Perceptions of promoting and modeling ethical values in nonprofit and public agencies

by Racovita-Szilagyi, Doina Laura, Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2015, 217 pages; 3728052


The purpose of this research study was to discover the extent to which perceptions of social workers promoting ethical responsibilities to colleagues, their profession, and to the broader society predicted the extent to which they are perceived to model the same ethical responsibilities in their respective contexts. This non-experimental survey research was based on the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Code of Ethics, with a survey crafted to exactly mirror the code’s language and structure. Three research questions guided the study, revolving around the prediction model between perceptions of promoting and perceptions of demonstrating ethical responsibilities to colleagues, to the social work profession, and to the broader society, respectively. The research sub-questions looked at the extent to which social workers are perceived to both promote and demonstrate the ethical principles in three sections of the code, as well as the relationship between demographic variables (gender, age, highest degree attained, and length of employment in a social work setting) and perceptions of demonstrating the outlined ethical principles. The final sample was comprised of 139 respondents with varied social work experience, from students in social work programs to practitioners and social work educators throughout the United States. Descriptive statistics were used to describe the sample; bivariate parametric and nonparametric correlations were used to test relationships between predictors and dependent variables, and binomial logistic regression was used to ascertain the prediction model. Furthermore, multiple regression analysis was used to find whether demographic characteristics may predict the dependent variables. Findings support the hypothesis that perceptions of promoting ethical responsibilities to colleagues, the social work profession, and society at large, predict perceptions of demonstrating the same. When observing the means for each scale item, it was found that over all scales, most often social workers are perceived to promote specific ethical principles at levels of often and always, while being perceived to more often demonstrate those at levels between sometimes and always. However, no statistical correlation was found between demographical variables and perceptions of demonstrating ethical principles used in the study. The paper concluded with a discussion regarding implications for practice and recommendations for further study.

AdviserLinda Roseburr
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsEthics; Social work; Management
Publication Number3728052

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