Accountability and Ethics.docx.pdf - Accountability and...

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Accountability and Ethics: Reconsidering the RelationshipsIntroductionAccountability – means used to control and direct administrative behavior-“Answerability” to external authority-Linked to Magna Carta principles and system of checks and balancesEthics – standards of responsible behavior and integrityRelationship bet the two were central to 2 main debates (early 1940s):1.Friedrich-Finer debateoResponsibility vs accountability2.Herbert Simon and Dwight Waldo*Does accountability foster ethical or morally responsible behavior?*How does accountability influence or affect ethical standards?Effectiveness of the accountability-ethics relationship.Barriers to the analysis of accountability-ethics relationship: conceptual and methodologicaloConceptual: It is difficult to analyze said relationship because it lacks sharpness, it is fluid, it can’t be contained.oLack of progress on conceptualization can be attributed to institutional bias and usual ambiguity brought aboutby our methodological approaches to both termsoThe concept of accountability and ethical behavior are rarely discussed/analyzed in behavioral terms outsideinstitutional contexts – the result is that accountability becomes associated solely with institutional forms ofoversight while ethical behavior is discussed only within codes and legalismsWe should adopt a ‘middle range’ or ‘concrete theory’ perspective to reconceptualize both as “socialmechanisms”: a sociological view of accountabilitySociological view of accountability: stresses the forms and functions of accountability asprocesses(mechanisms)which affect social actors assituated pressures for account-giving behaviorThe Sociological Perspective: 3 Approaches to Accountability1.Historically-Anglican and feudalistic roots-Athenian democracy2.Institutionally-Formalized means of feedback and control-E.g. constitutions, financial reports3.Sociologically-A type of social act dealing with the need to repair or overcome damaged relationships resulting from untowardbehavioroMechanisms: confessing to the action or seeking forgiveness, subjecting oneself to punishment orretribution, engaging in “good works”, associated behaviors that stand as substitutes for/complements ofgiving an account of one’s behavior.

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