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Title:Equity: A Systems Model of Ethics
Author(s):Running, Eric Wilson
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Thurston, Paul W.
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Education, Administration
Education, Adult and Continuing
Abstract:This is a dissertation in the philosophy of administration, specifically administrative ethics, done in the field of Continuing Education. It presents an open systems model of ethics compatible with organizational production and communications models (Appendix, Figure 2). Intended as a practical tool of use to administrators, it provides a way of conceptualizing needed, missing, or hidden information critical to decisions, and the resolution of dilemmas and conflicts. It may also be of use to philosophers, educators, professionals, and others involved in the teaching of ethics. Ethics is defined as: the principles, processes, and practices used in energy/information resource transformation decisions.
In Chapter 2, open systems are discussed and a basic model is described. Open systems models are characterized by three input, throughput, and output subsystem stages--with feedback linkage as a fourth stage equivalent--through which resources pass in a continual transformation exchange with their environments. This ongoing process enables system entities--individuals, groups, organizations, et cetera--to maintain their survival in dynamic equilibrium. In an open systems model of ethics, the corresponding subsystem stages or components are ethical types or "schools" of philosophy: Idealism, Equity, and Utility--with communications or control as a fourth stage equivalent (Appendix, Figure 1). Idealism and Utilitarianism are traditionally recognized as non-consequentialist (input) and consequentialist (output) schools, respectively. The transforming, processing, or throughput ethics subsystem required development to complete the model.
In Chapter 3, Equity is analyzed and defined in terms of its three subsubsystems values--equality, fairness, and justice--as the model's throughput stage. Ten varieties of equity are described: principle, process, practice, equilibrium, ownership, organizational, horizontal, vertical, excellence, and total. Five definitions are given for equity as a process, the specific variety operating in the model's throughput stage. The general process definition is stated as: Equity is the distribution of equality, fairness, and justice. Chapter 4 considers equity examples in classical and modern philosophers, ethicists in applied fields, and in Continuing Education. In Chapter 5, an open systems model of ethics is stated formally, and two short cases illustrating its potential use in Continuing Education are provided.
Issue Date:1992
Description:193 p.
Thesis (Ed.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1992.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI9305671
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-16
Date Deposited:1992

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