Foundation Supported Research

We are immensely grateful for funding provided by various foundations, which allows IGE to contribute independent research to the field of applied ethics. Over the past two decades, the Institute has, thanks to generous financial support, performed a range of analytical studies which have both refined our methodology and inspired new practical applications, including an increased focus on contexts and cultures that encourage individual ethical behavior. Some of the more notable projects include:

Exploring the Role of Virtues in Determining Organizational Culture (2013)

Through a planning grant from the John Templeton Foundation the Institute for Global Ethics conducted research on cultures of integrity, to determine the role of virtues within organizations. Specifically, are there core virtues critical to the ethical operation of an organization? Can these be identified, studied, and re-combined to create a model for a culture of integrity? Our research confirmed our hypothesis that this is indeed possible. Continue reading >>

Promoting and Supporting Standards for High School Interscholastic Athletics in an Era of Reform (2007)

The Institute for Global Ethics conducted a joint research project with NASBE (National Association of State Boards of Education) funded by the John S. and John L. Knight Foundation to examine how educational leaders support approaches to high school sports that emphasize academics over athletics. Through focus groups and face-to-face interviews with students and adults, our in-depth, qualitative research at three exemplary public high schools that have been successful in creating healthy, balanced athletic programming confirms that athletic programming can effectively support the broader aims of education and can mitigate pervasive cultural pressure to "win at all costs."

Schools of Integrity Project (2006)

Working closely with the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) and the Canadian Association of Independent Schools (CAIS), and funded by the John Templeton Foundation and The Esther A. and Joseph Klingenstein Fund, we set out to learn what constitutes "best practice" in North American private education in relation to teaching character and integrity. To do so, we closely examined 10 "Schools of integrity"—institutions widely viewed by their peers as singularly effective in educating for character and ethics.

Broadening College-Student Constituencies for Environmental Protection (2000)

A survey project, designed by the Institute for Global Ethics and The Gallup Organization and sponsored by The Nathan Cummings Foundation, probed the relationship between students' moral reasoning and their thoughts about the environment, and particularly their attitudes toward taking action on behalf of the environment. Unlike many surveys on the environment, this one targeted non-activists. A key objective of this survey was to determine how best to shape appealing environmental messages for students not already committed to environmental activism.

Clean Campaigns (1997)

In 1997, the Institute for Global Ethics' (IGE) Project on Campaign Conduct led a nationwide effort to promote voluntary, candidate-endorsed codes of campaign ethics as a vehicle for addressing the problem of attack advertising and the citizen cynicism it engenders. IGE along with its partner, the National Civic League (NCL), developed a field guide with support from The Pew Charitable Trusts and the Carnegie Corporation of New York for citizens and political groups to use as a tool to help those interested in clean and positive campaigns to get their candidates to voluntarily sign codes of conduct and pledge to refrain from negative, attack-based campaigns and to run clean and positive races.

Global Values Survey, Moral Boundaries (1996)

Is there a global core of shared moral values? That question has been at the center of our work at the Institute for Global Ethics since its founding in 1990. IGE investigated those questions through interviews and by asking participants in each of our Ethical Fitness® Seminars to spend time generating a set of ethical values they would guide their daily living. In both efforts, we saw individuals from very different backgrounds converge with striking consensus around a shared core of values.

To add another dimension to this research the Institute for Global Ethics, with funding provided by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, conducted a Global Values Survey at the State of the World Forum's annual meeting in San Francisco in October of 1996. By bringing the increased rigor of survey research methodology to bear on these questions, it moves the process beyond individual interviews or focus-group activities into something closer to generalizable findings. It also provides sharper insight into the moral boundaries within which individuals operate, and into the ethical decision-making principles they use.