Ethics Moments in Government : Cases and Controversies book cover
1st Edition

Ethics Moments in Government
Cases and Controversies

ISBN 9781439806906
Published September 25, 2009 by Routledge
304 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Ethical concerns are among the most common problems public administrators face, yet the issues are often complex, and the correct choices are not always clear. Living up to the public trust is much more than just an act of compliance. It also involves perceiving, preventing, avoiding, and resolving accusations of illegal or unethical behavior, including appearances of inappropriate behavior. Ethics Moments in Government: Cases and Controversies examines how to identify, assess, and resolve the ethical issues and dilemmas that often confront those who govern the cities, counties, states, and federal agencies throughout America.

Real Situations, Real Advice

Providing a one-stop resource for all those who must contend with thorny ethical issues, this volume presents case studies that vary in complexity and context and are based on real situations. Each case scenario is followed by discussion questions and case assessments by expert practitioners who describe how they would handle the situation. Using a "total immersion" technique, the book encourages readers to be reflexive and analytical in addressing the problems presented and arriving at appropriate solutions. A supplemental CD is included which contains PowerPoint® slide presentations, articles, workshop programs, tests, and links to organizations.

For many of the scenarios presented in this volume, there are no easy answers. Practical guidance on reasoning through difficult decision-making situations enables public administrators to acquire the ethical knowledge, skills, abilities, and instincts that will ultimately help them gain the trust of their citizens and advance in their careers.

Table of Contents

Getting Started

Understanding Ethics and Governance

Becoming Ethically Competent

Practicing Ethics—Many Faces

Professionalism and Ethics

Encouraging Ethical Behavior

Building Organizations of Integrity

Ethics in the Workplace

Lessons Learned Along the Journey

The Complete Ethical Manager




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Donald C. Menzel is affiliated with Ethics Management International in Tampa, Florida.


It is difficult to find sufficiently comprehensive material on ethics in governance in a single volume that provides the basis for ethics education in universities or ethics training in the workplace. In Ethics Moments in Government: Cases and Controversies, Don Menzel has surpassed other efforts to date. This volume, conceived from the perspective of ethics practitioners in government rather than a scholar's theoretical preoccupations, truly provides a "one stop package for training, learning, and teaching." Its extraordinarily rich set of cases that are systematically cross indexed to concepts and problems, along with a CD containing a wide array of resource material, can equip any instructor with the essentials of an effective learning experience for those wrestling with the knotty problems of becoming and remaining ethically competent. I recommend it enthusiastically for both instructors in higher education and trainers dealing directly with practitioners.
— Terry L. Cooper, Ph.D., The Maria B. Crutcher Professor in Citizenship and Democratic Values Director, Civic Engagement Initiative School of Policy, Planning, and Development, University of Southern California

… a marvelous addition to the resources on ethics in government.  Thoughtful and engaging in style, the book draws the reader into a serious examination of what it means to be ethically competent.  The wide ranging case studies are grounded in reality and supported by insightful assessments by scholars and officials.
— James H. Svara, Professor, School of Public Affairs, Arizona State University

The cases and practical analysis will help public administrators, new and experienced, achieve a level of ethical competency and ability to recognize the issues they face and develop the standards that define their character as public service professionals.
—Edwin C. Daley, D.P.A., City Manager of Hopewell, Virginia, and the 2008 President of the International City/County Management Association