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The Lack Of Training And The Unethical Behavior

1575 words - 7 pages

-The Lack of Training and the Unethical Behavior
In public administration, the main and the largest goal is to create public value in a form of transparency and trust between the public servants and the citizens. In order to achieve this targeted value, public administrator shall maintain ethical conduct throughout his decision-making and performance. Therefore, public officials are expected to develop reliable ethical competence. Understanding or judging ethics problems is a matter of subjective preference. Even if the organization has codes of ethics, integrity standards will remain limited. Moreover, forcing codes of ethics may lead to another problem, which is the agentic shift and ...view middle of the document...

The third skill required in the public officials’ training is the advocacy set of skills. This set of skills encourages the ability to take a position in any problem and to defend or oppose any anticipated decision and its “ethical justification.” Fourth, the self-awareness and consensus -building set of skills, which is an important component of public officials training to improve the ethical competence, is the ability to recognize the strengths and weaknesses of their positions. This recognition should be linked with the authority’s positions and decisions that might be taken. The fifth skill is the subject-matter knowledge. Officials must have enough knowledge about the ethics standards that applies to their specific role as well as the ethic standards of their organization in general along with the legal, political, and cultural justification. All of theses mandates must be balanced together in the officials’ considerations. Finally, public officials are expected to have an attitude and rational commitment to standards. Such commitment can be learned, but can be more absorbed by practice. (Whitton 2009, 240-242)
However, some public officials may conduct unethical behavior despite of their ethical competence training. Some well-trained officials may “choose not to act in accordance with their training. They fail to act ethically in some instance as expected, because in particular cases, officials lack the skill of dealing with “moral context”. Accordingly, the problem of unethical or corrupt behavior is not caused by the lack of training of public administrators only. There are other reasons beside the lack of training such as the inherent pressures in representative democracy and the lack of internal control.
The inherent pressures in representative democracy as practiced in the United States are an active stimulator in the course of unethical conducts. Political power in both Federal and local level is a source of pressure on those who expose corruption, waste and/or abuse of power. This powerful pressure can form psychological and physical controls over the officials’ carrier, paycheck, health insurance, mortgage, retirement, and family’s economic security.” (Cooper 2012, 207) Politicians may form policies or simply order public officials to follow what services the politicians’ interest rather than the public. The consequences are left to the officials to deal with.
As a result, organizations and public officials have created another source of pressure that comes within the bureaucratic organization, which is the team player ethic. The team player ethic is to ensure total loyalty to the organization. The main component of this total loyalty is to remain silent while doing competent work in order to make the organization stable no matter what happens. Thus, what guides the agents’ conducts is not an ethic of responsibility to the public, but the self-interest or the political interests. As a matter of protection, public organizations...

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