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
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.
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Promoting and Supporting Standards for High School Interscholastic Athletics
in an Era of Reform
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
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
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.
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
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.