Concerns of Ethics:
Concerns of Ethics:
- There can be a long list of values that are considered desirable in administrative action. Let us now concentrate on the values of justice, fairness, and objectivity.
- Woodrow Wilson, in his book “The Study of Administration” (1887), averred that justice was more important than sympathy. Thus, he placed justice at the top of the 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. When administrators are true to their profession, they are expected to be impartial and fair and not get influenced by nepotism, favoritism, and greed while making decisions of governance.
Maxims of Ethics:
There are certain maxims under which the notion of ethics has been summarized. They are as follows:
Maxim of Legality and Rationality:
An administrator will follow the law and rules that are framed to govern and guide various categories of policies and decisions.
Maxim of Responsibility and Accountability:
An administrator would not hesitate to accept responsibility for his decision and actions. He would hold himself morally responsible for his actions and for the use of his discretion while making decisions. Moreover, he would be willing to be held accountable to higher authorities of governance and even to the people who are the ultimate beneficiaries of his decisions and actions.
Maxim of Work Commitment:
An administrator would be committed to his duties and perform his work with involvement, intelligence, and dexterity. As Swami Vivekananda observed: “Every duty is holy and devotion to duty is the highest form of worship.” This would also entail respect for time, punctuality, and fulfillment of promises made. Work is considered not as a burden but as an opportunity to serve and constructively contribute to society.
Maxim of Excellence:
An administrator would ensure the highest standards of quality in administrative decisions and action and would not compromise with standards because of convenience or complacency. In a competitive international environment, an administrative system should faithfully adhere to the requisites of Total Quality Management.
Maxim of Fusion:
An administrator would rationally bring about a fusion of individual, organizational and social goals to help evolve unison of ideals and imbibe in his behaviour a commitment to such a fusion. In a situation of conflicting goals, a concern for ethics should govern the choices made.
Maxim of Responsiveness and Resilience:
An administrator would respond effectively to the demands and challenges from the external as well as the internal environment. He would adapt to environmental transformation and yet sustain the ethical norms of conduct. In situations of deviation from the prescribed ethical norms, the administrative system would show resilience and bounce back into the accepted ethical mould at the earliest opportunity.
Maxim of Utilitarianism:
While making and implementing policies and decisions, an administrator will ensure that these lead to the greatest good (happiness, benefits) of the greatest number.
Maxim of Compassion:
An administrator, without violating the prescribed laws and rules, would demonstrate compassion for the poor, the disabled, and the weak while using his discretion in making decisions. At least, he would not grant any benefits to the stronger section of society only because they are strong and would not deny due consideration to the weak, despite their weakness.
Maxim of National Interest:
Though universalistic in orientation and liberal in outlook, a civil servant, while performing his duties, would keep in view the impact of his action on his nation’s strength and prestige. The Japanese, the Koreans, the Germans, and the Chinese citizens (including civil servants), while performing their official roles, have at the back of their minds a concern and respect for their nation. This automatically raises the level of service rendered and the products delivered.
Maxim of Justice:
Those responsible for formulation and execution of policies and decisions of government would ensure that respect is shown to the principles of equality, equity, fairness, impartiality, and objectivity and no special favours are doled out on the criteria of status, position, power, gender, class, caste or wealth.
Maxim of Transparency:
An administrator will make decisions and implement them in a transparent manner so that those affected by the decisions and those who wish to evaluate their rationale, will be able to understand the reasons behind such decisions and the sources of information on which these decisions were made.
Maxim of Integrity:
An administrator would undertake an administrative action on the basis of honesty and not use his power, position, and discretion to serve his personal interest and the illegitimate interests of other individuals or groups.
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