Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

W. Hal Knight

Committee Members

Kathryn K. Franklin, Karen A. Tarnoff, Jasmine R. Renner


The purpose of this study was to determine if local elected officials in Tennessee perceive ethics training will affect ethical behavior, and, if so, what format they recommend for ethics training including length of time, delivery methods, and instructors' qualifications. This study provides information regarding whether ethics training is likely to be efficacious and how officials feel about the training. Specifically, this study informs officials and others who invest with both time and financial resources about the value of training, what to teach if they are going to offer ethics training, and who should teach ethics.

More than 2,000 local elected officials in Tennessee were surveyed asking their perceptions on the format, content, instructor, and length of time necessary for ethics training. In addition, survey participants were asked their personal definition of ethics and were asked to share the unethical behavior they have observed in other elected officials, if any. This study provides rich information for those responsible for designing and delivering ethics training for elected officials as well as for those making financial decisions regarding ethics training. An additional benefit of this study was as a contribution to the body of literature on the subject of ethics training. This study should be useful for those in government or training and development as they consider offering ethics training.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.