Bringing Ethics to Life: Case Study Method and ARMA Internat

By Pemberton, J. Michael | ARMA Records Management Quarterly, January 1995 | Go to article overview

Bringing Ethics to Life: Case Study Method and ARMA Internat


Pemberton, J. Michael, ARMA Records Management Quarterly


What I hear, I forget.

What I see, I remember.

What I do, I learn.

Chinese Proverb

While most people find them stimulating, discussions of professional ethics sometimes seem a bit abstract. This "Perspectives" column provides a tested method for considering ethical situations in records and information management at a more specific, useful, and practical level than that permitted by more philosophical or theoretical approaches. Specifically, we will consider steps to enliven the ARMA sponsored "Code of Professional Responsibility" (see Appendix), which was introduced in an earlier column.(1)

While most of us who read newspapers or watch television realize that ethical professional behavior is an increasingly "hot" topic, understanding professional ethics does not come naturally. We are conditioned, of course, by family and society toward general ethical norms (e.g., don't steal, don't lie), and our fundamental values in these areas are formed in childhood. Typically, however, we have little instruction, training, or conditioning for the more specialized ethical behavior in our work lives. And, just as the content of each vocation varies, so does the set of ethical principles in each field. While many employers are issuing ethical codes for specific workplaces, these codes cannot address the specific issues of each of the occupations represented within that organization. And why should they; that is the role of professional associations. ARMA International has published a code; what is needed now is a way to bring its words to life. First, a basic premise about adult learning must be established.

PEDAGOGY OR ANDRAGOGY?

Anyone who does a lot of training or teaching of adults has probably learned, perhaps even painfully, that instructional methods used to teach children (pedagogy) rarely work well with grownups. Increasingly, adults resist those who "talk at" them. The teaching-learning strategies for adults (andragogy) must--to be both accepted and meaningful--include a generous amount of participation or direct involvement. For transmitting specific factual information, lecturing often makes sense; but for developing values, judgment, and independent thinking--hallmarks of any field's professionals--a different direction is needed. In these areas, discussion oriented instruction is an increasingly effective substitute for lecturing.

Mediated discussion is a teaching/learning format which:

* Focuses on knowledge and judgment development rather than merely "dispensing" information,

* Is a learner-centered experience rather than being teacher centered,

* Emphasizes active vs. passive learning,

* Encourages expressive and participative behavior vs. reticent behavior,

* Fosters independent thinking vs. a mindless deference to authority (the teacher), and

* Promotes peer-level cooperative efforts found in professional settings.(2)

The case study method may be the form of guided-discussion learning most appropriate to the study of professional ethics.

THE CASE STUDY GENRE

Pioneered at the Harvard [University] Business School in the U.S., the case method for the study of management and related issues has evolved as a means to tie principles to practice and make concepts tangible and meaningful. In essence, "case studies" are pieces of prose with elements which often resemble those of a short story (i.e., characters, plot, dialogue). The review and discussion of lifelike cases accomplishes several objectives:

* It puts principles into concrete perspective,

* It facilitates that higher level of vision, judgment, and direction needed by the professionals in a field,

* It gives practice in analyzing situations, encourages the balancing of conflicts within a given situation, and helps the thoughtful practitioner choose the course of action best suited for a given situation,

* It helps guide later decisions by practitioners as they are confronted with new ethical decisions, and

* In group discussions based on cases, individuals can enrich their own views by understanding those of others. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Bringing Ethics to Life: Case Study Method and ARMA Internat
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.