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ISSUE OF ETHICS: FOCI AND CONCERNS

ISSUE OF ETHICS: FOCI AND CONCERNS

  • An important question arises in connection with the moral obligation of an administrative system. Is the administrative system confined to acting morally in its conduct or does it also share the responsibility of protecting and promoting an ethical order in the larger society?
  • While most of the focus on administrative morality is on the aspect of probity within the administrative system, there is a need to consider the issue of the responsibility of the governance system (of which the administrative system is an integral part) to create and sustain an ethical ambience in the socio- economic system that would nurture and protect the basic moral values.              ISSUE OF ETHICS: FOCI AND CONCERNS
  • Moral political philosophy assumes that the rulers will not only be moral themselves, but would also be the guardians of morality in a society. Truly, being moral is a prerequisite to being a guardian of wider morality. Both the obligations are intertwined.
  • It is a truism that the crux of administrative morality is ethical decision-making. The questions of facts and values cannot be separated from ethical decision-making. Thus, the science of administration gets integrated with the ethics of administration.
  • And in this integrated regime, only that empirical concern is valued, which respects the normative concerns in the delivery of administrative services. Which are the essential concerns with regard to administrative ethics?
  • There can be a long list of values that are considered desirable in an administrative action. However, in being selective, one has to focus on the most crucial values. Let us now concentrate on the values of justice, fairness and objectivity.              ISSUE OF ETHICS: FOCI AND CONCERNS
  • Woodrow Wilson, “The Study of Administration” (1887), in his inaugural address averred that justice was more important than sympathy. Thus, he placed justice at the top of value-hierarchy in a governance system.
  • Paradoxically, there has been a lot of discussion on the formal-legal aspects of administrative law since then, but very little analysis has been made Of the philosophical dimension of administrative justice.
  • The other two issues of ethical decision-making, viz., fairness and objectivity are, in fact, integral components of administrative justice.                    ISSUE OF ETHICS: FOCI AND CONCERNS
  • When administrators are true to their profession, they are expected to be impartial and fair and not get influenced by nepotism, favouritism and greed while making decisions of governance.
  • Objectivity should not be misconstrued as a mechanical and rigid adherence to laws and rules. From the decision-making angle, it has undoubtedly wider ramifications encompassing a set of positive orientations.
  • Currently, the notion of ethics has expanded itself to involve all major realms of human existence. 

ETHICS LECTURES

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