An exploration of moral potency among registrars and admission directors at U.S. colleges and universities
Author(s)Santarosa, Michael C.
KeywordsHigher education administration
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Abstract<p> Many organizational leaders know the right course of action to take when facing moral dilemmas and yet fail to take the appropriate moral action. Moral potency, consisting of moral courage, moral efficacy, and moral ownership, is a new construct developed to help explain some of the motivational factors associated with organizational leaders who actually engage in morally commendable conduct. Given the prominence of lapses of ethical conduct among organizational leaders, there is growing interest in explaining the drivers of ethical actions in all industries including higher education. This research compared the relationship of moral potency among two groups of organizational leaders within higher education, registrars and admissions directors working at regionally accredited four-year colleges and universities in the United States, to see if significant differences existed that may help explain some of the positive and negative outcomes associated with the two professions. The hypotheses associated with this study were not supported because the data indicate that no significant difference exists among egistrars and admissions leaders related to the factors associated with moral potency. Both registrars and admissions directors possess relatively equally high levels of moral potency. However, a significant correlation was found for moral efficacy and size of institution suggesting that registrars and admissions directors working at larger institutions were more confident in their ability to address moral issues than those working at smaller institutions. Another positive correlation was found between moral courage and approximate number of years registrars and admissions directors served in in their respective positions providing evidenced that those holding their positions longer were more likely to persist in the pursuit of ethical behaviors despite hardships or negative pressures they may face.</p>