Solved by verified expert:For this assignment you will write a 5-page research paper focusing on the role of statesmanship and ethics in public administration. Specifically, you must explain 1) the role statesmanship should play in modern public administration; 2) how the issue of ethics is approached in public administration; and 3) how these matters may be evaluated in light of biblical principles.THE ATTACHED ARTICLES MUST BE USED AND CITED IN THIS PAPER (NOT OPTIONAL)!!!! This is a graduate-level research assignment designed to test your ability to conduct effective research, gain a nuanced understanding of complex concepts, synthesize the ideas reflected in your research with those reflected in your textbook readings, and to evaluate and apply these ideas to an issue of political economics. As with all graduate-level assignments, you are expected to comport yourself with the highest writing, research, and ethical standards. To do well on this assignment, you must conduct high-quality research and offer a rich, well-supported analysis; mere opinion or conjecture will not suffice. You must avoid careless or simple grammatical errors such as misspellings, incomplete sentences, comma splices, faulty noun/verb agreement, etc. Such errors will result in substantial point deductions. Plagiarism in any form is strictly prohibited and may result in failure of the assignment, failure of the course, and/or removal from the program. It is your responsibility to ensure that you fully understand what constitutes the various forms of plagiarism and to avoid all forms of plagiarism. This research paper must be 5–7 pages (not including title page, reference page, and any appendices). This paper must be in current APA format with 1-inch margins, 12-pt Times New Roman font, and must include a title page and reference page. You must include citations to at least 4–7 appropriate sources (in addition to the course textbooks, assigned readings, and the Bible) to fully support your assertions and conclusions


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Journal of Public Administration and Policy Research Vol. 4(2) pp. 23-31 March, 2012
Available online at
DOI: 10.5897/JPAPR11.049
ISSN 2141-2480 ©2012 Academic Journals
Ethics in Public Administration
D. Radhika
Ph.D. Research Scholar, Post-Graduate and Research Department of Public Administration, Anna Adarsh College for
Women, (affiliated to the University of Madras) Chennai-600040, Tamilnadu, India. E-mail:
Accepted 23 February, 2012
The modern world has seen an increase in interest in the areas related to the ethics of the sovereign
good. A number of studies have focused on this subject matter and several academicians have
exposed a number of ethical and philosophical dilemmas related to the concept of ethics in public
administration. Despite the increasing number of studies that have focused on the importance of
administrative ethics, there has been very little effort spent on identifying what exactly constitutes the
crux of ethics in administration. The objective of this paper is to review the implications of the basic
principles of ethics for public administration in the context of new public governance and discuss their
impact on different administration imperatives which in turn act as the determinants of ethics in public
administration. This review will also focus on the importance of ethics in new governance practices
(privatization, decentralization, debureaucratization, devolution of budgets etc.,) with reference to the
push and pull of ethics and administration and how ethics mindsets and basic approaches to
administration and governance can be changed.
Key words: Ethics, public administration, ethical imperatives, ethics and public administration, ethics and
Since the 1970s there has been a great deal of change
associated with the implementation of administrative
ethics. These changes have been promoted and motivated by the concept of public administration in the new era.
An important position is given to the concept of ethical
issues in today’s civil governance. There has been a
great deal of research associated with this concept which
has been supported by translation of evidences and
theories into practice across different continents.
Frederickson and Ghere (2005) address both the managerial and individual/moral dimensions of ethical behavior
as well as new challenges to administrative ethics posed
by globalization.
As promoted by Cooper (2001) ethics in public administration is not a transient concept but has proven to be an
approach which has shown a great deal of sustainability
which is fundamental to the area of public administration.
Public administration has certain issues with regard to
ethics implementation and finds it troublesome to come to
terms with them. One reason for this is because ethics is
embedded in an intellectual framework. This framework is
based on stable institutional as well as role relationship
levels, among both public employees as well as the
organization. According to the views of a number of
researchers (Bang and Sorensen, 1999; Keast et al.,
2004; Rhodes, 1996; Sorensen, 2002, 2006; Sorensen
and Torfing, 2004; Stoker, 1998), current government
perspectives believe that clarity and stability at these
levels would be problematic.
Despite the increasing number of studies that have
focused on the importance of administrative ethics, there
has been very little effort spent on identifying what is
exactly the crux of ethics in administration (Cooper,
2004). This lack of directed research in the dynamics of
operations with regards to ethics in public administration
along with constant changes in the principles and policies
associated with administrative ethics need to be
examined. These developments have raised new topics
for concern in this field. One example which can be cited
at this juncture is the emergence of the concept of egovernance which would require the identification of a
whole new paradigm of ethics in public administration.
This article tries to identify the ways in which
administrative policies in public organizations can be
J. Public Adm. Policy Res.
promoted and managed by adopting an effective and
novel ethical approach. It would be prudent to mention
the “ethics framework” here. The ethics framework
(Bosseart and Demmke, 2005) is a voluntary, non-legally
binding European Code of Ethics. It reflects the basic
common values and standards which member states
consider important for the proper functioning of public
service. It comprehensively discusses the general core
values, specific standards of conduct, actions to safeguard integrity and measures on handling situations
where there has been possible violation of ethics. It helps
to structure the discussion on public-service ethics and it
serves as a toolkit or general guideline for the
development of codes of conduct at a national and subnational level.
Originally, the ethics framework identifies general core
values that should be common to all member states.
These values are the rule of law (“lawfulness”),
impartiality/ objectivity, transparency (“openness”),
accountability, professionalism (“expertise”), and duty of
care, reliability (“confidence, trust”) and courtesy (“service
principle”). If it is believed that these are the core values,
then they should be fully recognised in every country.
Public-service ethics is an issue that is taken seriously
in every member state of the European Union. However,
member states are at different stages of development
and measures that are considered necessary in one
country may be deemed irrelevant in others. The ethics
framework has had a greater impact on those new
member states that are currently fighting against
corruption. In the case of old member states, the Framework has had smaller impact since the core values have
traditionally been an integral part of their administrative
culture and many of the tools proposed in the Framework
were already in use.
For example if one considers Portugal, an old member
state where the administrative culture is traditional and
core values are already a part of the administrative
framework there are alterations in the form of codes of
conduct which can be proposed in order to promote
ethics in public administration. However the norms and
regulations associated with the old administrative culture
were not modified or removed. This resulted in two
different viewpoints being promoted by the same government. This has resulted in a great deal of tension
between traditional administrative culture and the new
concepts of quality in public administration.
Globally the concept of privatization has been promoted
in new public administration. It is seen that this concept is
related to the measures which promote establishment of
efficiency and efficacy leading to development of quality
deliverance of public services. In the research conducted
by Savas (2000), the concept of “privatization in new
public management”, is promoted. Further identified by
Walsh et al. (1997) introduction of new market mechanisms which promote effective implementation of public
services in organizations is identified. Walsh in his
research has identified that privatization in governance in
the United Kingdom has resulted in a new paradigm,
which has promoted transformation of both organizational
and cultural needs. The purpose of these reforms include
reduction of cost relating to the actions of the governments, identification of measures to reduce the direct
impact of action of public employees and bringing about a
variation in the overall views of the government by the
This type of privatization maneuver not only challenged
the current realities associated with ethics in public
administration, wherein administrators were considered
as technical professionals, but also identified the type of
functioning that does not take into account good
judgment on the part of employees. Accordingly, intellectual proponents of the ethical perspective were
responsible for the first noteworthy approach of public
administrators’ ethical obligations and the importance of
citizen participation in administrative decisions (Cooper,
2004). This has long been in place in developed
countries across the world as seen with the NPM
concepts promoted by Ronald Reagan in USA and
Margaret Thatcher in the UK.
As seen by Osborne and Gaebler (1992), it is observed
that reinventing the government assumed importance in
Bill Clinton’s administration. In his era, new concepts of
public administration with regards to two different areas
were promoted. The first, involved identification of factors
which promoted the productivity of governance and the
second involved setting a new vision and mission policy.
It was proposed that the productivity of governance can
be increased by adopting more ethical measures in terms
of distinguishing between the results and quantity of
resources used. The use of a new mission policy will
satisfy the needs of the general public.
These measures may be identified to be less drastic
when compared to the concept of privatization of governmental organizations. However this idea can be promoted
and productivity increased only when there is a change in
attitude towards current concepts of established
hierarchy in governance. A move should be made toward
promotion of methods to identify flexibility, centralization
and concentration of public administration aspects. These
aspects may be considered to be an intermediate
solution to privatization. If it is not possible, delegation
mechanisms can be a solution.
With regard to the ethical position, the researcher
advocates that privatization may not alter the fact that the
responsibility of the state towards its citizens will be met.
Different processes which are to be supervised and
controlled need to be realized by the government
because ultimately the accountability and ethics of the
action of the government to its citizens is needed.
The scope and responsibilities of public administration
changed due to the dynamics of new public management
systems such as privatization, decentralization, debureaucratization and citizen partnership that are essentially
new public management techniques and practices drawn
mainly from the private sector and increasingly seen as a
global phenomenon. These concepts shift the emphasis
from traditional public administration to public management which accorded ethics a central position. The
purpose of public service is to essentially fulfil a citizen’s
basic requirements. Rocha (2000), observes that groups
calling for professional management of public administration argue that they are more efficient and effective
than the existing framework. They call for breaking down
large institutions into manageable centres, thus allowing
for independent functioning as part of the new economic
institutional ideal.
Snell (1976) has maintained that it was Socrates, the
founder of moral philosophy who enquired into the nature
of ethics as his thoughts led him to the inner person
rather than the external physical factors in 5 B.C.
Morality’s choice of good and sound ethics was a natural
means of developing a strong moral fibre.
Socrates also felt that knowledge and morality were
interrelated and one could not be moral if one did not
know what morals were and what was good for mankind.
Thus, he thought of virtue as being the centrepiece of
knowledge and reasoned that virtue was knowledge. All
thought and action therefore had to emanate from the
knowledge of what was good or bad and then, be judged
by ethical and moral standards. This would then lead to
true happiness. (Vlastos, 1991), states that it was
Socrates’ idea that morality be linked to happiness
because he felt ethics was about knowing what was
Socrates’ thoughts also reached the common man
through discourses and debates, and intense conversations, which constantly probed, questioned and thus,
evoked reactions and insights while testing his views and
theories through his now-famous dialogues. He felt
constant engagement with the questions of virtue. He
believed that morality would make people better as they
would focus more on their own moral standards.
The major determinants of administrative conduct in the
public sector include:
1) The political construct of which public administrators
are a part
2) The legal framework
3) The administrators and public employees who are
responsible for the provision of public services
4) The citizens and users of public services that are a
part of the civil society.
First, the determinants of ethics in public administration
with regard to the individual attributes of public/civil servants include ethical decision-making skills (Richardson
and Nigro 1987), mental attitude (Bailey, 1964), virtues
(Dimock, 1990; Dobel, 1990; Gregory, 1999; Hart, 1989),
and professional values (Van Wart, 1998). Secondly, the
organizational structure dimension is explained by clear
accountability, collaborative arrangements, dissent channels, and participation procedures (Denhardt, 1988;
Thomson, 1985). Third, the political organizational culture
includes artefacts, beliefs and values, and assumptions
(Schein, 1985). Leadership is important in the development, maintenance, and adaptation of organizational
culture (Scott, 1982; Schein, 1985; Ott, 1989). Ethical
behavior is encouraged when organizations have a
climate where personal standards and employee education are emphasized, where supervisors stress the truth,
and where employees regularly come together to discuss
ethical problems (Bruce, 1995, 1994). Finally, societal
expectation includes public participation, laws, and
The advanced set of fundamental principles or criteria
that integrate the process of dealing with ethical
dilemmas in public administration are:
1) Democratic accountability of administration,
2) The rule of law and the principle of legality,
3) Professional integrity and
4) Responsiveness to civil society.
This can be described as the ALIR1 model of imperatives
of ethical reasoning in public administration. The
research by Parsons (1964) presented the concept of
‘evolutionary universals in society’; wherein there are
aspects associated with the identification of issues
related to public administration ethics. In his Evolutionary
Universals Parsons tied his functionalist theory to an
evolutionary perspective and argued that, like biological
organisms, societies progress through their ‘capacity for
generalized adaptation’ to their environment. This is
achieved mainly through processes of structural differentiation; that is, the development of specialized institutions to perform the social functions necessary to meet
increasingly specialized needs. However, this increasing
complexity then requires new modes of integration, in
ALIR- Accountability, Legality, Integrity, Responsiveness
J. Public Adm. Policy Res.
order to co-ordinate the new and more specialized
elements. This is achieved via the principle of the
‘cybernetic hierarchy’ or the increased information
exchange or the growth of knowledge.
Evolution is then from traditional to modern societies,
and progress can be charted via the development
(structural differentiation) of evolutionary universals such
as bureaucratic organization, money and market complexes, stratification, and the emergence of generalized
universalistic norms. Each of these enables a society to
adapt more efficiently to its environment.
The concepts of ALIR and Parsons’ evolutionary
universals have some commonalities from the point of
view of public administration. The identification of a new
type of governance which promotes evolutionary universality will be vital in democratically identifying the rule of
law which is capable of carrying out its role as well as
taking into consideration the tasks of the civil society. The
researcher feels that this type of interdependence and
connection will help in distinguishing between various
concepts of ethics in public administration. This will also
help extend morally and effectively the following four
functional concepts:
1) Accountability of public bureaucracy which helps
identifies the relationship between legitimate actions and
its link to administration.
2) The rule of law and legality wherein public administration should be governed by the law.
3) Concepts of professional integrity and autonomy
among public administrators which will ultimately help
promote the principle of meritocracy.
4) Concepts of responsibility and immediate action of
public administration to its citizens.
Consequently, the artful application of such a set of moral
commands in concrete situations and circumstances will
bear witness to the particular kind of ethical reasoning
that a specific administrative system or public institution
is able to achieve and sustain.
It is important to concentrate on the two leading models(ethics of the sovereign good and ethics of the service of
goods) that are involved with ethical thoughts and actions
within the public sectors. Furthermore, we will also
compare and contrast them with the collaborative ethics
that were mentioned above. It has to be kept in mind that
we are not taking any particular or specific approach but
rather will be taking the modern understanding of could
be called “vulgar Kantianism” or a “vulgar utilitarianism”
(Harmon, 2005).
Ethics of the sovereign good
The ethics of the sovereign good is nothing but the set of
guidelines based on which an individual acts. The ethics
of the sovereign good is identified to be a set of values
from which the different views on ‘what is good’ can be
judged. It can be commonly seen in real world scenarios
that many people have different versions of the same
ethical concept. People try to twist the concept to fit their
needs based on their conception of the “good”. Therefore
it is important to identify the viewpoint that holds the true
spirit of the ethical guidelines.
Michael (2005, 2003) makes a compelling argument in
“The public administration”, with regards to the ethics of
the sovereign good. According to him it can be called
‘principled morality’. In his argument he talks about why
one should not act on the principles set by the ethics of
the sovereign good. An important reason is the issue of
opposing principles. According to him, not all conflicts
can be resolved by basing it on the ethics that are
subscribed in the sovereign good. This is because ethics
does not take into account a large number of variables
that other principles apply to that particular scenario.
The primary issue with the ethics of the sovereign good
is the fact that it refers to itself as the absolute last word
when it comes to ethical decisions. Another issue is that it
tends to assume an attitude that is raw linguistic positivism. One reason why the ethic of the sovereign good is
so appealing is that it tends to transcend beyond the
individual and looks at the bigger collective when it
comes to defining proper ethics. Therefore it will not solve
the individual issues but will rather lead us into an
unrecognized and impossible (from its perspective)
Ethics of the service of goods
The values that are promoted by the ethics of the service
of goods are mainly efficiency and maximization of the
inputs to outputs. Basically there are three aspects which
are important when it comes to the service of goods.
They are logic of reciprocity, its view of the collective, and
its criteria for judgment. It can also be clearly seen that
the ethics of the sovereign good are mainly targeted
towards the market.
At the very core, service of goods is based on mutual
e …
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