Valuing Truth and Transparency: Organisational Moral Development and Patient Safety

By Stella Christiana Stevens and Kimberley Norris.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Institutional culture barriers to staff reporting safety concerns are strong.
Method: A qualitative analysis of people who went outside their organisations to effect change was conducted. The theoretical perspective of moral development is used to understand why they did this, risking professional and organisational exclusion. The concept of moral development has interdisciplinary roots in the social sciences but has rarely been applied as a theoretical approach to the study of organisations.
Outcomes: The organisational responses to whistleblowing may be analysed using the moral development continuum.
Conclusion: Understanding that there may be a moral development continuum for organisations is a new concept for health services but one which may prove to be a useful approach to improving safety.

Keywords: Moral Development, Patient Safety, Organisations, Practical Social Science

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp.37-48. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.161MB).

Dr. Stella Christiana Stevens

Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Health, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

Dr. Stella Stevens’ is a sociologist researching health services and change. Her main focus is understanding the elements of clinical leadership in implementing change to improve patient safety. Published in Health Affairs, the Australian Health Review, she heads a NICS funded project “Engaging Clinical Leaders in Integrating Research and Practice”

Kimberley Norris

Lecturer, School of Psychology, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia


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