[Cross-posted from the Public Health Post Blog, where it originally appeared on March 17, 2017.]
The Trump administration is prompting many of us in health services to ask new questions about if, and how, to draw lines between our personal and professional endeavors. Do we sign that petition with our institutional affiliation? Do we retweet that tweet? Do we share news of that protest on the established mailing list? As someone who studies organizational ethics, these individual-level questions soon give way to a larger set of questions about the roles and responsibilities of the institutions within which we spend so much of our professional lives. In a moment in which the role of institutions appears critically important, what does it mean to be a just institution?
Recently, local leaders have shone light on this question. Over a weekend of protests in January, Harvard Business School faculty member Ariel Dora Stern (an expert in management of innovation in health care) imagined aloud about how to prioritize her academic responsibility to a journal and her social responsibilities to her community. The tweet accrued nearly two thousand retweets and replies from fellow faculty including “Isn’t that the truth?” and “I’m in the same boat.” One response asked whether the journal had issued a formal statement against an executive order, suggesting that if it had not, Professor Stern should no longer be willing to review. Read More