Professional and institutional morality: Building ethics programmes on the dual loyality of academic professionals

Celeste Wilderom, Andre Nijhof, Marlies Oost

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Most professionals have the arduous task of managing their own dual loyalty: in one contextual relationship, they are members of a profession while simultaneously they are employed as members of a locally established organisation. This sense of a dual loyalty has to be taken into account when professional bureaucracies develop ethics programmes. This article focuses on universities. Accounting for the dual loyalty of academic professionals, it is the objective of the study to contribute to the most appropriate ethics programmes in such an academic context. Based on a review of the literature, we identify which ethical issues commonly emerge in educational and research activities. Then we offer a conceptual analysis of the conditions required for each different strategy of ethics management. We argue that none of the four theoretically derived strategies is applicable solely on its own. For universities it is most promising to design ethics programmes based on the guiding values of the academic community, including integrity measures for universities and corrective measures for students. The argument developed in this article is assumed to be widely applicable in assessing the appropriateness of ethics management strategies in other professional settings. (Contains 1 figure and 3 tables.)
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-109
JournalEthics and education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Professional and institutional morality: Building ethics programmes on the dual loyality of academic professionals'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this