Dissertation Proposal Defense Announcement by Brian Kerl

Dissertation Proposal Defense Announcement by Brian Kerl

This event occurred in the past

Date and Time

  • Thursday, September 14, 2017 at 3:30 p.m.

Location

Mother Rosalie Hill Hall, 139

5998 Alcala Park San Diego, CA 92110

Cost

0

Details

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: THE IMPACT OF EDUCATION ON MARINE CORPS COMMANDING OFFICERS' APPROACH IN ESTABLISHING AN ETHICAL CLIMATE

by Brian Kerl

Abstract

     Marine Corps commanding officers today face challenges aggravated by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, strategic uncertainty, and societal changes that carry over to the military such as women serving in infantry roles and the use of social media.  In addition, perennial problems of human frailty, exacerbated by the stressors unique to the military that include lengthy separations from loved ones and multiple relocation moves, underscore the value of ethics education and an ethical organizational climate.  Importantly, the consequences of an organizational climate not focused on ethics may negatively affect combat readiness and warfighting capability. Despite the Marine Corps investing heavily in leadership development programs focused on the enduring leadership philosophies and concepts consistent with its core values (honor, courage, and commitment), in the last decade the Marine Corps has seen its share of high profile scandals (e.g., Marines United social media scandal). To date, however, little work, if any, has been done that examines the relationship between the ethics education and training that Marine Corps officers receive and their commanding officers’ approach to establishing an ethical climate.
     To begin to fill this void in the literature, this qualitative study will employ a case study/cross-case design using a two-phased research approach.  The first phase will include a document analysis of the ethics curriculum taught at the Marine Corps War College, observations of ethics lectures, and personal interviews with three key individuals at the War College. The second phase involves face-to-face interviews with five former Marine Corps commandants and the current commandant using a semi-structured interview guide designed to provide perspectives on ethics education and ethical climate in the Marine Corps over the past 25 years.  Data will be examined using an analysis of the narratives to address what an ethical climate should look like and how we educate and train Marine Corps commanders to establish an ethical climate.  
     This study hopes to contribute to the Marine Corps’ leadership development program by providing it with recommendations to assist with the training and education of commanding officers who establish ethical climates designed to enhance combat readiness and character development within their organizations.

*Note: Dissertation proposal defense is open to current USD faculty, graduate students, and staff.

Post Contact

Beth Garofalo
bethg@sandiego.edu
(619) 260-7790

leading change at USD