Referencing ethical principles in the assigned readings, is it clear what virtues public administrators or persons working within a public field or agency have? If so, what are these virtues?
PLEASE EXPLAIN WHETHER YOU AGREE WITH MY CLASSMATE ANSWER TO THE ABOVE QUESTION AND WHY? (1 Page)
The reading assignment doesn’t necessarily point of specific ethical principles within the text. However, it does address conflicts that may arise in public administration or in working with the public. It is very clear there is not any one particular virtue that a person must possess in working with the public. The ethical dilemmas may manifest themselves from various conflicts. Conflicts of authority arise when the law mandates on course of action but the boss or authority orders you to do something else (Cooper, 2012, p 94). The ethical dilemma is to obey the law or to obey the authority. One could argue that law supersedes authority, however that isn’t always the case in public administrator duties. The administrator must weigh their own future successes in their position due to consequences of not doing as the authority figure instructs. This isn’t an easy solution. Another conflict is outside versus inside roles of the position or objective responsibilities versus subjective responsibilities. Objective responsibilities are formal obligations while subjective responsibilities are underlying values (Cooper, 2012, p 108). When those are in conflict, it can be a challenge for an administrator. In order to address this conflict, it is important to learn moral imagination (Cooper, 2012, p 110).Â In other words, a moral basis for the solution of moral conflicts (Cooper, 2012, p 110). Conflicts of interest are dangerous in public administration positions. Conflict of interest is when our personal interests are at odds with our obligations as a public official or our professional values (Cooper, 2012, p 112). In other words it is conflict between our public roles and our personal self- interest. All three of these can make it very challenging to maintain virtues in public administration. There are no clear virtues that align with these challenges.
Cooper, T. (2012). The responsible administrator: An approach to ethics for the administrative role (6th ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
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