Teaching Ethics and Values in Public Administration Essay

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Goals of a Public Administrator

The implementation of the policies devised by the government is referred to as public administration. Moreover, public administration is also a discipline that is taught in many higher education institutions. This discipline is based on the studies that revolve around the aforementioned implementation and therefore it prepares the civil servants that would be working for the public service in the future (Frederickson, 1997). The fundamental goal behind the layout of the curriculum of this discipline and the training in this field is to advance the policies and management in order for the government to function effectively (Frederickson, 1997). There are various definitions that have been used to describe this term; "translation of politics into the reality that citizens see every day"; "the management of public programs" and "the study of the process of decision making by the government, the analysis of the devised policies, the different inputs that led to the production of these policies, and the inputs that are required for the production of the alternative policies" (Frederickson, 1997).

The central concern of public administration is the organization of the policies of the government and its programs along with the attitude of the officials, who are normally non-elected, that are formally responsible for how they behave (Hood, 1995). Many public servants that are non-elected officials can be considered as public administrators. These also includes the heads of federal, state, regional, country or city departments including human resource administrators, municipal budget directors, census managers, city managers, cabinet secretaries and state mental health directors. These administrators are in fact public servants that work in public agencies and departments and at all aforementioned levels of the government.

In the United States, academics and civil servants like Woodrow Wilson propagated for the promotion of American civil service reform during the 1880s, which meant the shifting of public administration to academia. Nonetheless, until the mid of the 20th century and the distribution of the theory of the German sociologist Max Weber pertaining to bureaucracy, there was not a great deal of interest in the theories pertaining to public administration. It will be wrong to say that the field of public administration is multidisciplinary when it comes to character. There are various proposals of public administration, and one of these proposals has set out subfields, which are the six pillars of public administration. These pillars include organizational theory, human resources, policy analysis, budgeting, statistics and ethics.

As being a practitioner of public administration, in other words as being a civil servants, there are certain goals that I would like to achieve. It should be noted here that these goals shall primarily revolve around the five pillars of public administration that have been stated above. Therefore, in this paper we shall bring into limelight these five pillars of public administration. The purpose of this paper would be to briefly explain what comes under each of these five pillars one by one.

Human Resource Management

Human resource management when considered as a part of public administration is basically concerned with its application especially to the field of public administration. The purpose of this field is to make sure that unbiased treatment is being given to the employees, the ethical standards are met in terms of public administration and a structure is laid out that would promote a system based on values (JONES et al., 2004).

There are many functions of this department as being a part of public administration. It should be noted here that this field of public administration is considered to be one of the most important ones. The primary function of human resource management within public administration is the provision of the capabilities that would help the employees to manage their work. These capabilities include record keeping, healthcare, benefits, promotion and advancement, compensation etc. when specifically considering the function of human resource management with respect to the benefit of the employees, it should be noted here that its main purpose is the creation of a management system in order to achieve the long-term plans and goals that have been laid out by the government and that are in accordance with the government and public policy. The management makes it possible for the companies to research, target and then implement their long-term employment goals that they have planned. In order for any company to have a productive ability to expand and prosper, an effective human resource management is the key to go. It comes under the department of human resource management to manage the benefits of the employees, to insure the healthcare provisions to the employees, to insure that compensations are being made on time and when need to the employees. The department also manages the annual, personal and sick leaves requested by the employees as well as the sick banks. It is also the duty of the human resource management to insure discipline in any department, to keep an updated record of the tax information and personal files of the employees. The recruitment as well as the employee retention strategies also needs to be devised by the human resource management team (JONES et al., 2004).

Being a practitioner of public administration, I would make sure that all the aspects that need to be covered by the human resource management department are being managed in an effective way. It is one of the most important goals to be achieved being in the public sector since nothing is possible without the effective participation of the employees and it is only possible when the employees are managed effectively.

Organizational Theory in Public Administration

The fundamental building block of a large scale administration is structure. Hierarchy is concentrated on when the structural approach towards large institutions is adopted. Hierarchy would mean that there is a tendency to concentrate upon the delegation of authorities starting from top to the bottom, which means starting from officials posted on the higher positions to the lower ones. The classical model of Luther Gulick as well as the bureaucratic model of Max Weber is the two examples of the aforementioned approach. Even though the former theorist emphasized on the classical model that revolves around shift of power from top to bottom with a greater value pertaining efficiency, the creation of Weber of the aforementioned model revolves around the three models of legal authority. These models are charismatic, traditional and rational-legal. Another alternative theory to the hierarchical approach is the systems theory, which perceives an organization as being a black box that interprets inputs into outputs. It is considered to be the most sincere attempt to generalize all organizations, private and public, small and large, closed and open (Alvarez & Stupak, 1993).

The systems theory and the structural approach, which mainly focus on the fundamental structure of an organization as well as on the association between their elements, are confronted by four other theories. The humanist approach mainly challenges bureaucracy, which focuses on the lifestyle and working behavior of the individual workers within a specific organization. The emphasis of the pluralist approach is on the ability of the politically active interest groups of the society that are thought to be responsible for shaping the behavior of bureaucracy. The third party approach proposes that the dependence of government administration is inversely proportional to the third party tools and therefore the innovational ways of integrating and combining third parties is an important task to be performed. Lastly, formal models perceive bureaucracy as being an interconnection of contracts that are constructed around systems based on author and hierarchy. The authors have concluded that in spite of all the theoretical challenges that are present between the different theories, each approach adopts a significant truth pertaining to the organizations of the government (Harrison & Stupak, 2005).

Therefore, in order to maintain the large organizations of the government, it is important to keep into consideration the aforementioned approaches and theories. It will not be wrong to say that authorities and the system of hierarchy have to be respected irrespective of the approach being used.

Ethics in Public Administration

Before we go on to discuss ethics in the field of public administration it should be noted here that ethics form one of the most important aspects of any field. Without ethics, an organization or a department does not stand anywhere. Ethics and the working code of conduct are essential towards the productivity of any department as well as it smooth functioning. In this part of the paper, we shall briefly discuss the role and important of ethics in the field of public administration.

The discussion of ethics in the sector of public administration is very vast since it is a very broad and general topic. Speaking in general terms, ethics is in fact a fundamental branch of philosophy that looks out to address the issues of morality. When speaking in terms of the public sector, ethics is the term that is used to address the basic boundaries of the duties of a public administrator as being…[continue]

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