ETHICAL IDEOLOGIES THAT SEEM TO APPLY OBJECTIVELY TO PEOPLE:
In general perspective, ethics is a set of moral principles. These principles have significant effect on people to make decisions and lead good quality lives. Ethics is also concerned with what is ‘good for individuals and society’ and is also defined as moral beliefs.
Ethics originated from the Greek word ‘ethos’ which means custom, habit, character or disposition. Therefore, ethics could be said to cover the following dilemmas: how to live a good life, our rights and responsibilities, the language of right and wrong moral decisions – what is good and bad.
ETHICAL IDEOLOGIES THAT SEEM TO APPLY OBJECTIVELY TO PEOPLE:
|Compassion||concern for the well-being of others|
|Non-malfeasance||avoiding inflicting suffering and hardship on others|
|Beneficence||preventing and alleviating others’ suffering; meeting the needs of the most vulnerable; promoting others’ happiness (strongest toward our family and friends).|
|Fairness||treating people the way they deserve to be treated, as having equal rights unless merit or need justifies special treatment|
|Courage||in opposing injustice. Respect for individual autonomy; not manipulating rational individuals even for their own good|
|Respect||for the Constitution and other laws enacted by legitimate governing bodies|
|Honesty||not deceiving anyone who deserves to know the truth. Keeping promises; that we made freely|
|Integrity||upholding our obligations in spite of personal inopportuneness|
ETHICS AND MORALITY:
- The words “ethics” and “morality” evolved from Greek and Latin words respectively. Traditionally, they referred to customary values and rules of conduct as well as insights about human excellence and flourishing.
- “Ethics” and “morality” are often used interchangeably by people currently. But ethics also denotes to moral philosophy, i.e., a discipline of critical analysis of the meaning and explanation of moral beliefs. Along with law and etiquette, they prescribe human behaviour as obligatory, prohibited, or permissible.
- Ethics is often used in connection with the activities of organisations and with professional codes of conduct. Actions such as lying, breaking a promise or killing someone are more serious than social faux pas.
ESSENCE OF ETHICS
- Basically, ethics is elaborated as the systematic study of human actions from the perspective of their rightfulness or wrongfulness, as means for the attainment of the definitive happiness. It is the reflective understanding of good or bad in that part of human conduct for which human has some personal responsibility.
- In other words, ethics is a set of principles that society places on itself and which helps guide behaviour, choices and actions.
- Ethics is integral to public administration. In public administration, ethics focuses on how the public administrator should question and reflect in order to be able to act sensibly.
COMPONENTS OF ESSENCE OF ETHICS:
The basic components of essence of ethics are:
- Choices – Certain preferences and priorities makes us to decide what we want. Such choices which we made reflects in our actions
- Actions – Choices in turn shown through our actions physically.
- Behaviour – It is the way we act or conducts ourselves. The behaviour in which we exhibit influenced by choices we made and acts we did. If its ethical, it called as ethical behaviour for example, treating others with respect or no respect.
PRINCIPLES TO MANAGE ETHICS IN THE PUBLIC SERVICE:
- Ethical standards for public service should be clear.
- Ethical standards should be reproduced in the legal framework.
- Ethical supervision should be available to public servants.
- Public servants should know their rights and obligations when exposing wrongdoing.
- Political commitment to ethics should reinforce the ethical conduct of public servants.
- The decision -making process should be transparent and open to scrutiny.
- There should be clear guidelines for interaction between the public and private sectors.
- Managers should demonstrate and promote ethical conduct.
- Management policies, procedures and practices should promote ethical conduct.
- Public service conditions and management of human resources should promote ethical conduct.
- Adequate accountability mechanisms should be in place within the public service.
- Appropriate procedures and sanctions should exist to deal with misconduct.
ETHICS AND VALUES:
- Values and ethics are represented through actions of humans in everyday life. They describe the way people strive to work with their fellow employees, partners and clients. They explain the spirit that enables us to do our jobs.
- As individuals, person’s values have been formed by his culture in the broad sense; for example, the values have been formed from family, education or cultural experiences. As public employees, human values are moulded by the traditions of democratic government system.
IMPORTANCE/ SIGNIFICANCE OF ETHICS IN PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION:
- Public resource utilization & Curbing corruption: ethical use of resources ensures the efficient and effective development of society without corruption. It makes the public servant accountable for his/her actions. E.g. RTI, social audits involves public and enhance transparenc.
- The ethical standards of impartiality and objectivity bring merit into organization. thereby, increasing predictability, which improves economic efficiency. E.g. e-filing of tax returns, online tenders etc.,
- Outcomes for society are better when the decisions of public office holders are made fairly and on merit and not influenced by personal and private interests. Commitment and dedication to work improves the administration.
- Public trust and assurance: All sections of the society must be treated equitably and ethics ensures just and fair administration.
- Social capital: A just and ethical administration will have credibility and ensures citizen participation in administration.
- The administration becomes responsive to the needs and aspirations of the public..
- International relations: ethical administration also helps in building a rapport and trust in international relations and economy.
Absence of ethics results in authoritarianism, suppression of rights, high corruption and impoverishment of the poor and the vulnerable. Historically it has only been disastrous whether it is the colonial administration or the authoritarian governments like that of Hitler/Stalin.
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