A company’s culture is often buried so deeply inside rituals, assumptions, attitudes, and values that it becomes transparent to an organization’s members only when, for some reason it changes.

—Rob Goffee

Culture is embedded within every organization. Yet, because culture is woven throughout the everyday interactions and atmosphere of an organization, it can be difficult to assess and explain how the culture influences the inner workings of the organization.
As a nurse leader-manager, developing a sound understanding of an organization’s culture can help you to achieve quality improvement initiatives and identify strategies for enacting sustainable change.
For this Discussion, you analyze the culture of an organization and consider how this relates to achieving goals related to quality improvement. You may wish to focus on the same organization that you have selected for your Course Project.

To prepare:

Review the information on organizational culture in this week’s Learning Resources.
Reflect on the culture of an organization with which you are familiar. Consider the following:
What elements of the organization’s culture seem most prominent or significant to you?
What beliefs, dispositions, and/or actions seem to be most valued? Why do you think so?
What do you notice about the expectations, assumptions, and more demonstrated among people within the organization?
What artifacts provide clues about the culture?
How do these cultural elements contribute to or detract from the organization’s ability to meet prominent goals and objectives?
Consider how you, as a nurse leader-manager, could apply your knowledge of this culture to facilitate quality improvement initiatives within this organization. How would you leverage the strengths of the culture, and address limitations or obstacles that may arise within it?

Discussion: Ethical Dimensions of Research Studies

In the best-selling book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (Skloot, 2010), the author highlights the true story of an African-American woman who died in 1951 from cervical cancer. What makes her story unique is that prior to her death, cells from her tumor were removed and successfully grown in a petri dish. This was the first time scientists were able to successfully replicate cells outside the body, and it is estimated that billions of Lacks’ cells have been used in medical research. However, Henrietta Lacks was never asked for permission to take a sample and her family was never made aware of the widespread use of her cells. Although the culturing of her cells has been pivotal for advancing research, strong ethical concerns later arose about using these cells without patient or family approval.

This week’s readings describe historical examples of unethical research, such as a study of syphilis among African-American men in which treatment was withheld and a study in which live cancer cells were injected into elderly patients. Today, stricter controls that seek to protect study participants are placed on researchers, but breaches still occur. Careful attention must be given toward preventing unethical behavior. In this Discussion, you explore ethical considerations and issues in research.

To prepare:

Select a current health-related case involving research ethics. (If none come to mind, browse the Internet to familiarize yourself with recent cases.)
As you review the case that you have selected, reflect on the ethical principles discussed in “What Are the Major Ethical Issues in Conducting Research?” article found in this week’s Learning Resources. Which principles were breached in the case you have identified?

Post a description of the case that you selected and the ethical issues involved. Analyze the ethical principles that were breached by the researchers or organizations in your selected case as well as the possible cause of the breach(es). Suggest how the research might have been conducted differently to avoid or minimize the ethical problems. Discuss how research can be done on sensitive issues while still protecting the rights of the research subjects.