The role of ethical frameworks in medical service encounters : an exploratory study

Schembri, Sharon T. (1999). The role of ethical frameworks in medical service encounters : an exploratory study Honours Thesis, Graduate School of Management, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Schembri, Sharon T.
Thesis Title The role of ethical frameworks in medical service encounters : an exploratory study
School, Centre or Institute Graduate School of Management
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 1999
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Total pages 157
Language eng
Subjects 1503 Business and Management
Formatted abstract As individuals we have individual views of the world that influence our perspective of our daily encounters. Recent research integrating this notion with normative ethics theory has found ethical frameworks direct an individual's view in accordance with their ethical reasoning towards either a process focus or an outcome focus (Brady & Wheeler 1996; Schminke et al. 1997). This research seeks primarily to examine the extent to which an individual's ethical framework influences expectations and assessment of a medical service encounter. In carrying out this examination, Parasuraman et al.' s (1991a,b,c) claim that SERVQUAL measures the service dimensions of process and outcome will be examined. A series of hypotheses are developed from a review of literature spanning ethical and justice theory, health care literature, and services marketing literature. The hypothesised relationships are then tested within the context of a doctor-patient dyad. The findings indicate that ethical reasoning may be context specific, and that both process and outcome are factors of consideration within the medical service encounter. More specifically, process is shown to of particular concern to patients. In the study, several questions are raised regarding SERVQUAL, including the representation of process service dimensions and the outcome service dimension, the applicability of the generic SERVQUAL instrument to a medical service encounter, and the assumption that all items within the instrument are indeed vector attributes. Finally, the limitations of this study are discussed, as are the theoretical and practical implications, and directions for future research.
Keyword Medical ethics.

 
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