated for Native Americans on reservations. So… we have about 2,000 responses , mostly to different case studies and I get to talk about some of those in 90 minutes tomorrow – twice, actually, because they asked to have the same presentation repeated so twice as many people can attend.
If you’re interested in what we found out, you could read a few posts I wrote on it earlier:
The Reservation Rush from Judgement – many people bend over backwards to avoid saying behaviors are unethical even in the most obviously unethical situations, “I need more information than that the board member approved falsifying records and can’t attend meetings because he is in jail for assault”. WTF?
What I learned about ethics from Sherlock Holmes – that sometimes the most interesting results are non-results. I was amazed by the number of people who simply did not answer the case study questions – although they did answer the multiple choice questions, and other items that required writing about themselves. When they did answer the case study questions, their answers were almost invariably short ones, along the lines of “not sure”. It wasn’t a literacy issue. What I concluded from it was that it was very much like when I was teaching math, students who were unsure of their answers wrote as little as possible.
One more result, before I get downstairs to the conference – I was astounded at the number of people who responded that case studies that I thought were so obviously unethical (for example, paying for your wife to come on a trip with you out of your travel budget) were considered just fine. My co-author, Dr. Erich Longie, who had written many of the case studies, was not surprised at all.
The groups I have worked with that most closely approximates what I have seen in terms of ethics in these analyses are executives at Fortune 100 companies and members of non-profit boards. What all three groups have in common is that there is very little oversight of the decisions they make. The other commonality is that this lack of oversight can lead to some very big problems.
And now, I’m off to the conference sessions ….