Mission Discernment: A Preventative Ethics Strategy for Leaders in Catholic Health Care Organizations

  • Author / Creator
    Gordon Edward Self
  • In the demanding world of health care; an environment characterized by life and death decisions, constant change, competing priorities, and limited resources, leaders often have to make very difficult choices. Allocation of a leader’s time and energy that can be devoted to any one issue is also a limiting factor. Having a reflective decision-making tool with a set of clear triggers will ensure proportionate attention is given to the critical issues facing an organization, where values such as compassion and stewardship have to be balanced. Despite many articles devoted to the issue of moral compromise there has been less in the way of practical steps to mitigate such incidents of moral compromise occurring in the health care context. If leaders can be supported with making carefully discerned choices in the face of competing options, we prevent the likelihood that fundamental moral values of leaders will be compromised. In this way, use of mission discernment serves as a preventative ethics strategy, and a transformative tool to deepen the discerning culture of the organization. In this Project-Dissertation, readers will be introduced to a mission discernment tool to support leaders in Catholic health care with major decision-making. The Covenant Health Mission Discernment Tool © 2009 was researched, developed and launched during a time of significant financial and organizational change. The consolidation of Covenant Health as the largest faith-based provider in Canada was an ideal occasion to engage leaders as the primary intended users as how to best develop a tool that would be meaningful and relevant to their leadership work. The discernment tool will help leaders make consistently balanced decisions to promote higher level systems learning, as well as collaboration and shared ownership between programs and sites, even in the face of difficult organizational challenges.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Ministry
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    St. Stephen's College
  • Degree level
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Dr. Geoffrey Wilfong-Pritchard
    • Dr. Tom Maddix
    • Dr. Roger Keeler