Date of Submission


Document Type



Doctor of Education




safe disclosure, retaliation, research misconduct, responsible conduct of research, authentic leadership, ethical leadership


Pressures to publish, which are prevalent in higher education, can lead to research misconduct and, in the absence of clear, safe disclosure policies—and mechanisms and structures to support them—individuals affected by research misconduct may fear retaliation when speaking up. This Organizational Improvement Plan examines how to foster a climate where individuals feel supported and are encouraged to speak up if they witness research misconduct at Forest University (a pseudonym), a research-intensive university in Ontario, Canada. In alignment with my values, the change process is guided by authentic and ethical leadership perspectives. The Change-Path Model, supported by Beckhard and Harris’ Change-Management Process, is the change framework to address the Problem of Practice (PoP). Krüger’s Iceberg Model of Change and an adapted readiness rubric have been used to deepen my understanding of the organizational culture and to identify expected and unexpected resistance points. The Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle will be used to determine where refinement is needed. Forest University has a large, diverse population of students, faculty, and staff. A working group will be assembled using shared equity leadership to ensure a range of lived and learned experience to address the PoP and support the change. The proposed solution takes a hybrid approach that focuses on introducing mechanisms and structures to support policy, including hiring a dedicated role to develop training and education, serve as an intake for research misconduct concerns, and to keep policy up to date.