Public Administration: Ethics Vs. Morality

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We understand that ethics refer to the principles that form one’s behavior. (Oxford,2020). Ethical behavior is every important in a sector because the society believes that one should act consistent on what the society typically thinks are good values .It represents respect for key moral, principles that include honesty, fairness, equality, dignity, diversity and individual rights. (WebFinance Inc, 2020). The four principles of health care ethics are autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence and justice. These are also referred to as “the 4 moral principles”.

Confusing ethics and morality is a common thing because they both deal with how a person is expected to react if they are good people with good life intentions. People with morals are able to differentiate between acceptable and unacceptable behavior and that what ethics relate to. Morals are ethical principles that are always the same (Baker, 2008). The term “morals” is in fact a broad word because it is “frequently distinguished between etiquette, law and religion” which are codes of conduct proposed by society (Gert, 2008). The difference between ethics and morality is that while morals define our own character, ethics dictate the inner working of a social system. Ethics are based on moral codes adopted by members of a given group.

In a business sector it is important to consider how moral standards are appreciated and applied in official work, what the difficulties are and how they are resolved. It also important to be able to verify what problems occur and be able to suggest the new strategies that should be implemented if the previous ones are no longer adequate or practicable (Richard A. Chapman, 2010).

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The main idea for the discipline of Public Administration are meeting the needs of the society in the best and honest way possible. Ethics and public administration come a long way. The ethical order under the New Public Service presents a number of challenges not readily addressed under the ethical consideration of traditional public administration. Citizens have a limited participation apart from the traditional democratic role of service requests. Problems might occur within the production team such shirking or rent-seeking behaviors. These are problems that have structural priors that must be addressed before they can decide on a solution.(Johnathan Rauh, 2017). According to Thornhill et al(2014:6), Wilson viewed the field of administration as a field of business and it is removed from the conflicts of politics and that is why public administration takes ethics so seriously because it is part of the discipline it promotes.(Thornhill et al, 2014)

We have 6 ethical theories which include ethical egoism, utilitarianism, the ethics of care, deontology, rights theory, theory of justice. All these are important because general riles ar always not sufficient, moral decision must be justified and conventional morality is not always correct. In making ethical decisions, there are three approaches from the ethical theories: ethical egoism, utilitarianism and altruism. Ethical egoism is the belief that the highest good is to always be self-serving regardless of other people, which comes across as a bit selfish. The altruism is the belief that the highest form of good is to always help others.

As a leader you need to understand that some practices are not only unethical but illegal as well and if you practice illegal things it is called malpractice, for example, insider trading where an investor might use information that isn’t know publicly to gain profits that are higher than what they would normally receive(Chron, 2019). I think it is essential to be encouraged by the role that were adopted by Public administration which are maintaining stability and order, ensuring growth and economic development, protection of weaker sections of society, influencing public policies and political trends and lastly be able to form and work around the opinion of the public. Henri Fayol provided 14 principles that need to be followed in order to produce effective results a leader. They read as follows, division of work, discipline, unity of direction, unity of command, subordination of individual interest to general interest, payment, centralization, scalar chain order, order, equity, stability of tenure, initiative, spirit of cooperation. These principles lay the foundation to Gulick’s core values called the POSDCORB. They were created to fulfill the needs of the society. They are the “ethics” to control the behavior of the state officials( Thornhill et al,2014)

I believe that it is important to have ethics in public administration because it mainly deals with the public and when you are working with people it is important that you are open and really considerate. Your decision need to be those that will portray an idea of putting the society first. As a leader you are elected out of trust and hope that you will deliver what is the best for the people. Society already as an idea of what is right and what is wrong, if one acts out in what is not right then they will be judged and their actions will be considered unethical. Ethics are discussed in the society. You need to have strong confidence in what you do in order to have the society on your side. As humans we all have different opinions and views so ethics are what bind us together in having a common understanding. Morality and ethics are truly needed in serving the people because they are the roots to an effective delivery.

Reference list

  1. Johnathan Rauh.2017.Ethics Problem in the New Public: Back to a Service Ethic? [Abstract]. Public Integrity, 234-356(20), e3. https://doi.org/10.1080/10999922.2017.1381541
  2. Oxford.2020.Lexico.com. https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/ethics Date of access: 17 March 2020
  3. Richard A. Chapman.2010. Problem of Ethics in Public Sector Management[Abstract]. Public Money and Management, 9-13(18), e1. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1111/1467-9302.00098? journalCode =rpmm20
  4. smallbusiness.chron.com.2019.Ethical theories in Business. https://smallbusiness.chron.com/ethical-theories-business-74122.html
  5. Thorhill, C., Van Dijk, G., Ile, I.2014. Public Administration and Management in South Africa: A developmental perspective. South Africa, SA: Oxford University Press Southern Africa(Pty) Limited

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Public Administration: Ethics Vs. Morality. (2022, February 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 20, 2022, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/public-administration-ethics-vs-morality/
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Public Administration: Ethics Vs. Morality [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Feb 17 [cited 2022 May 20]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/public-administration-ethics-vs-morality/
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