Lecture 2 on Government Ethics.docx

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Christopher Newport University
GOVT - Government
GOVT 450
Jack Hull

 Chapter 2 provides Public/Private Comparisons:  Who owns the shop? Who’s running the shop? What does the shop sell?  Social values are essential to public administration  Ethics statements in private & public agencies  The need for ethical judgment  Ethical Environments  Many specific professions with their special ethical environments  May vary even among those in the same profession  Job’s specific duties  Culture of the organization  Conditions that pertain at a given time  In general, factors at work in public administration are different from those in private sector or in charitable organizations  Who Owns the Shop?  Nature of ownership has deep ethical implications  Private firm must make a profit to stay in business  Public organization need not make a profit but must further society’s values  Expressed in the organization’s mission  Ownership (cont)  When the private organization chooses to advance ethical issues,  they are those that the owners, stockholders & organization as a whole consider worthy  The public agency must advance the values that the public considers worthy  Collective goods are generally free to all to consume  Clean air,  Who’s Running the Shop?  Ethical commitment of public agent is most critical in stewardship capacity  Must consider more than the “bottom line”  Not implying that manager of private firm is not also a steward  Public administrator & private administrator differ significantly  Public manager is steward of the public  Private manager is steward of private interest  What Does the Shop Sell?  Private businesses provide goods & services that the public chooses to purchase  Usually no need to justify product’s existence  Unless a question arises whether the product is harmful  Public agencies generally exist only because they provide a service that the public at large considers worthy  Collective consumption of goods that everyone benefits from  Roads, public schools, national defense, law & order, clean air & water  What Shop Sells (cont)  Business provides the wealth of goods & services in a free-market economy  Benefits society immeasurably  Not a prerequisite of business to supply products that society in general considers valuable  Difference between the two types  Private businesses should operate within ethical restraint  Public organizations are ethical in their very being  Social Values  Degrees of “publicness” in all organizations  higher in public organizations  Public agencies express public values  social values form essence of public agency  harmonious unity of organization with society at large  Pressures for excellence  internal from administrators themselves  external from public dissatisfaction  Social Values in Public Admin  Public agencies express public values  Public managers are responsible to those values  Private concerns may be influenced by those values  May show respect for them  Public values are intrinsic to the public agency  Not merely the context in which the agency operates but form its essence  Ethics Statements  Public administration includes many professions which work for the public interest  Each has its own specific functions, problems, social benefits – and ethical issues  These professions are all included in public agencies  Would expect them to share some common ethical features that are different from priva
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