Social processes of a professional licensing board deciding to establish mandatory continuing professional education

by Whatley, Steve Lynn

Abstract (Summary)
The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore and understand the decision-making process that resulted in the board establishing mandatory continuing professional education (MCPE). This study involved understanding interpersonal actions among board members and the educational, economic, and political interests that served as a foundation for these actions. How these variables influenced the decision to establish MCPE was of specific interest to adult education program planners, in that it informed how a decision in the context of a professional licensing board was made. The study involved the content analysis of interviews conducted with board members involved in program planning and of various documents used during program planning. Four themes described how and why the Midwest engineers’ licensing board established MCPE were developed—For Every Cause There is a Champion; MCPE: It’s About Personal Interests; Embracing a Myth; and the Last Man Standing. For Every Cause There is a Champion provided how a champion, advocate, or campaigner was needed for causes to be realized. MCPE: It’s About Personal Interests provided how interests served as the bases for assertiveness and actions of people involved in the planning context. Embracing a Myth provided how a belief could result in people taking a stand absent supporting evidence. The Last Man Standing explored the struggles of the only remaining person representing what they believed to be right—a dissenter among the majority. Five major conclusions were developed as a result of the study: (a) reasons for establishing MCPE were compelling to overcome opposition to MCPE; (b) a powerful advocate was instrumental in ensuring that a cause was satisfied; (c) negotiation was unlikely among decision-makers in deciding whether to establish MCPE when a powerful advocate was present; (d) the composition of the decision-making group likely affected the ultimate decision whether MCPE was established; and (e) decisions to establish MCPE were likely based more on self-serving interests of decision-makers than interests in protecting the health, safety, and welfare of the public. As a result of the study, a model was developed illustrating how the decision to establish MCPE was made.
Bibliographical Information:


School:The Ohio State University

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:decision making group program planning adult education negotiation power and influence continuing professional cpe mandatory mcpe


Date of Publication:01/01/2005

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