Organizational ethics in managed behavioral health care: Perspectives from executives and leaders

David A. Sharar, Stan Huff, Barry Ackerson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Managed behavioral health care (MBHC) is frequently criticized on ethical grounds for the way it undermines classical ideals of professionalism in mental health and addiction treatment. There is an implied assumption that practitioners who are executives and leaders in MBHC companies have moved away from clinical ethics to the adoption of business and financial models. This qualitative study explores perceptions of organizational ethical issues from the point of view of leaders working in MBHC settings and how their perspectives contribute to our current schemas for analyzing the ethical complexities of MBHC. Twenty-seven participants from across the United States were interviewed using an interview guide that relied on open-ended questions and probes. Inquiry findings present four major themes and describe participant material in a way that enhances sensitivity and understanding to organizational ethics in MBHC and behavioral health services and research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-125
Number of pages17
JournalEthical Human Sciences and Services
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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