Public Sector Ethics: Theory and Applications, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Public Sector Ethics

Theory and Applications, 1st Edition

By Steven G. Koven

CRC Press

240 pages | 10 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781482232288
pub: 2015-02-02
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780429256189
pub: 2015-02-02
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In a down-to-earth review of the often-contentious subject of ethics, Public Sector Ethics: Theory and Applications presents personal accounts of individuals who faced moral dilemmas and how they resolved them. It moves the study of ethics away from a box checking exercise of what to do/not to do to a discussion that creates understanding of existential choices that people make. The book supplements discussion of the literature with practical examples of ethical dilemmas that public servants face.

Through detailed case studies the book argues that the concept of ethics is not black and white, but is a fluid concept that can be described in shades of gray through various lenses. It identifies how factors such as religion and philosophy can shape individuals’ values and possible friction that can arise between individuals’ values and missions of their organizations. It also stresses the importance of an organization’s strength of mission in creating environments for ethical action.

Taking a candid look at some of the unsavory stereotypes relating to government employee work ethic, the book explains the relationship between ethics and organizational structure. It emphasizes the role of mission fulfillment as a means to respond to the wishes of the populace, linking ethics to democratic accountability. It then gives you a framework for making ethical decisions that line up with your organization’s mission.

Table of Contents

Introduction: In Search of a Paradigm

Influences on Ethical Behavior

Problems of Religious and Philosophical Guides

Mission Statements of Public Sector Organizations

Mission and Organizational Culture


Ethical Grounding: Philosophical Perspectives

Basic Tenets of Deontology

Basic Tenets of Teleology

Basic Tenets of Virtue Ethics

Ethical Insights from Philosophy

Ethical Grounding: Religious Perspectives

Buddhist Ethics

Confucian Ethics

Judaic Ethics

Islamic Ethics

Christian Ethics

Ethical Insights from Religious Perspectives

Mission, Ethical Dilemmas, and Role of Culture in Organizations

Mission Statements

Personal versus Organizational Ethics: Dilemmas of Loyalty

Personal versus Organizational Ethics: Dilemmas of Resistance

Mission and Culture: Safety, Research/ Knowledge, and Economic Oversight Organizations

Personally Confronting Mission Dissonance: Exit and Voice

Why Exit? Ethics of Exit

Exit Case Studies

Why Voice? Ethics of Whistle-Blowing

Voice Case Studies

Conjectural Cases in Exit and Voice

Exemplars of Public Service

Notable Exemplars of Public Service

Insights from Case Studies


Mission and Ethics: A Utilitarian Perspective

Ethics and the Public Sector


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