Consider the relevance of these approaches to your academic and professional work in public administration.
Based upon this prompt, reply to the below post: Compare and contrast key approaches toward public administration as detailed in assigned readings. Evaluate these approaches according to required readings and presentations for this week and a Biblical/covenantal model of statesmanship, leadership and organizational behavior. Consider the relevance of these approaches to your academic and professional work in public administration.
Module #1 Discussion Board: Compare and contrast key approaches toward public administration as detailed in assigned readings. Evaluate these approaches according to required readings and presentations for this week and a Biblical/covenantal model of statesmanship, leadership, and organizational behavior. Consider the relevance of these approaches to your academic and professional work in public administration.
Q. 1. Summarize your perspective on the history and competing world views of ethics in public administration. Review the Esther assignment below—include what you learn about worldviews from Haman and Mordecai.
Throughout the entire assigned readings this week we were able to see the history of public administration including views from the ancient times of Confucius, the early nineteenth century, up to the present day involving ethical judgements and the effect it has on public trust. A common theme in the foundation of public administration seemed to be a dichotomy of where a group or individual morality stood, and how ethical judgements took place, and who’s version was theoretically right?
Furthermore, for many years as a collective whole public administration entities have been looked at rather negatively. In comparison today, many people complain about the bureaucracy and call for reform in the Civil Service and Government Service job selection process, yet that is not a new phenomenon. From the foundation of the American Republic, it has been noted that corruption, bureaucracy and reform have historically been an ongoing theme.
“While federal civil service reform is generally dated from the post–Civil War period, the political roots of the reform effort go back much earlier—to the beginning of the republic. Thomas Jefferson was the first president to face the problem of a philosophically hostile bureaucracy.” (Shafritz & Hyde, 2016, p. 6)
Taking it even further back in history, in the Book of Ester, some significant ethical issues involved the most precious thing of all, the preservation of human life. As the Book of Ester unfolds numerous individuals are portrayed as manipulating and deceiving at the risk of others’ peril. Ester, who is an orphan, is taken in by Mordecai (both are Jewish). Both seem to be very ethical and upstanding. As the King grows weary of his wife and the fact, that she will not go to him, he calls across the lands for a young woman to be his mistress or his next bride. Ester is thus chosen. As a plot to oust the King is unfolding Mordecai informs Ester who expediently informs the King. (Cross Way Bibles, 2002, p. 411 2:19)
The plot is foiled but a man named Haman takes credit for the information and he is elevated to the King’s best aide. Mordecai for better or worse does not pay any respects (prostrate) to Haman. Haman decides since he is Jewish it must be all Jewish and plans to hang Mordecai and wage war against all Jewish people around the land. In the end, that plan also goes wayward, and Mordecai eventually is found to be the person who informed the King of the plot to kill him.(Cross Way Bibles, 2002, p. 411 2:19)
In my mind, the worldview of Haman is he is a prime example of evil and a persecutor of the Jewish people. As for Mordecai, he grew to second in rank to the king, he was great among the Jewish and popular with a multitude of his brothers, for he sought the welfare of his people and spoke peace to all his people. (Cross Way Bibles, 2002, p. 416 10:2) I believe Mordecai’s characteristics are critical regarding the values of the covenant with God. The covenant is defined as “A covenant is a morally informed agreement among various parties to ratify and establish a long-term, mutually affirming relationship. (Fischer K. , A Biblical-Covenantal Perspective on Organizational Behavior & Leadership, 2010, p. 8)
I believe the true purpose and meaning of the covenant is for everyone to care for each other equally and to be responsible and accountable for their actions for a healthy balance to be achieved. Mordecai emulated that Haman represented greed and was willing to kill another person due to their religious faith for his social status improvement.
Q. 2. What role do you believe ethics has (or should have) in public administration?
In the reading of the Responsibility in Public Administration Ethics, Plant notes that the growing distrust of the “administrative state” and the role of career and appointed public administrators in democratic governance as a factor for administrative responsibility is a problematic topic. (Plant, 2018, p. S34) For public administration, you have to have people’s trust and with the current state of our political affairs, the American public is yearning for professionally and ethically based ideas of justice, fairness, and competence. Just the minimum of those I believe allows public administration personnel in democratic systems to function effectively despite conditions of great uncertainty, ambiguity, and rapid or significant change.
Further in the reading some items such as “core principles, such as transparency, accountability, moral reasoning, standards of conduct, social equity, corruption, and responsibility, have been the basis of increasingly sophisticated analyses” (Plant, 2018, p. S43). Without those items in public administration, you potentially do not have any ethics.
The Bowman text, almost negates ethics due to it not being brought up in school, “It should be noted that no formal standards exist for the scope or content of ethics in public administration education, the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs. (Bowman, Berman, & West, 2001, p. 195) But, then as you read further it defines Pillars of Ethics necessary for public service which can be equated to criteria for public administration or a public service practitioner.
“The sense of public service, a strong emphasis on ethical behavior, a well-developed group identity, and well-established professional bodies that support the ideals of public service all provide part of the professional identity of the public service practitioner” (Bowman, Berman, & West, 2001, p. 195)
The reading of the text Ethics in American Public Administration: A response to a changing reality identifies even more criteria that should be hallmarks of Public service, items such as integrity, honesty, impartiality, etc.
“The new public service ethos is rooted in both public sector virtues of honesty, integrity, impartiality, and community service. (Hijal-Moghrabi & Sabharwal, 2018, p. 465)
A very powerful example of what public offices should be or try to emulate can be identified by four statements made by Dorman B. Eaton as the chair of the first Civil Service Commission established by President Grant in 1871. These principles are from 1871 but still hold merit today.
1. Public office creates a relationship of trust and duty of a kind which requires all authority and influence pertaining to it to be exercised with the same absolute conformity to moral standards, to the spirit of the constitution and the laws, and the common interest of the people…
2. In filling offices, it is the right of the people to have the worthiest citizens in the public service for the general welfare…
3. The personal merits of the candidate—are in themselves the highest claim upon an office. . .
4. Party government and the salutary activity of parties are not superseded, but they are made purer and more efficient, by the merit system of office which brings larger capacity and higher character to their support . . .”(Shafritz & Hyde, 2016, p. 7)
Q. 3. Are any Biblical principles regarding ethics applicable to us as public administrators?
I truly believe everything starts with your relationship with God. As public administrators I believe these two Proverbs verses are synonymous with leadership.
“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due when it is in the power of your hand to do so” Proverbs 3:27. (Cross Way Bibles, 2002, p. 529)
“Treating others justly and fairly also is a characteristic of ethical leadership. “To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice” (Proverbs 21:3). (Cross Way Bibles, 2002, p. 543)
Fischer states: “A worldview is the intellectual, emotional, and perhaps even spiritual framework by which we apprehend reality and assign meaning to life.” (Fischer K. J., 2004, p. 1)
From Doctor Fischer’s video A Worldview Perspective on Organizational Behavior at the .25 mark he states the biblical idea of the covenant as an integrated paradigm for residual behavior in leadership practices. (Fischer K. , A Worldview Perspective on Organizational Behavior A Biblical and Comprehensive Approach)
Thus, I believe the covenant in that definition bridges the gap between Christian faith, leadership traits and a personal spiritual wellbeing. Dr. Fischer further expands this bridging concept at the 2.52 mark, with his statement that a spiritual level often times has professional ramifications. At the 4:20 mark, what a great definition of Worldview. (Fischer K. , A Worldview Perspective on Organizational Behavior A Biblical and Comprehensive Approach)
Worldview: An intellectual, emotional, and spiritual framework by which you view reality, make sense of life, and apply meaning to every area of your life. That smartly emphasis the bridging of the gap I previously stated. (Fischer K. , A Worldview Perspective on Organizational Behavior A Biblical and Comprehensive Approach)
From our readings in particular, A Worldview Perspective on Organizational Behavior provides definitions for axiology, epistemology, hesed, and ontology, I believe those key terms are synonymous and paramount for public administrator growth and success.
Axiology is the study of what we believe about values.
Epistemology is the study of how we arrive at truth and meaning.
Hesed provides the attitude necessary for healthy organizational behavior. This
attitude embodies notions such as servant leadership, mutual affirmation and care, teamwork, shared vision, “big picture” thinking, and customer care and community service.
Ontology is the study of who we are as human beings.
(Fischer K. , A Biblical-Covenantal Perspective on Organizational Behavior & Leadership, 2010, pp. 5-8)
Q. 4. What, then, given the above, will be the ethical principles that will guide and inform your life and work as a public administrator?
I truly believe to be a successful public administrator or influential leader you must have empathy and you must be an active listener. At times you have to be a good follower and you always have to be a person of faith.
The foundation of Mutual accountability covers a lot of this concept.
“Mutual accountably is describes the process of interaction in a covenant in which everyone is accountable to everyone else. Not only are followers accountable to leaders, but leaders are also accountable to followers.” (Fischer K. , A Worldview Perspective on Organizational Behavior A Biblical and Comprehensive Approach)
From my many years spent in the military I believe three simple core values that I learned from the US Air Force help guide me in my daily activities.
1. Integrity First
2. Service before self
3. Excellence in all we do
Spiritually I believe there are many temptations to stray from faith. From the slide breakdown A Brief Overview of Worldwide Ideas in particular the Post-Modern Era it identifies two key barriers in a persons spiritual growth are identified. (The Modern Era portion)
Secular Humanism: Rejected a belief in any type of God as superstitious; emphasized man’s capacity to reason as the solution to all problems (Unknown, p. 1)
Religious Pluralism: Multiple religious perspectives and multiculturalism challenge both Secular Humanism and Orthodox Christianity. (Unknown, p. 1)
One of my favorite authors Mr. Tim Tebow would mention the temptations he faced when he faced Secular Humanism or people who would question his faith because they themselves did not believe in God or a God. I truly believe he was persecuted for the profession of his faith while playing professional football. The “Tebowing Kneel” is just one example of a way people made fun of his personal belief in God. Many people have a hard time telling people they are Christians because they fear persecution or ridicule. I’m a private person, but growing up predominantly Irish Catholic many time stereotypes, slurs etc. were levied at my family for our faith. One other aspect that Irish are know for is their tempers. I know it is a temptation to act out when someone questions my values, integrity, leadership or most importantly my faith.
Bowman, J. S., Berman, E. M., & West, J. P. (2001). The Profession of Public Administration: An Ethics Edge in Introductory Textbooks? Public Administration Review, 194-205. Retrieved from https://www-jstor-org.ezproxy.liberty.edu/stable/977453?pq-origsite=summon&seq=2
Cross Way Bibles. (2002). The Holy Bible English Standard Version. Wheaton, Illinois, USA: Good News Publishers.
Fischer, K. (2010). A Biblical-Covenantal Perspective on Organizational Behavior & Leadership. Pearson Custom Publishing. Retrieved from https://digitalcommons.liberty.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1528&context=gov_fac_pubs
Fischer, K. (n.d). A Worldview Perspective on Organizational Behavior A Biblical and Comprehensive Approach. Retrieved from https://canvas.liberty.edu/courses/294472/pages/watch-lesson-1-a-worldview-perspective-on-organizational-behavior?module_item_id=33116594
Fischer, K. J. (2004). Worldview Analysis, Humanities, Braces For the Kids, And The Meaning of Life: Why thinking from a worldview perspective is important for every area of our lives. Retrieved from /courses/294472/files/85900799
Hijal-Moghrabi, I., & Sabharwal, M. (2018). Ethics in American Public Administration: A Response to a Changing Reality. Public Integrity, 20(5), 459-477. Retrieved from https://www-tandfonline-com.ezproxy.liberty.edu/doi/full/10.1080/10999922.2017.1419053
Plant, J. F. (2018). Responsibility in Public Administration Ethics. Public Integrity, 20(sup1), S33-S45. Retrieved from https://www-tandfonline-com.ezproxy.liberty.edu/doi/full/10.1080/10999922.2017.1413927
Shafritz, J. M., & Hyde, A. C. (2016). Classics of Public Administration (8th ed.). Cengage Learning US. Retrieved from https://mbsdirect.vitalsource.com/reader/books/9781305887268/pageid/10
Unknown. (n.d). A Brief Overview of Worldview Ideas: From the Middle Ages to the Postmodern Era. Retrieved from /courses/294472/files/85900807