Learning from broken rules: Individualism, bureaucracy, and ethics

Amy Rossiter, Richard Walsh-Bowers, Isaac Prilleltensky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The authors discuss findings from a qualitative research project concerning applied ethics that was undertaken at a general family counseling agency in southern Ontario. Interview data suggested that workers need to dialogue about ethical dilemmas, but that such dialogue demands a high level of risk taking that feels unsafe in the organization. This finding led the researchers to examine their own sense of "breaking rules" by suggesting an intersubjective view of ethics that requires a "safe space" for ethical dialogue. The authors critique the individualistic tendency of professional ethics as an effect of power that is tied to the history of professionalism, and discuss the role of bureaucracies in diminishing a central role for ethics in helping services. The authors call for elaboration of critical perspectives on ethics in order to promote the centrality of ethics in the helping professions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)307-320
Number of pages14
JournalEthics and Behavior
Volume6
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 1996
Externally publishedYes

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Ethics
Learning
Professional Ethics
Qualitative Research
Ontario
Risk-Taking
Counseling
History
Research Personnel
Organizations
Interviews

Keywords

  • Applied ethics
  • Counseling bureaucracies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

Cite this

Learning from broken rules : Individualism, bureaucracy, and ethics. / Rossiter, Amy; Walsh-Bowers, Richard; Prilleltensky, Isaac.

In: Ethics and Behavior, Vol. 6, No. 4, 01.12.1996, p. 307-320.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Rossiter, Amy ; Walsh-Bowers, Richard ; Prilleltensky, Isaac. / Learning from broken rules : Individualism, bureaucracy, and ethics. In: Ethics and Behavior. 1996 ; Vol. 6, No. 4. pp. 307-320.
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