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In Module 5 you began this step in the research scaffold process, which extends the examination begun in the Literature Review to ethical issues affecting individuals and communities. You will submit your draft at the end of this module.
We require you to select a research topic that has diversity and ethics “hooks” because we want to efficiently assess your competency in global understanding and ethics within the context of a single research project. You’ve seen Joe Student choose Water Pollution as his global issue, then through his literature review identify access to clean water as a struggle that especially affects disenfranchised people and is not always addressed equitably by the agencies controlling that access. Confronted with the requirement to add an ethical perspective, he decides to look at how the agencies communicate critical information to those affected and what ethical principles they use to set water policy. You don’t hear from Joe again until he’s putting together his final paper, but here’s a hint: he finds that the way these agencies select their policies and practices usually benefits themselves and the people who can afford to pay for superior access to clean water, leaving vulnerable people still insecure about their own access.
Your literature review has helped you to refine your contemporary global issue problem statement and learn where the themes and disagreements lie. Now, you will zero in on some aspect of that issue that affects vulnerable and disenfranchised groups differently from the way it affects dominant cultural groups. Continuing to add sources as necessary, you will analyze and synthesize the findings from the scholarly literature, asking how these groups have historically been, and currently are, impacted by the policies, decisions, and actions of others; what ethical principles have driven these policies, decisions, and actions; and what strategies and solutions the different parties have come up with. You will examine the issue from multiple perspectives, including your own cultural background and experiences and those of impacted individuals and groups.
You will use the lens of at least two ethical theories to evaluate the potential equity of the different strategies and solutions. You will recommend areas for further study that might result in more equitable treatment of those vulnerable and disenfranchised groups. Your recommendation must be supported by well-reasoned evidence from scholarly research. Remember: you are not to propose solutions at this point, just lay out the possibilities!
The final Diversity/Ethics scaffold paper will be 2,000-2,500 words, excluding title page and references.
There are many ways to write up your research findings at this stage. Below is a list of aspects of the research that you must include in some way:
*Identify the groups of people around the world who may be adversely affected by the issue, and also the dominant groups who are not
*Situate your own cultural perspective relative to the issue and these groups
*Use Hofstede’s cultural dimensions theory in some way as you analyze the diverse cultural perspectives
*Address issues such as ingroup favoritism, intergroup bias, etc. (see the list of topics in The Global Workplace, Part 1 in Module 3)
*Describe the ethical issues involved in addressing the problem, being sure to draw on at least two ethical theories (see the list of topics in The Global Workplace, Part 2 in Module 3)
*Analyze the decision making process and action plans that have been tried
*Examine evidence for social responsibility in these processes and plans
*Identify the policies and practices presented in the research findings that might lead to equitable solutions (and which seem unlikely to do so).
*Then, take a step back! Don’t pick a solution yet. Let this portion of your paper season, and wait for feedback from your instructor and your peers. You will be expected to present your proposed solution in detail in the last segment of your final paper.
Sound complicated? Remember, you’re building on the solid foundation you developed in the Literature Review, and applying knowledge of diversity issues and ethical theories to your problem. If you’re having difficulty understanding what we mean by ‘ethical underpinnings” you will find it helpful to review the Ethics Resources section of the Assignment Support Resources document.
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