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Teaching Innovation Projects

Department

Non-Profit Management

Summary

Non-profit organizations (NPOs) enjoy more trust than most other modern institutions. That trust comes at a price, however. When allegations of unethical behaviour arise, public indignation is swift and can translate into decreased donations for several years. NPOs typically serve vulnerable populations and, consequently, individuals working in them are expected to put organizational and public interests above their own. Yet, increased pressure to perform efficiently to compete for decreasing government funds may lead to compromised values. As the sector grows and increases in importance as the “third sector” between government and the market[1], high-profile scandals worldwide suggest a need for ethics training for non-profit administrators.

Both government and the public have called for greater accountability in the non-profit sector, creating the current trend toward professionalism and a growing number of professional study programs. But is the post-secondary, non-profit administration program the best place for future professionals to learn what constitutes “right”, or ethical, behaviour? Do ethics courses actually make a difference in the ethical decision-making process and the behaviour of practicing professionals? If so, how are they currently being taught and how should we teach these types of courses? This workshop examines these challenges within the context of a currently “fragmented” state of ethics pedagogy in non-profit management studies.

[1] As described by, for example: Brock, K. L. (2000). Sustaining a relationship: Insights from Canada on linking the government and the third sector. Working Paper 1, School of Policy Studies, Queen’s University, Ontario. Retrieved from www.queensu.ca/sps/publications/workingpapers/01.pdf

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.