Ethics

Ethics - Administrative Responsibility and Ethics February...

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Unformatted text preview: Administrative Responsibility and Ethics February 8, 2010 1 Outline • I. The Ideal of Administrative Responsibility – – – – – – – Understanding the Collective Ideal Understanding the Individual Components Understanding the Challenges Understanding the Controls Ethics Defined Approaches to Ethical Reasoning A Methodology for Ethical Analysis 2 • II. Administrative Ethics The Collective Ideal • Values: things or relationships that people would like to have or enjoy • Responsibility: a collective term for values (i.e., responsive, flexible, fair, accountable, honest, competent) that people would like to see in their government The Individual Ideal • Responsiveness: • Fairness: – prompt acquiescence by an organization to the popular demands for policy change; or government initiative in the proposal of solutions for problems or even their definition – assurance that government will be administered by laws, not by the arbitrary will of people who condemn without a public hearing (due process) – administrators should not ignore individual groups, local concerns, or situational differences relevant to the attainment of policy goals • Flexibility: The Individual Ideal • Honesty: – avoid lying; be truthful in presenting information to superiors and the public; respect the ability of others to gather and present true information relevant to public policy – an organization must be answerable to someone or something outside itself • Accountability: • Competence: effective use of all of the above + initiative, and effective use of resources The Challenges • Malfeasance: – the performance of an act that is legally unjustified, harmful, or contrary to law (wrongdoing in violation of a public trust) • Arrogance of Power: – a disposition to claim for oneself, often coercively, more consideration or importance than is warranted or justly due • Cowardice: – a lack of courage to face opposition, dander, or hardship The External Controls • External Controls: reside outside the executive branch – Formal (explicitly specified in the Constitution): judiciary, ombudsman, legislature – Informal (not explicitly specified): citizen participation, interest group representation, media The Internal Controls • Internal Controls: reside within the executive branch – Formal: agency head/inspector general, whistleblower statutes – Informal: professional codes, representative bureaucracy, public interest, ethical analysis http://www.aspanet.org/ethics/coe.html • To serve the public interest • Respect the Constitution and the law • Demonstrate Personal Integrity ASPA Code of Ethics • Promote Ethical Organizations • Strive for Professional Excellence 9 • Starling: Ethics Defined • Thompson: – ethics is the systematic study of values – administrative ethics involves the application of moral principles to the conduct of officials in organizations – ethics is the process by which we clarify right and wrong and act on what we take to be right 10 • Denhardt: • Contractarianism: Ethical Reasoning • Moral Philosophy: – certain rights that should not be taken away and contractual limitations on what A can do to B – given a particular set of circumstances, how do we decide what is right and what is wrong? – applies the utility principle—the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people is the measure of right and wrong (utilitarianism: greatest benefits at least costs— focus on consequences) 11 • Stakeholder Analysis: Ethical Reasoning • Obligation to rules, principles, or right reason: • Deontology: – in making difficult choices, one should adhere to some rule or principle – right or wrong is not established by a particular action—duty, fairness, equity, rights, justice 12 • Moral Psychology: pre­conventional, conventional, and post­conventional stages; most people operate on one of the first two levels of moral development Ethical Reasoning – pre­conventional: children (people) learn ideals of right and wrong due to ideas in terms of the consequences of their actions – conventional: people behave morally in terns of conformity to various standards or conventions of the family, group, or nation – post­conventional: people accept moral principles and behave according to those principles because they know for themselves what makes these principles right 13 • Moral Action: Ethical Reasoning • Virtues: – willingness to act in a way that is consistent with what you consider to be right – practical wisdom or virtue requires that the individual not simply know how to apply given principles, but rather why to do so – traits of character that are acquired through reflection and conduct; an integration of both thought and feeling where potentially conflicting tendencies are brought under control 14 Ethical Dilemmas • Difficult to solve • Occur when there is a conflict in principles or values. 15 Questions you must answer: What’s the issue? What can be done? What should be done? 16 7 STEPS FOR RESOLVING ETHICAL ISSUES Step l Step 2 Step 3 Step 4 Step 5 Step 6 Step 7 What’s the issue? What can be done? What should be done? 17 7 STEPS FOR RESOLVING ETHICAL ISSUES Step l ­Determine facts known/desired Step 2 ­Stakeholders and their problems Step 3 ­Specify alternatives (alts) Step 4 ­Identify values (principles, etc.) Step 5 ­Compare values/alts. Decision? Step 6 ­Assess consequences Step 7 – Decisionmaker(s) decide 18 ...
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