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POLSC241: Introduction to Public Administration

Unit 7: Pubic-Service Ethics   This unit is designed to introduce you to ethics from a theoretical and applied perspective.  You will learn the foundations of ethical theory as well as applied models of ethical decision-making for public managers.  Common ethical dilemmas in public administration are presented through case studies.

Unit 7 Time Advisory
This unit should take approximately 10.5 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 7.1: 2 hours

☐    Subunit 7.2: 2.5 hours

☐    Subunit 7.3: 0.5 hours

☐    Subunit 7.4: 1.75 hours

☐    Subunit 7.5: 1.25 hours

☐    Subunit 7.6: 2.5 hours 

Unit7 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, the student will be able to: - Describe and identify the foundations of ethical theory. - Identify ethical issues and moral dilemmas in public service. - Apply models of ethical decision-making to address ethical dilemmas.

7.1 The Importance of Ethics in Public Administration   - Reading: Yale University: Professor Ian Shapiro’s “Classical Utilitarianism and Distributive Justice” Link: Yale University: Professor Ian Shapiro’s “Classical Utilitarianism and Distributive Justice” (JWPlayer)

 Instructions: Please watch Dr. Shapiro’s lecture.  The link above
includes bandwidth options for the video.  

 Watching this lecture and pausing to take notes should take
approximately 1 hour.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Reading: University of Michigan: Professor John Chamberlin’s “Professional Ethics in Public Affairs” Link: University of Michigan: Professor John Chamberlin’s “Professional Ethics in Public Affairs” (DOC or PDF)

    Instructions: Please click on the link above, scroll down to “Handouts,” locate “Class 21 Reading Notes: Professional Ethics in Public Affairs,” and click on the icon to download this either as a Word document or PDF.  Please read the entire document.

    Reading this material should take approximately 45 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Web Media: YouTube: Northeastern University’s “Conversations with Michael Dukakis: Ethics and Corruption” Link: YouTube: Northeastern University’s “Conversations with Michael Dukakis: Ethics and Corruption” (YouTube)

    Instructions: Please click on the link above and watch this short segment on the importance of integrity in public service.

    Watching this video and pausing to take notes should take approximately 15 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

7.2 Ethical Obligations of Public Administrators   - Reading: U.S. Office of Government Ethics: “A Brief Wrap on Ethics” The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

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  • Reading: Ethics & Global Politics: Simone Chambers’s “Who Shall Judge? Hobbes, Lock and Kant on the Construction of Public Reason” Link: Ethics & Global Politics: Simone Chambers’s “Who Shall Judge? Hobbes, Lock and Kant on the Construction of Public Reason” (PDF)

    Instructions: What is public reason?  Who decides?  Please click on the link above, and then select the link to either the PDF, HTML, or XML to read more.

    Reading this article should take approximately 45 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: YouTube: Harvard University, The Ash Center’s “Innovations in Governance: Ethics and Accountability in the Public Sector” Link: YouTube: Harvard University, The Ash Center’s “Innovations in Governance: Ethics and Accountability in the Public Sector” (YouTube)

    Instructions: Please watch this entire video of a panel discussion on the topic of ethics and accountability in the public sector.

    Watching this video and pausing to take notes should take approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

7.3 Code of Ethics   - Reading: American Society for Public Administration: “Code of Ethics” Link: American Society for Public Administration: “Code of Ethics” (HTML)

 Instructions: Please review the code of ethics on the webpage
linked above.  

 This reading should take approximately 15 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Reading: U.S. Office of Government Ethics: “Code of Ethics” Link: U.S. Office of Government Ethics: “Code of Ethics” (HTML)

    Instructions: Please click on the link above, and select the PDF hyperlink to download the file.  Study the code of ethics.

    This reading should take approximately 15 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

7.4 Models of Ethical Decision-Making   - Reading: Wikipedia’s “Cooper’s Decision-Making Model” Link: Wikipedia’s “Cooper’s Decision-Making Model” (HTML)

 Instructions: Please click on the link above, and review the
section titled “Cooper’s Decision-Making Model.”  This
decision-making model is a classic in public administration
ethics.  

 Studying this material should take approximately 15 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Reading: Dialogue: Stuart Nagel’s “Professional Ethics in Policy Evaluation: Ends and Methods” Link: Dialogue: Stuart Nagel’s “Professional Ethics in Policy Evaluation: Ends and Methods” (PDF)

    Instructions: Please click on the link above, and then select “here” to download the PDF.  Read pages 13–20.  What are the ethical dilemmas experienced by evaluators?  What is the professional responsibility of evaluators?

    Reading and considering the questions above should take approximately 45 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: University of Northern Colorado: Center for Ethical Deliberation’s “Ethical Frameworks” Link: University of Northern Colorado: Center for Ethical Deliberation’s “Ethical Frameworks” (HTML)

    Instructions: Please read the entire webpage, and pay attention to the distinctions between consequences, duty, and virtue frameworks.

    Reading this material should take approximately 45 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

7.5 Ethical Dilemmas in Public Agencies   - Reading: The World Bank’s “Assessing Political Commitment to Fighting Corruption” Link: The World Bank’s “Assessing Political Commitment to Fighting Corruption” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Read this article focusing on state efforts to fight political corruption.
 
Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license. It is attributed to The World Bank.

  • Reading: Center for Public Integrity: Caitlin Ginley’s “Grading the Nation: How Accountable Is Your State?” Link: Center for Public Integrity: Caitlin Ginley’s “Grading the Nation: How Accountable Is Your State?” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read the news article, and click on the interactive map to see your state’s corruption risk report card.

    Reading this material should take approximately 30 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: Markkula Center for Applied Ethics: Judy Nadler’s “Friendly Advice or Quid Pro Quo?” Link: Markkula Center for Applied Ethics: Judy Nadler’s “Friendly Advice or Quid Pro Quo?” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read the case study and answer the discussion questions posted at the end of the reading.

    Reading and answering the discussion questions should take approximately 30 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

7.6 Whistleblowing   - Reading: U.S. Office of Special Counsel: “Whistleblowing” Link: U.S. Office of Special Counsel: “Whistleblowing” (HTML)

 Instructions: Please review the definition of a whistleblower.  

 Reviewing this material should take approximately 5 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Reading: U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board: “Blowing the Whistle: Barriers to Federal Employees Making Disclosures” Link: U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board: “Blowing the Whistle: Barriers to Federal Employees Making Disclosures” (PDF)

    Instructions: Please click on the link above, and read the entire report.

    Reading this report should take approximately 2 hours.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: Markkula Center for Applied Ethics: Judy Nadler and Miriam Schulman’s “Whistle Blowing in the Public Sector” Link: Markkula Center for Applied Ethics: Judy Nadler and Miriam Schulman’s “Whistleblowing in the Public Sector” (HTML)

    Instructions: Please click on the link above and read the entire webpage.  Review the relationship between ethics and whistleblowing as well as ethical dilemmas.

    Reading this material should take approximately 10 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Web Media: YouTube: CNN’s “System Fails Whistle-Blowers” Link: YouTube: CNN’s “System Fails Whistle-Blowers” (YouTube)

    Instructions: Please click on the link above and watch the brief video.

    Watching this and pausing to take notes should take approximately 15 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

Final Exam   - Final Exam: The Saylor Foundation's “POLSC241 Final Exam” Link: The Saylor Foundation's “POLSC241 Final Exam” (HTML)
 
Instructions: You must be logged into your Saylor Foundation School account in order to access this exam. If you do not yet have an account, you will be able to create one, free of charge, after clicking the link.