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Ethical Dimensions of Public Administration - page 10 / 22





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PUAD 700Dr. Brack Brown

Research Paper for Ethical Dimensions of Public Administration

The paper for this seminar will describe and analyze a public administration event or situation that poses a significant ethical dilemma.  What is vital is that there is a perception by administrators that they face an ethical dilemma in making some choice.  The alternative ethical means or ends that are available are in conflict or present unwanted effects all of the initially apparent choices cannot eliminate undesirable ethical consequences of a decision, action or proposed action.  In your paper the following should be included in some form and properly supported by citations where appropriate. (Pay close attention to the slides about ‘dilemmas’ on my Webpage)

1.An introduction which states the subject and purpose of your paper, why the subject is important, and how you will handle the subject.  

2.The organizational/political setting within which the ethically ambiguous situation exists (or did exist). [Treatments can be historical or contemporary].

3.The main external forces acting on the situation, e.g., public opinion, threat of court action, legislative decisions, technical or resource limits, public events (e.g. school shootings, scientific breakthrough, etc.).   

5.A clear statement of the ethical dilemma (the options or alternatives), any or all of which appear to lead to some undesirable outcomes from some point of view. (Note marked comment)

5.The public administration elements: functions, bodies, processes, and actors involved in making ethical choices or taking action which require ethical considerations.

6.What decisions, actions, and consequences occurred?  If the outcomes or impacts are not yet clear, an assessment of what they might be.  

7.A careful critique/analysis of the rationales, justifications, and choices that were put forward in the situation.  Be explicit about the grounds (reasons) on which you base your analysis of behavior and choices.* Specifically determine here whether the Cooper, Silva, or another ethical analysis framework fits your case.

8.Your ethical conclusions how does your study tie into the ethical concepts and categories studied in this course and other courses in your Masters Program?

Remember these points:

A.  The common subject of your papers is ethics (scrutiny of moral statements) and public administrators who are facing an ethical dilemma.

B.   Authoritative books and articles relevant to your subject area must be consulted and used in developing your argument.  Some of these should be explicitly public administration orientated.  Personal experience, casual interviews, internal documents, and media coverage by themselves

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